Thanks to a boom in the commercial refrigeration industry, there’s now a range of different cold storage solutions available for businesses in the food and drink industry. From cold rooms to miniature blast freezers, there really is something for companies of all shapes and sizes.
This guide looks at how cold storage solutions can benefit restaurants and pubs dedicated to serving up delicious food.
Is commercial cold storage right for my business?
In the past, commercial refrigeration has only been explored by companies dealing with the distribution and sale of foodstuffs. However, an ever-growing market, teamed with a surge in consumers dining out, has created a huge demand for more cafes, restaurants and food-serving pubs.
If you’re a small to medium sized business, you might be asking yourself whether cold storage is right for you - especially if you already make use of domestic refrigeration. Commercial refrigeration holds a lot of advantages; especially over the traditional fridge you might find in your home. Not only are they more powerful, they allow you to cool and even freeze produce in a fraction of the time.
There are plenty of options available for smaller companies, including miniature blast freezers and chillers which are compact enough to set up in kitchen areas. Alternatively, cold storage can also be placed outside without planning permission, making it a great choice for businesses with limited indoor space.
Whilst it can be a big investment, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of commercial cold storage, even if you don’t have the capital behind you. Many businesses choose to hire their cold storage on a temporary basis or even on a lease to buy contract. Rental options have helped thousands of businesses unlock their full potential and it could help you too.
Improve food hygiene and quality
Whilst there are many advantages to investing in cold storage, the improvement in food quality and hygiene is arguably the most important.
No matter what their size, cold storage units are designed for heavy, frequent use. This means even if they’re opened continually throughout the day, they can quickly and accurately restore themselves to their pre-set temperature.
As domestic refrigeration units are not designed for heavy use, they’re unable to bring the temperature of food and drink back down to a safe level quickly and this often leads to serious fluctuations.
It’s a legal requirement for all food products to be chilled to a temperature no warmer than 8ºC (aiming for 5 ºC) and frozen at a temperature of -18 ºC or below. Temperatures warmer than this can lead to bacterial contamination within a very short space of time. This means that even if your current refrigeration unit temperature dips below the legal temperature and rises again, you could still be breaking the law and serving contaminated food to your customers.
In addition to food contamination, food quality is another area that can be drastically improved with the addition of commercial cold storage.
The texture, taste, look and nutrient content all play an important role in your food’s overall quality and storing it at the right temperature will significantly improve these areas of concern. Slowing down deterioration is essential for maintaining food quality and temperature controlled cold storage makes this easy.
Take control of your produce supplies
A cold storage solution is an excellent way for restaurants and pubs to take control of stock and start running a business on their terms. If you’re one of many businesses that orders in pre-packaged and pre-made food, then you’ll understand what the cost and quality implications of that can be.
Investing in cold storage allows you to bring your produce in-house, which will not only cut down costs in the long term but allows you to serve a fresher and more diverse menu to your customers. With more consumers demanding healthy, scratch made food when dining out, restaurants and pubs must look for cost effective ways to keep up with this challenge.
Furthermore, bringing produce in-house can help you to manage your outgoings more effectively because the costs are right there in front of you. Not only will this save you money, it allows you to better plan your profit forecasts for the future.
Cut down on food and energy waste
Food waste is a big problem, both at home and within the food and drink industry. Thousands are lost by individual businesses every year because of improperly stored produce but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Temperature controlled refrigeration helps to reduce food wastage simply by eliminating the problems you might find in domestic units, such as temperature fluctuation and weak door seals. The efficiency of a commercial cold store unit is good enough to keep both raw and cooked produce fresher for longer, as long as it is refrigerated quickly and stored correctly.
Cold storage is also tougher and more energy efficient than domestic refrigeration because it doesn’t need to work as hard. Over the years, you’re likely to go through multiple domestic refrigerators, which can be both expensive and time consuming for your business. Switch to commercial refrigeration and you’ll likely only need one unit for years to come.
Commercial refrigeration solutions are improving and evolving every day and temperature controlled units are making it easier than ever to keep food flavoursome and fresh. With state of the art cooling techniques and minimal energy consumption, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to let food go to waste.
If you’re serious about the quality of your food, a cold storage unit is an intelligent investment that can improve profits and expand your business opportunities.
CRS offer a wide range of cold storage solutions for your pub or restaurant. For more information on the different units we offer click here. Alternatively, leave us a message using our online contact form and we’ll get back to you.