Guide to Walk-in Coolers for Restaurants

Guide to Walk-in Coolers for Restaurants

A walk-in cooler for restaurants is a vital piece of equipment necessary for storing beverages and frozen foods for a long period. A commercial walk-in refrigerator is perfect for restaurants, institutions, cafes, hotels, and other commercial establishments. With a walk-in cooler freezer, you can store food products between 35 degrees Fahrenheit to -35 degrees Fahrenheit.  
A restaurant walk-in refrigerator can be custom-built or you can buy a prefabricated one for your business. The refrigeration unit of walk-in coolers is designed for efficiency and has high-rated power output for faster cooling.

In this article, we discuss the things to consider before buying a walk-in refrigerator, walk-in freezer combos, the price of walk-in freezers, cheap walk-in coolers, and the best walk-in freezer brands for your business.

Walk-in Coolers for Restaurants

Commercial walk-in coolers for restaurants are standard refrigeration systems used by commercial kitchens and industries to cool or freeze food, beverages, vegetables, medicines, chemicals, and other goods. 

Things To Consider Before Buying a Walk-in Commercial Refrigerator

commercial walk in coolers

There are different types of walk-in cooler refrigerator systems available in the market. You should consider buying a walk-in cooler refrigeration unit that is easy to repair, consumes less power, and has great insulation. 

Temperature: You should consider the desired temperature range that you want from your walk-in cooler unit. 

Space: Also, keep in mind the available space in your kitchen and establishment.

Energy Rating: Another essential thing to consider will be the energy rating of a walk-in unit. A walk-in refrigerator with high energy usage can shoot up your electricity bills by thousands of dollars. 

Insulation: Most walk-in refrigerators come with great insulation. The type of insulation material used can determine the efficiency of a walk-in unit. Polyurethane and extruded polystyrene are standard insulation materials. Polyurethane is widely known for being economical and efficient. 

Metal Skin or Body: The body of a walk-in cooler refrigeration unit is usually made from galvalume, aluminum, G 90 galvanized steel, and painted G 90 galvanized. 

●    Stainless Steel - It is highly durable and non-corrosive.
●    Galvalume - It is strong but prone to rusting.
●    G 90 Galvanized Steel - Economical, but prone to rusting.
●    Aluminum - Non-corrosive, but more expensive than steel models.

Floor: The floor of a walk-in unit is vital for maintaining temperatures inside the unit. Walk-in coolers come with or without a built-in floor. Coolers without a built-in floor need to be installed on a concrete floor.

Door: The door of a walk-in cooler should be highly insulated, easily operable, and durable. Select a walk-in refrigerator freezer combo with insulated door panels that will help you save on energy costs. 

Energy Consumption: Look for walk-in refrigerator combinations that come with an ‘Energy Star’ rating. Highly efficient walk-in coolers will help you save thousands of dollars in electricity bills. 

Prefabricated vs. Built-in: Prefabricated walk-in refrigerator-freezer combinations come with built-in locking panels. They are also more flexible and cost less than built-in or custom units. Built-in walk-in units are designed according to available space and specifications. Some custom commercial freezer walk-in units use tiles on the floors and the walls. Built-in walk-in freezers or refrigerators need a lot of time to build or construct.

Walk-in Cooler Freezer Combos

walk-in cooler

A walk-in cooler and freezer combo can offer the benefits of both a freezer and a refrigerator. They are perfect for storing perishables in restaurants, cafes, bars, institutions, and commercial kitchens. In walk-in refrigerator freeze combos, you can store frozen meat, fish, vegetables, and other frozen foods. You can also store chilled beverages, cottage cheese, marinated food, and other food products in these units. Walk-in cooler freezer combos have two separate compartments for freezing and refrigeration. These units are highly efficient and help you utilize your space efficiently. Most advanced cooler freezer combos come with LED thermometers, vapor-proof light fixtures, self-closing insulated doors, corrosion-resistant interior and exterior panels, and other advanced features. 

Walk-in Cooler Prices

The cost of walk-in coolers for restaurants depends on a number of factors like the size of the unit, the electrical system, additional equipment, breakers, plumbing, construction materials, and the overall layout of the unit. Other costs involved are installation costs that can sometimes cost more than a walk-in unit. Refrigeration units for walk-in coolers are an important factor to consider as well. The size and capacity of the refrigeration unit can shoot up your installation cost and result in recurring energy bills. Additionally, the cost of building a remote system that allows heat to be released outside the building can add to the final cost of the unit. The door is another cost to consider before buying or installing a walk-in freezer because high-quality durable doors are costly. The final cost of a custom built-in freezer or refrigerator depends on the type of flooring material you use. You can use tiles or concrete flooring depending on your requirements and choice. Overall a built-in walk-in freezer, refrigerator, or refrigerator-freezer costs anything between 1000 to 20000 dollars. Before finalizing a walk-in unit for your business, do consider your budget and requirements. 

Cheap Walk-in Coolers

It is clear that walk-in cooling or freezing systems are costly to buy, maintain, and upgrade. If you have a large commercial operation that needs a highly efficient commercial walk-in unit, opt for a prefabricated new walk-in cooler. But new walk-in units can burn a hole in your pocket. So, if you need all the essential benefits of a walk-in unit on a limited budget, then you should purchase a used commercial walk-in cooler. There are affordable walk-in units in the market that are cheaper to purchase and also to maintain. But before considering a used walk-in refrigerator, do thorough research on the model and the downsides of buying a used walk-in unit. Most of the used walk-in units are out of warranty models, and any issue you might face after purchasing a used model can put a dent in your pocket. 

Best Walk-in Cooler Brands

There are several walk-in cooler manufacturers that make superior quality walk-in coolers for restaurants. Purchase a walk-in cooler from companies that emphasize durability, energy consumption, customer service, and cost.

American Panel -  American walk-in coolers are equipped with walk-in monitoring systems, temperature alarms, and other advanced features. 

Amerikooler: You can buy walk-in refrigerator freezer combos and individual walk-in refrigerators or freezers from Amerikooler. These commercial walk-in units feature strong construction, airtight joints, and spring-assisted hinges. 

Bally: For close to a century, Bally walk-in freezers and refrigerators are the most popular choice of walk-in coolers for commercial establishments. Bally walk-in refrigerators or freezers are known for their durability and legacy. 

Kolpak: The Kolpak walk-in cooler provides a completely hassle-free experience because of its temperature variance settings.

Master-Bilt: Master-Bilt is one of the finest walk-in cooler companies that provide exemplary service. Part of their brand vision is to build strong customer relationships.

Norlake: Their indoor and outdoor walk-in coolers for restaurants come with a comprehensive warranty that covers parts and labor charges. 

Posted by Damon Shrauner on