Quick Guide; How To Find A Good Quality Cold Food Display
Despite many food businesses reopening across Australia, customers are still leaning toward takeaway options. They want to get their food and go, preferring not to spend too much time in a restaurant or cafe.
The way a food vendor displays their chilled food, then, is crucial. It needs to look as delicious and fresh as possible, with high-turnover items showcased at eye level for maximum temptation.
If you’re a restaurateur in the market for a new food display unit, continue for a quick-read buying guide.
Does the Fridge Get Cold Enough?
Safe food storage is a critical concern for restaurant and cafe owners. Food incorrectly stored at the wrong temperature can spoil, leading to food poisoning. And the last thing you want for your food establishment is a reputation that your cuisine makes people sick.
Food business owners must store many fresh and cooked foods (and even some that are dried) at temperatures below 5 degrees Celcius to ensure the risk of bacterial contamination remains low.
The list of cold food, which often also considered high-risk food, includes:
- Cooked rice and pasta
- Eggs and dairy
- Meat and poultry
Don’t forget that many of the items restaurateurs need to keep on display are also considered risky: pizza, pies, salads, casseroles, stews, soups, and quiche.
Frozen food needs to be stored below -18 degrees Celsius and should be thawed in a refrigerator.
Ensure any display fridge or freezer you’re looking at buying can chill foods to the required temperatures and maintain those temperatures. This will keep any food you sell safely out of the danger zone.
Consider the Location of Your Cold Food Display
If you display food or beverages in large commercial fridges, you might have noticed that the items at the bottom or top of the chiller sell far more slowly than those in the middle. This is all down to the psychology of shopping. After all, “eye level is buy level,” as product placement experts like to say.
Items at adult eye level tend to fly off the shelves because people don’t have to go out of their way to interact with them. Therefore, they seem more attractive to the customer, who is more likely to impulse buy it.
When looking for quality cold-store restaurant and cafe equipment, consider where you could install it in your shop. Can it be mounted to a countertop or even sturdy shelving, allowing you to take advantage of eye level buying? Or with larger fridges, are the display shelves inside adjustable so that you can focus a customer’s attention on quick-sell or higher-priced items placed in the middle of the unit.
Energy Efficiency for Peace of Mind
Even in terms of their smaller size, cold food display units tend to be more energy-efficient than large refrigerators. It takes less energy to keep drinks, takeaway food, or a salad bar cool than their commercial alternatives. An energy-efficient display fridge is not only more eco-friendly, but it’ll also save you money on your electricity bill.
Look for units with easy-view glass doors or display casing so customers can choose before they open anything. On the service side, quality cabinets should have automatic closures, and any openings or joins should be carefully sealed.
Any time minimised on either the customer or service end will keep the interior cooler and conserve energy. Reducing gaps and cracks through which cold air could escape will have the same effect.
Finally, check the energy-saving specifications on any model you’re considering purchasing.
Look for sophisticated digital temperature controls and readouts that will allow you to manage coldness levels. Seek a stamp of MEPS approval and long-length warranties on parts and service. Demand innovative efficiency technology like cross-fin coils to ensure fast cooling.
Does the Unit Have Useful Organization Options?
When out shopping for the perfect refrigerator or freezer display unit, check what organisation options it offers. As we mentioned above, displaying must-sell, pricier, or impulse purchase foods at eye level is critical. But you also want to make sure they are displayed with maximum efficiency.
There are some crucial questions to consider for owners of takeaway restaurants, cafes, and dine-in establishments alike.
Does the unit you’re looking at have a way to display tall items as well as short? Can you display items on an angle, or does the manufacturer only include flat shelves? Are there containers available for keeping salads or other loose, mixed foodstuffs chilled?
Also, consider how easy the cold food display is to access. This is important when it comes to re-stocking and cleaning your unit.
Suppose the doors are too small or the shelving is awkwardly arranged. In this case, restocking might take up valuable time, cleaning might cause you a bad back from forever bending over to reach the bottom front corner, or you might end up damaging something, like those carefully iced baked goods.
Finally, be sure to check with the manufacturer about how easy it is to get replacement parts for the fridge. You don’t want to accidentally break a shelf during cleaning only to find out it can’t be replaced.
Don’t Forget About Your Frozen Delights
Frozen treats like ice cream, waffles, gelato, and frozen yogurt are often a high-turnover, profitable earner for cafes, buggers, grocery stores, and food trucks.
If you’re in the market for the ideal display freezer, you first need to decide if you need a high-volume unit for daily operation or a lower-volume service option for a dine-in, evening-only restaurant.
Features to keep an eye out for include:
- Quality materials like stainless steel
- LED lighting
- Light enough to transport
- Counter-top mounting or eye-level display options
- Large, visibly display area
Look for a brand that’s well known in Australia like Skipio, Anvil, or Bromic to ensure you have the best possible service coverage for warranties, repair, and replacement.
Good Things Take Time
A quality commercial refrigerator or freezer unit is worth taking the time to look for. Consider all the above features–from the material a cold food display is made of and the technology that keeps your food chilled to the internal organisation–and you’ll be sure to land on a unit that’s perfect for your culinary business.
If you need help deciding exactly which type of display fridge or freezer is right for your business, reach out to Snowmaster today. We’ve been serving Australia’s restaurants, cafes, and catering businesses since 1945 and deliver countrywide.