At PJP we’re always trying to add value to our customer’s experience. One of the many ways we do that is by helping you make the most informed decision possible when purchasing new products for your business. With that in mind we’ve partnered up with our friends over at SEFA to create this series of blogs that help you, as a business owner, ask the right questions before buying new equipment for your kitchen. You’ve probably already read some of our previous posts about blenders, combi ovens and deep fryers. This next blog in our “Questions You Should Ask” series covers reach-in refrigerators.
Reach in refrigerators are generally used for short term food and ingredient storage, as opposed to large walk-ins that store bulk items long term. It’s a good idea to start with a walk in for bulk storage, then a two or three door reach in refrigerator stocked with daily or weekly supplies, and finish with a one door reach in refrigerator nearest the line for quick and easy access by kitchen staff.
Any time you are spending this much money on a piece of equipment, you want to make sure you’re buying something that is right for you. So, here are 3 questions you should ask yourself before buying a reach-in refrigerator.
What will the Reach-In be used for?
This may seem painfully obvious, but it’s definitely an important thing to consider before purchasing. You’ll want to talk to your staff and get a really good idea about what they’ll want to use reach-in for. Once you know that, you’ll have a better grasp on what kind of unit you’ll want to buy. There are a ton of options available (one door, two door, three door, under counter, ¾ height, glass door, sliding door, half door, pass through, roll in) and it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what works best for you without a firm grasp on your necessities.
The right size refrigerator will be based entirely on the space available and storage capacity needed. It will help to know about how much product is needed on a daily or weekly basis.
How cost conscious are you?
Again, this seems obvious, but knowing how much you want to spend will help you get the most out of your money, and there is a lot to consider in terms of how you want to put your budgeted amount to use. For example, purchasing an Energy Star rated refrigerator may be slightly more expensive up front, but it will definitely save you money in the long term. The same can be said about stainless steel refrigerators. They are typically more expensive, but they are much easier to clean and maintain, and will save your employees time in cleaning, therefore saving you money. It will also potentially last longer if better maintained, helping you get the most out of your investment. So, if you’re working on a limited budget these are important things to consider when trying to make your budget work best for you.
Where will the Refrigerator be Located?
Your kitchen space will be by far the most limiting factor for you when choosing the kind of refrigerator you want. Your budget and your needs don’t matter at all if you don’t have the space to accommodate the reach-in you want. Don’t be afraid to talk to your PJP sales rep about your space limitations, because they will have a wealth of experience and resources to draw from in to help make your space work for you. As we stated above, there are a lot of size options available for reach-ins, and we can find the right solution for your needs.
Another thing to consider in regards to location is whether the refrigerator will be in a customer-facing area of your restaurant. There are options available for styling the unit to fit a “front-of-house” look. Just ask your sales rep.