What Are the Different Types of Commercial Refrigerators?

What Are the Different Types of Commercial Refrigerators?

Are you the owner of one of the more than 1 million restaurants scattered across the country? Or do you own a convenience store, a catering company, or another kind of business that needs to keep things refrigerated on a regular basis?

If so, then you’re going to need to invest in commercial refrigerators for your company. Utilizing commercial refrigeration is going to be the only way that you’ll be able to keep the perishable items that you use day in and day out fresh.

Before buying a commercial refrigerator, though, you need to know what your commercial refrigerator options are going to be. There are many different types of commercial refrigerators on the market today. And they each bring something unique to the table.

Check out some of the most popular commercial refrigerator types below and then figure out which ones will suit your business best.

Walk-In Units

If your business needs a lot of refrigerated storage space, you’re definitely going to want to consider investing in walk-in units. These commercial refrigerators are refrigerated rooms that you can use to keep larger quantities of food cool.

You’ll often find walk-in units situated in commercial kitchens. They’re ideal for storing crates containing meats, poultry, produce, and more.

They’re usually pretty expensive compared to some other commercial refrigerators. But it’s going to be difficult to run a restaurant, a hotel, or a grocery store without at least one of them somewhere in your establishment.

Reach-In Units

If you don’t need a huge walk-in unit for your business but you still want something that’s going to provide you with more than enough room to store perishables, reach-in units are another excellent option. They’re very large commercial refrigerators that are found in restaurants and other establishments that serve food.

Oftentimes, establishments will fill these types of commercial refrigerators with prepared and plated foods prior to serving them to their guests. They’re also usually on wheels, which makes it easy for establishments to move them around as necessary.

Undercounter Units

If you run a restaurant, a bar, or a cafe that’s on the smaller side, you might not necessarily need all the storage that walk-in and reach-in refrigerators provide. You’ll be a whole lot better off going with an undercounter unit that’s just big enough to hold foods and drinks without taking up too much space.

These commercial refrigerators aren’t going to be able to fit a whole lot in them. But that’ll be OK if your plan is to only keep snack foods and beverages in them. You can tuck them away underneath a counter and get easy access to them whenever you want.


Does your business sell a lot of packaged foods and drinks to your customers? If you do, you’re going to have to put at least one or two commercial refrigerators out where your customers can get to them easily.

Merchandisers are a great option for those companies that sell packaged products. These are the kinds of commercial refrigerators that you’ll see inside grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, and more.

They have glass doors on them so that people can see which products are inside without having to open them up. They can also be set at almost any temperature depending on what you plan on putting in them. 

Display Cases

Display cases are commercial refrigerators that operate in the same way that merchandisers do. They let people look at the refrigerated products that are inside of them without having to open them up.

But one of the big differences between merchandisers and display cases is that display cases often limit the access that people have to them. They have to ask someone who works in a bakery, a deli, a grocery store, or another establishment to help them get to whatever they want from them.

Display cases are terrific for displaying things like cakes, lunch meats, cheeses, and more. You might be able to entice people to buy more of your products by putting a display fridge into place.

Back-Bar Coolers

It’s essential for bars, taverns, and lounges to keep a whole lot of ice-cold alcoholic beverages on hand. It’s also essential for these establishments to display them to some degree so that people know that they’re available.

You won’t have any problem doing this when you have back-bar coolers. They can be set up right behind a bar and filled with tons of beer, wine, soda, water, and more.

Prep Tables

Do you and your employees spend all day preparing pizza, sandwiches, and other types of foods that feature lots of toppings on them? You might want to see how these commercial refrigerators can help improve your food prep processes.

Prep tables make it easy for establishments to keep the toppings that they use on a daily basis cool and fresh. They’re most often found in the kitchens in pizzerias, sandwich shops, and more. Although they’re not huge, they have plenty of space for toppings, sauces, and other ingredients.

You can also find some prep tables that have cabinets that can be used to house utensils, bread, and anything else that you might need to bring your establishment’s dishes to life.

Which of These Commercial Refrigerators Would Work Best for You?

It’s going to prove to be pretty much impossible to run a restaurant, a convenience store, or another kind of business that sells food and drinks without commercial refrigerators. They’re essential tools of the trade for those in the foodservice industry.

But with that being said, you shouldn’t buy just any old commercial refrigerator for your business. Instead, you should consider all your different options and go with the fridge that’s going to work best.

You should think about what you’re going to store in your commercial refrigerator prior to purchasing it. You should also think about where you’re going to put it. It’ll help you land on the right fridge for your business.

Get more practical business tips by browsing through the other articles posted on our blog.