As a restaurant or catering business grows, it may not be obvious when to transition from cabinet chillers or freezers to having a dedicated cold room or freezer room. Here we discuss some of the main considerations which tell a business it's time to make the change.
Larger restaurants or food establishments may find themselves running multiple freezer cabinets. However, deciding to switch to freezer rooms could well be more energy-efficient, because you will only have to run one condenser instead of several. Porkka's modular cold rooms all include highly efficient air-cooled condensers in the optimum position, at the lowest point of the refrigeration or freezing unit.
Choosing a freezer room could also prove to be more space-efficient, when taking into account the total floor space available. In a larger space, the shelving can be configured to meet your requirements. Porkka's cold rooms use a four-tier system of shelving which has been designed for easy access, while another feature is the ability to adjust the height, offering the storage you need for the specific frozen items or chilled items you are producing. The modular system means a wide range of possible configurations, which should suit almost every need, but we can also provide custom-built storage if this is required.
This is an important consideration in a large-volume catering operation, especially where cook-chill meals are being prepared, with food being cooked in GN trays and then chilled or frozen. Even if you are using blast chillers or blast freezers, you may also need a place to store products which have reached the target temperature, in order to make room for the next batch.
A larger freezer room or commercial cold room will provide the answer, giving a place to store food at a steady temperature until it is required and allowing trolleys to bring in and remove batches of food. Porkka's walk in cold rooms have standard flooring with a surface of 9mm non-slip plywood, which is suitable for rubber-wheeled trolley access. We can also supply other types of flooring where heavy duty equipment needs to go into industrial cold rooms, including concrete to take the weight of forklift trucks.
Multiple Staff Access
There may be times when more than one member of staff needs to discuss or look at contents of freezers or chill cabinets, for instance when planning the day's menu, stocktaking or ordering. If you have conventional freezers, this may mean a lot of time is lost in staff standing in front of the cabinet pulling out items and discussing them.
With larger cabinet chillers or freezers, it is inevitably hard to access items which are stored towards the back, as you first have to remove everything stored in front. This means that you have no choice but to keep opening the cabinet doors, with a risk of warm air from the surrounding environment affecting the ideal temperature.
Where staff can actually walk into the room, it is far easier to see what stock is available without a loss of their time. In walk in freezer rooms, there is also no need to take carefully chilled or frozen foods out of the controlled temperature environment in order to carry out stocktaking.
Large or Oddly Shaped Items
Depending on the type of food being prepared, catering establishments or food producers may have to store whole or half animals, which will not easily fit into a conventional freezer or chill cabinet. However, walk in cold rooms will have the space to store these larger items.
The same applies to large crates or containers of produce, which might have to be broken up and put into smaller containers for storage in standard cabinets, but can be accommodated in a larger room. A cold room is also ideal for storing trays of ingredients or recipes in progress, offering the capacity to put them down quickly without having to clear space first.
High Ambient Temperature
Many catering businesses operate in high ambient temperatures, whether this is the result of the climate or just as a result of the heat from a working kitchen. This can be a challenge to any cabinet fridge or freezer every time the door is opened, and make it harder to preserve an even temperature. A larger freezer room is less prone to being affected by ambient heat and sudden temperature changes from outside air, making it easier to store food safely.
Our modular cold rooms come with three different temperature ranges to suit the type of food being stored, and you can also choose a higher level of insulation if there is a high ambient temperature. All the rooms include a digital temperature display, as well as temperature monitoring and memory stick recording as well as a built-in temperature alarm system.
Freezer Room - follow the link to find out more.