What should I look for when Buying a Commercial Refrigerator

Commercial refrigerators are necessary equipment for any foodservice business. Commercial refrigerators are an efficient way to keep large amounts of food fresh.

Restaurant equipment, such as a commercial refrigerator, impacts the quality of the products and services offered and the financial well-being of a restaurant. As a result, the business will not thrive without good equipment and may even close down.

When purchasing a commercial refrigerator, various aspects should be carefully considered before buying. If you are confused about what is perfect for your business, here is a short guide to help you out.

1) Determine the type of commercial refrigerator that’s best for your needs.


Reach-in refrigerators benefit from having ample storage space and are especially useful for storing large quantities of food. These types of refrigerators can be custom built to fit any kitchen floor plan and usually provide enough storage space to meet the needs of almost any restaurant. However, this type is not as easy to access as other types, which can pose problems in busy restaurants where speed is essential.


This commercial fridge has an open area through which workers pass when restocking the storage compartments on the other side or when cleaning it thoroughly. It allows for more storage space than a similar-sized undercounter unit would offer and is more efficient than a larger reach-in model. Unfortunately, they can require additional labor since it takes time for employees to move back and forth with supplies and food stock, and they can be challenging to clean.


An undercounter refrigerator is the most versatile and typically found in smaller restaurants where space is at a premium. They are more affordable than reach-in or pass-through models, and some can even be built into the countertop to save even more space. However, they tend to have less storage space than the other two types and may not meet the needs of a larger restaurant.


Walk-in freezers and refrigerators are the largest type of commercial refrigerator and are typically used in grocery stores, hospitals, schools, and other extensive facilities. They come in various sizes, but all offer a large amount of storage space. The main disadvantage of this type is their size. They take up much room, so they may not be feasible for small restaurants.

Refrigerated Display Case

This type of refrigerator is usually found in delis, bakeries, and other businesses that sell perishable products. It is designed to keep foods at or below the required temperature without spoiling while also preventing dehydration or freezing. These commercial refrigerators are generally small with not much storage space and are better for displaying fresh foods than storing them.

2) Consider the size of your kitchen and how much fridge space you will need.

The size of your kitchen should also be considered when purchasing a commercial refrigerator because it will determine the size of the fridge you need. Too small and it will not be able to store enough food, while too large and it will take up too much space. You need to think about how much space you have in your kitchen and what type of food you will be storing.

3) Determine the temperature range that is needed.

Another important consideration when purchasing a commercial fridge is the temperature range that is needed. All refrigerators keep food cold, but some are better suited for storing certain types of food than others. If you need to store food that needs to be held at a specific temperature, make sure the refrigerator you choose has a range that will accommodate that food.

4) Decide on the features you want.

Like with any other purchase, there are various features available on different models of commercial refrigerators. Some features may be necessary for your business, while others may be more for convenience. Decide which features are important to you and research which models have those features.


Capacity refers to how much weight it can hold. The capacity should be appropriate for the type of refrigeration you need.

Power Supply

Some units are equipped with dual voltage, allowing you to run them indoors and outdoors. Other units may require different power supplies for indoor and outdoor use; make sure you check before buying one unit instead of two separate ones.

Energy Usage

Like with any other appliance, this refers to the unit’s amount of electricity or gas compared to similar models. As with efficiency, lower numbers will save money over time if your business uses a lot of power.


Look for racks that can be adjusted to different heights to accommodate the size and shape of the items you will be storing.


Some models have two doors while others have one. Two doors may be better for businesses that need to store various items at different temperatures. One door is typically easier to open and close but may not hold as many varieties of items.

5) Consider the price.

Commercial refrigerators can be expensive, so it is essential to consider your budget before purchasing. There are a variety of models available at different price points, so there is likely one that will fit your budget.

Once you know what you are looking for, you can start comparing prices. Do not just compare the sticker price. Instead, look at the cost of replacement parts, energy usage, and other long-term expenses to get an accurate picture of the cost of each model.


Refrigeration is an integral part of any food service establishment. Not only does it keep food from spoiling, but it also helps to preheat items and keep them at a safe temperature while cooking. There are various refrigerators available for businesses, so it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. However, with these few considerations in mind, you will be able to purchase the perfect refrigerator for your business.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.