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The Importance of Refrigeration Systems in Restaurants

All restaurants and most hospitality businesses will rely on refrigerators and freezer systems to keep them up and running. What may seem like a simple appliance is actually crucial for hospitality businesses like restaurants to stay open! Our blog dives into the importance of refrigeration systems and where you can find these fridges in business settings.

To find out more about refrigeration systems and why they play a crucial role in restaurant businesses, keep reading!

Wine cellar

Types Of Refrigerators In Hospitality Businesses

Before we dive into the importance of these appliances in the hospitality industry, some common types of commercial fridges that you might encounter in a restaurant could be:

● Walk-In Fridges And Freezers - You would probably recognise a walk-in fridge, and they are large coolers that you can essentially step into. They are useful for perishable produce and large buckets or boxes of stock. You can find these fridges in a range of sizes to accommodate your restaurant.

● Worktop Fridges - These fridges are great because of their dual functionality. With a large workspace area and fridge compartments underneath, these fridges are convenient and easy to use, storing smaller items

● Reach In Coolers - These might be spotted at bar or waiter stations. Reach in coolers are usually smaller fridges used on the restaurant floor or behind the scenes for smaller items that are frequently used.

● Bar Fridges - bar fridges are also on a smaller scale and may be front or back of house. They can be used to store soft drinks, bottles of beer or wine and other drinks that need to be kept chilled.

Where Are Refrigeration Systems Used In Restaurants? From Cold Rooms To Mini-fridges

You may be surprised as to just how many fridges a restaurant, cafe or hotel might have. In restaurants, the different aspects of the business are referred to as ‘front-of-house’ which may include bar staff and waiters and ‘back-of-house’ which could include chefs and KPs.

We’ve broken down these two elements of hospitality to show you where fridges are used and found in different parts of a restaurant.

Front Of House

Front of house areas in restaurants are places where customers are greeted and served, including the bar, table service, being seated…etc. The front of house department of a restaurant is vital for hospitality businesses, as it sets the tone of the diner’s experience. Front of house members are expected to deliver good customer service and make diners feel comfortable. Front of house areas that you may find a fridge could include:

Waiter Stations

You may spot small mini fridges at the waiter stations in some restaurants. These fridges are extremely useful for keeping items close during the restaurant service hours. It can be too time consuming for your server to keep running back and forth to the main kitchen in a restaurant, so mini fridges help waiters or waitresses to be more efficient during service and keep things on hand. This could include things like bottled water, some soft drinks and sauces like ketchup.


Another front of the house area that you may spot fridges or reach in coolers are at the bar. Bars will usually have a range of different fridges for different things. They may have separate fridges for:

● Alcoholic drinks

● Soft drinks

● Water

● Fruits and garnishes

Having front of house fridges at the bar is extremely useful for bartenders and even waiters. It makes it much easier and more convenient to get to refrigerated items that they may need throughout the day without having to keep going back and forth between the restaurant and the kitchen.

Back Of House

Back of house areas in restaurants are extremely important, and includes everything that goes on behind the scenes. From chefs and prep chefs to KPs and kitchen runners, the back of house team is extremely important, even though they are not directly dealing with customers. The back of house team is crucial for getting food out and onto people’s tables. Back of house areas in restaurants will typically have larger fridges and freezers, especially in these areas:


Kitchens are possibly one of the most important elements of the restaurant business. Many counters and surfaces in kitchens will have fridges underneath them or storage space for food items and other necessities needed in the kitchen. Things that chefs need on hand or in close quarters will be kept in worktop refrigerators near them. Dessert stations in the kitchen will rely heavily on fridges to keep desserts cool throughout the day and ready to be served.

Walk-In Fridges & Freezers

Back of house areas in restaurants will also have large walk-in fridges and freezers to store large amounts of food, prep and other kitchen necessities. These large walk-in fridges or freezers are very useful in kitchens and often hold large amounts of food in a secure and safe way.

Why Are Restaurant Refrigeration Systems So Important?

Aside from keeping food stored safely and making restaurant service more convenient for servers, refrigeration systems are important for a range of different reasons.

Better Food Quality

One of the main benefits of investing in high quality refrigeration systems, especially for back of house departments, is that food can be of a higher quality. Restaurants often order high quality ingredients and produce for their customers, and having high quality refrigeration systems keeps this produce fresher for longer, maintaining a good level of food quality. Keeping ingredients at a controlled temperature can help ingredients stay fresh and be used when they are needed. You also have the option of freezing some produce until it needs to be used, minimising the amount of wasted produce.

Food Safety & Hygiene

Alongside food quality, is food safety and hygiene. Keeping produce stored at a cold and controlled temperature will help to keep restaurant produce at a lower risk from foodborne diseases. Produce that is more susceptible to rotting or going off, such as meats and fresh fish can be stored safely and even frozen to protect it from going bad. Commercial fridges are very important for this reason, and are even more vital in hot weather where bacteria is likely to grow at a faster rate.

Better Storage Capacity

Having the appropriate amount of storage for all your produce and stock is extremely important for restaurant businesses. Having commercial refrigeration systems helps kitchens to stay fully stocked with the right amount of stock at all times, keeping them prepared to meet the high demands of restaurants. They often have good storage facilities and compartments to safely store food and accommodate large quantities.

Cost Savings

Commercial refrigerators in restaurants can actually help these businesses to save on their spending. Newer models of these fridge systems will be more energy efficient than older models which can be very effective in helping save on energy costs.

As we’ve already touched on, the controlled temperature of modern commercial fridges and freezers can help to keep your produce fresher for longer. This means restaurants can afford to store produce for longer and minimise the amount of food that is spoiled and wasted, also helping to save costs.

Better Dining Experience

When the food quality is of higher standard, and restaurants are well organised with the correct amount of prep and ingredients, service can run a lot smoother, improving the customer’s overall dining experience.

Being well prepared and having everything that chefs might need to have a seamless service will help both the back of house and front of house teams to operate smoothly. A smooth service alongside quality food are also great ways to maintain a restaurant reputation and keep guests coming back.

Complete Cooling: Refrigeration Maintenance & More

If you’re looking for reliable refrigeration solutions, look no further. Here at Complete Cooling, we specialise in a range of services and offer a wide range of products for your business. From restaurant air conditioning to refrigeration installations, you can read more about what we do on our website. Our qualified team of refrigeration engineers are on hand to help you find the right system.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us today to speak to our team directly! We will be happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and give you our best advice.

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