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How to choose the right refrigeration for your Cafe or Bar

If you’re a first time buyer of refrigeration for your restaurant or bar, you would have most likely been scouring the internet and looking at the many options available.

Of course, with more options comes the challenge of selecting the most reliable out of the lot. So, how can you choose suitable refrigeration for your café or bar? Here are some practical tips to help make your purchase easier. 

Assess your needs

The first step in finding the right refrigeration is listing and assessing all your relevant needs. Which items on the menu are you planning to store in kitchen fridge? This will help you decide on the type and size of the equipment to purchase.

Different types of refrigeration equipment include:

  • Under-counter or built-in: These are designed to be installed under a countertop or in cabinetry which is a great space saver. You don’t have to compromise on size as there are many sizes of under-counter fridges or freezers available now, with sufficient storage and workable space.
  • Standard / Reach-in: With vertical (upright) or horizontal fridges or freezers, this type of refrigeration is quite standard and popular, making products easily accessible by opening a door and reaching inside to retrieve items. It’s popular in food service operations to store large quantities of perishable goods at a safe temperature.
  • Walk-in: As the name suggests, it’s a unit you can walk in and out of. Ideal for storing large quantities of perishable goods if you have the room for one of these.  Enquire about our cool or freezer rooms and the various sizes available to suit your space.
  • Display: A display refrigerator, or a merchandiser, is designed to showcase products to customers. It is commonly used in supermarkets, convenience stores, and other retail environments to display food and beverages but work equally well in a hospitality setting especially for those high turnover items.

Consider the noise level

The noise level of your consumer refrigerator can also impact your customers’ experience in your café or bar. If your business is in a small space, you may want to consider quieter refrigeration equipment to avoid disturbing your customers.

Some refrigeration equipment has noise-reducing features, such as insulated walls and doors. Therefore, check for these factors when choosing your fridge.

Consider the space

Commercial refrigeration come in different sizes and shapes. But not all are ideal for the available space in your café or bar. Therefore, you need to make your selection accordingly.

Before searching online or going to your nearest store, measure the designated space. While at it, consider the flow of traffic and the accessibility of the equipment for your staff. Once you have all the measurements, you can choose a product that comfortably fits your plan.

For instance, an under-counter refrigerator may be better than a reach-in refrigerator if you have limited space. But a reach-in refrigerator may be ideal if space isn’t an issue for you and you serve many fresh salads and sandwiches. 

Choose one that has plenty of shelves and compartments for this particular purpose. This way, it’ll be easier for you to arrange the food items in your restaurant refrigerator.

Look for energy efficiency

Energy-efficient refrigeration equipment can help you save money on your energy bills in the long run, while consuming less power and still meeting your refrigeration needs.

This will also help to reduce your carbon footprint. As such, it’ll contribute to a greener environment, which aligns with the global energy efficiency and conservation strategy.

Work within your budget

Another thing to consider when shopping for a commercial restaurant /bar equipment is affordability. Remember, this asset doesn’t directly contribute to your production process. So, you wouldn’t want to spend beyond your reach and mess up your financial plans.

As you check prices, compare features to see if they meet your needs. Also, think long-term in terms of what you want to achieve and annual running expenses and maintenance costs.

We are a SilverChef finance partner and recommend having a look at their finance options as this can significantly help with your purchase decision. Our products show a weekly price using the SilverChef calculator to give you an indication of the weekly repayment amount.


Shopping for the right commercial equipment can be a daunting experience as there is a lot to choose from. We recommend carefully considering your business needs and then speak to an expert in the industry (aka our team!) to discuss your requirements. We’ll be able to talk through the best place for the equipment to go, the right size and running specs you’ll need and more.