If you want to start a commercial food business such as a fast food centre, a restaurant or even a food truck, one of the main equipment you'll need is a refrigerator. That being settled, the question now is, which fridge to buy? Should you go in for the more expensive commercial models or should you settle for the cheaper residential ones?
Although both commercial and residential fridges do the same job, which is to keep foods cool, they are very different in their functionality and performance. For commercial usage, it is always good to use commercial fridges. Here are the reasons.
Residential fridges are meant for residential purpose. So, they are built for light usage since the machine does not have high demands. It is manufactured using lighter materials that could be susceptible to damages and corrosion if used in a heavy duty commercial environment.
Commercial fridges, on the other hand, are build for hard core usage with sturdier bodies that are resistant to damage. Special commercial grade anti-bacterial materials are used to make commercial fridges. As a result, large quantities of food remains are prevented from going stale quickly.
In order to meet the high demands of commercial food centres, commercial fridges have powerful compressors for high performance. Residential units have weaker compressors.
The insulation provided in commercial units is different from that of residential units. Residential fridges are not opened as frequently as commercial units. So, there is a difference in insulation as well. Commercial units have very strong insulation while residential units have minimal insulation.
Insulation is important for two purposes. Firstly, good insulation implies longer freshness for the foods stored within the fridge. Insulation prevents hot air from entering inside the fridge and keeps foods fresher for longer. Secondly, strong insulation reduces power consumption as well.
Since they are meant for residential purpose, they have less storage space. If residential units are to be used for commercial purposes, you will have to use multiple units instead since it is highly unadvisable to overload the fridge. More units consume more electricity as well, which in turn increases the monthly operational costs of your commercial food establishment. Commercial units are bigger and can store large amounts of foods.
As opposed to residential fridges that are easier to clean because they are smaller and meant for lighter usage, cleaning commercial fridges can be tough. Besides the quantity of food stored, the likelihood of grease and oil sticking on the racks and doors of fridge are higher as well. When residential units are used in commercial spaces, cleaning and maintenance becomes difficult.
The safety regulations and standards prescribed by the governing agencies for residential fridges are different from those stipulated for commercial units. In fact, as per law, you cannot use a residential fridge if your requirement and usage is above a certain limit. Additionally, commercial fridges have to comply to H.A.C.C.P (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system. If you bypass the law, you could get into trouble when inspectors come to inspect your food establishment. So, before you buy a fridge, you need to look into the rules of your state.