Five commercial refrigeration hacks to save your business time and waste
Listed Under: Blog
Wasted stock and wasted time are two of the fundamental enemies of any business. However, they hit the catering industry especially hard.
Many strategies exist for minimising waste, and most can be implemented at a surprisingly low cost.
This page provides five tips for saving your business time and waste by optimising your refrigeration setup.
Select and install energy-efficient units
The most critical factor in reducing waste is using energy-efficient refrigerators (and freezers, ovens, grills and so on). The ‘waste’ comes from how much power you need to use to produce or sell one ‘unit’ of food or drink.
The more energy efficient a model, the lower your food item costs. In turn, this allows you to reinvest the saved money elsewhere. For example, you might expand your kitchen, allowing you to hold more stock. Learn more about the recent energy ratings updates through our blog page.
Optimise your kitchen’s layout
Optimising your kitchen’s layout goes much further than you might imagine to improve efficiency. As a result, you save time and produce less waste.
Time is saved in many areas of an efficiently laid-out kitchen. In individual cases, you’ll save seconds at a time – two sous chefs not running into each other, for example. But when these quick incidents add up through a working week, you’ll save hours of potentially productive time each year.
For instance, each cook should have quick and easy access to their desired ingredients. A countertop fridge or tray or even a full-size unit should be dedicated to each workstation.
You’ll also minimise waste by clearly understanding where all your stored produce is and who’s responsible for it.
Double- and triple-check holding temperatures
Fridges and freezers must be kept within a precise temperature range. It impacts the food quality if they get too warm or too cold. Overly hot temperatures could also be dangerous, promoting the growth of harmful bacteria.
Each commercial fridge and freezer you purchase should come with a digital temperature display. These are generally accurate. However, you must also have a backup because the sensors can fail.
Purchase another temperature sensor – analogue or digital – and place it in the fridge or freezer. Depending on the model, you might be able to see this from the outside (such as an open-front display fridge). In most units in your kitchen, you’ll need to open the door to see it.
If you ever notice significant discrepancies between these readings, find the source of the problem immediately. It likely signifies an issue with the power supply or coolant system and could spoil all your contents.
Keep on top of stock rotation
Stock rotation is always ensuring you use the oldest ingredients first. Of course, they must still be within the use-by date, including accounting for whether they’ve been frozen. The simplest way to rotate stock is to always load your fridges, freezers and cupboards from the back. Pull all the existing produce forward and place the new stock behind it, in date order if applicable.
Not following a stock rotation system will inevitably mean some items rot and go to waste. It’s challenging to keep track of the dates on everything without it.
Over time, you’ll learn how much you typically use each ingredient. This will allow you to order precisely the right amount, so you’ve always got stock, but nothing goes to waste.
Service and maintain your equipment on a regular basis
Fridges (and freezers, ovens, hobs and all other commercial kitchen units) need maintenance.
Annual inspections are usually sufficient to keep them working as well as possible.
However, you’ll also need to clean them regularly (depending on the unit, daily or weekly).
Looking after your equipment ensures it lasts as long as possible. That way, your initial upfront cost spreads over more years, making it a more efficient use of money.
Of course, if your units aren’t looked after, they won’t work as well. That means the food stored within them goes to waste, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?
Fridgesmart is here to meet your commercial refrigeration needs
Fridgesmart is the UK’s leading commercial fridge, freezer and catering equipment supplier. Whatever you need, we have it, with decades of experience in the industry.
For more information on which units are best for you and your kitchen, why not contact our free experts via the Live Chat? They’ll walk you through all your options, learn about your business and recommend a budget-compatible choice.
Alternatively, give us a call on 0115 896 6238.
Our commitment-free recommendations, held in stock at one of our warehouses, can be delivered the next day if applicable. They also come with a warranty for your peace of mind.
We look forward to learning about you and helping you on your journey.