or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Compact Refrigeration for Commercial Kitchen
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Compact Refrigeration for Commercial Kitchen

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi chefs,

 

I'm moving a bakery operation into an historic building with a very narrow staircase (it could really only clear something 23-24 inches wide) and very compact workspace (roughly two 9x12 kitchens, one upstairs, one down).

 

Has anyone had luck with finding refrigeration for compact spaces that isn't just.. a mini fridge? Not required to be NSF, but would be ideal-- not trying to cut corners with something so vital. 

 

It looks like I might need to keep all refrigeration downstairs, which wouldn't be the end of the world, but it could be disruptive to workflow (one shouldn't use other heating elements like steam tables or burners on top of a flat-top reach-in refrigerator, am i right?).

 

I have a few ideas, but I wanted to ask those of you who'd been there/done that if you had any similar experience? The local restaurant supply places are largely more expensive in their refrigeration equipment than it would be to just pay hundreds of dollar in liftgate fees to webstaurant, so that's largely where i've been shopping.

 

Anyone faced this problem before?

post #2 of 6

Europe is filled with ancient buildings that somehow have to make health code, I know, I worked in a few of them.

 

A fridge ( or freezer) that won't accept 18 x 26 sheet pans is pretty much as usefull as mammary glands on a stud bull.

 

So lets look at options...

 

1) Cheapest and easiest: If you have a window on the 2nd floor, you're in luck, you can hoist the thing up and through.

 

2) Mini-walk-ins.  All walk ins are made up of panels, usually 24" wide and 4" thick. A no-brainer to bring up the stairs.  It might be a bit more expensive to construct a small (say, 48" x 48" by 7' high) walk in, but very do-able. You can configure a walk-in in any shape or size you want--around posts, around corners, etc. If space is tight, you can put sliding doors, or small dutch doors on another wall to access small items frequently.

 

3) Remote compressors. Virtually any commercial refrigeration is avialable with remote compressors.  This means the compressor is located on the rooftop, cellar, or other where.  This is more expensive to install.  The benefits are that you have very little noise--and more importantly--very little heat output from the compressor in your tiny kitchen.  You can also "feed" several units with just one, larger compressor, saving you some money in the longer run.

 

Hope this helps...

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #3 of 6

Have you looked into Continental? They make an 18" wide, tall, two door unit.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

@foodpump : all excellent insight, thank you so much. i honestly think the small walk-in is the most intelligent plan for this particular space. if i can make it fit suitably and swing it, that's probably what i'll do.

 

@cheflayne : i've also put in a call to continental. i don't know how on earth they didn't turn up in all of my googling-- thank you for pointing them out to me.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisha Nicole View Post
 

@cheflayne : i've also put in a call to continental. i don't know how on earth they didn't turn up in all of my googling-- thank you for pointing them out to me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisha Nicole View Post

The local restaurant supply places are largely more expensive in their refrigeration equipment than it would be to just pay hundreds of dollar in liftgate fees to webstaurant, so that's largely where i've been shopping.

 

Not certain, but I believe they carry Continental.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #6 of 6

I'm not familiar with webstaurant.  What kind of warranties do they have on thier refrigeration equipment? 

Here's what you need to ask yourself when buying any equipment:

Should equipment fail in the first 3 mths,

1) who repairs it?

2) how fast can it get repaired?,

3) who pays for the repairs?

and

4) should the newly ordered equipment be damaged during transit, will you be compensated?

 

A local supplier within a 10 mile radius  who will honour the mnfctr's warranty  is a whole lot better than $500 off of the sales price.  d.a.m.h.i.k.t.

 

Fridges break down, period.  

 

And when they do, it becomes very costly.

 

Imagine you come into work one morning and open up the door and be greeted by a blast of warm air and stinky product.  It's happened to me a few times....

 

a) You need to throw out all of your ingredients, mise en place, AND finished product.  You might have nothing to sell that day, or limited stuff to sell. P.O'd customers...

 

b)you need to replace all that stuff, fast.  Can you get deliveries today? (Dairy, eggs, fruit) Can you afford to do a quick Costco run?  Have you got labour to re-establish your mise,?  How many man-hours  (@ ?$/hr) to get back where you started?

 

c) Factor in an hour or so of labour to muck out the fridge, and to re-stock it.

 

d) Repairs.  Lets say you buy a reputable brand from a local supplier.  Typically you get 1 yr warranty on everything and with better brands, 5 yrs on the compressor only. Say the fridge craps out in the second year, no warranty.  Typically, refrigeration guys get $75/hr PLUS truck fees of say $25.00, plus taxes, plus parts and supplies.  And a minimum of one hr  labour even if he changes out a switch within 5 mins.

 

Not trying to scare you, but you have to take refrigeration very seriously.  Never buy used--unless your dad/sister/ brother is hvac repair guy, or you lots of spare refrigeration kicking around.

 

Hope this helps....  

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Compact Refrigeration for Commercial Kitchen