If you have recently purchased a bar, you need to ensure you have the right refrigeration equipment to keep your drinks cool and your bar looking great. Wondering what you need? Here are five items to consider and a look at the features you need:
1. Draft Beer Refrigerators
If you have a cool room in another part of your bar, you can put your kegs in there and connect them to your taps with refrigerated lines. However, if you want to offer a special, limited-offer beer or if you don't have a cool room, you need to invest in draft beer refrigerators.
When shopping, check whether the refrigerator has capacity for a single or a half barrel. Both can work, but you don't want to order a full barrel of beer just to realise your refrigerator only has room for a half barrel. Additionally, the refrigerator should have a beer tap coming out of it with a removeable drip tray beneath it for easy cleaning. Finally, the fridge should feature castors so you can easily roll it under your bar and a lock to secure your barrel.
2. Glass Frosters
If you want to be able to serve beers and cocktails in frosted glasses, consider investing in a glass froster. This commercial refrigeration unit is more effective than storing the glasses in shaved ice because you don't have to worry about water droplets on the glass. To ensure the glasses don't get damaged in the froster, look for vinyl coated glass racks, and to avoid an extra fridge door swinging open and shut behind the bar, look for a froster with a sliding door that allows you to access the glasses from the top.
3. Back Bar Merchandiser
A back bar merchandiser puts all your bottled beers conveniently on display for your customers. Having a visual of your bottles is typically more tempting to customers than seeing a list of beers or having a list rattled off by a waiter. When choosing this refrigerator, measure the depth you have available in the back of your bar -- there are a lot of varieties of fridges with different depths and widths.
Also, look for a back bar fridge that can hold a straight wall keg, as that provides your business with long term versatility. Finally, make sure the fridge can be serviced from the front so that once you install it, you don't have to move it around unnecessarily, even for repairs.
4. Countertop Merchandisers
A countertop merchandiser can be used to showcase a range of drinks, snacks, or mixers. When choosing one of these commercial refrigerators, look for one that can be opened from the front or the back. That way, your customers or your staff can easily grab a product. If opting for stainless steel, look for a fingerprint-resistant finish -- as this refrigerator is clearly visible to all your clients, you want it looking clean and nice without a lot of polishing needed from your barkeeps.
5. Ice Makers
Finally, you also need an icemaker. In most cases, you want an undercounter model. That allows your staff to grab ice for a cocktail or a soft drink without having to run to one side of the bar or the other, and it helps to streamline the flow behind the bar. Additionally, you want a machine that can create clear ice cubes, which is done by freezing the ice at a temperature where impurities cannot survive. Finally, consider the capacity of ice that can be stored to ensure it meets your needs.
If you have additional questions or concerns about how to meet your bar or restaurant's refrigeration needs, contact a commercial refrigeration expert.