Be honest, how old is your walk-in? Probably too old, assuming your restaurant has been around for a while. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Walk-ins are expensive and complicated to replace, so most restaurant owners try to wait as long as possible before biting the bullet and getting a new one installed. But let’s face it, when your food isn’t staying frozen anymore, or when the ice buildup jams your walk-in doors open it’s probably time to make some serious decisions.
That’s why PJP is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of 7 tips for you those of you who might be thinking about replacing a walk-in fridge or freezer in the near future.
1) What will be stored in the walk-in?
The density and temperature of food determines how long it takes to chill it properly. A walk-in that will be loaded with slabs of meat, likely requires a larger refrigeration system than a walk-in used to store salad greens.
2) What about the door?
Doors endure a lot of wear and tear. Depending on the daily traffic in and out of your walk-in, you may want to consider a heavy-duty door. At a minimum, you’ll want kick plates on the door, and inside the walk-in, to help prevent damage. Self-closing hinges and strip curtains are also helpful to keep cold in and hot air out.
3) What about the floor?
Consider the traffic in your walk-in. Are you using carts heavy-loaded with product? Will you be installing heavy-duty shelves? Make sure you select a floor that can handle the daily loads. A reinforced or structural floor may be necessary. Consider too whether you’ll need an exterior ramp for ease of access.
4) Do you foresee any major changes?
Is your operation expected to expand, move, or make major changes to its menu? Consider your future plans and how they might affect your storage and refrigeration needs. Consider a walk-in with cam-locking panels that are easier to dismantle and move, or expand, if necessary.
5) Look for a manufacturer who can do it all.
Purchasing the walk-in box and refrigeration system from the same manufacturer can save time and trouble. Sure, you might buy a Chevy and drop a Volvo engine into it, but do you really want to? It’s usually simpler, and more efficient in the long run, to purchase a walk-in box and cooling system that are specifically designed and built to work with each other. And if necessary, look for a manufacturer that can offer design help on larger projects too.
6) Check your warranty.
Make sure to check the warranty of your new walk-in. Find out who the local service contractor is and keep their number handy.
7) As Always, Call your PJP Sales Rep.
When it comes to purchasing large pieces of equipment for your kitchen, PJP always has your back. We’re always willing to work with you and accommodate any of your needs in order to make sure that your restaurant is well equipped to serve your customers.