We found this great article from Foodservice Equipment and Supplies this week, and realized that it makes some very, very good points about the importance of your refrigeration equipment, particularly during the summer.

As the article points out, having a smoothly running refrigeration system is of primary importance in the summer for two reasons:

  1. Summer’s likely one of the busiest times for your restaurant, so your fridges, freezers, coolers, and ice makers are going to be working at maximum capacity—and any interruption in service can have serious consequences for your bottom line.
  2. You’ve probably got thousands of dollars of inventory stored in coolers or freezers. If they conk out, you’ve got to replace it. Not a pleasant prospect.

So how do you make sure your refrigeration system and all its components will be in good working order throughout the summer? Some tips, both from the article and our own experience:

  • Have your system serviced in the spring, before things get really busy. This not only includes equipment inside your restaurant, like your refirgerators, coolers, and freezers, but evaporators and condensers that might be outside.  Cleaning outside equipment and checking gaskets and hinges are both essential steps of a maintenance call. If you have an ice machine, make sure the water intake line and ice holding bin get sanitized.
  • Consider investing in a prechiller for your ice machine if it can’t keep up. This is an economical alternative to buying a larger-capacity ice machine. A prechiller cools incoming water, increasing ice production and reducing energy consumption.
  • If you are replacing your ice-maker, think about high efficiency. High efficiency ice makers can reduce your energy consumption, especially in the summer—when your air conditioner is likely eating a big chunk out of your energy budget.
  • Think about having other preventative maintenance done. Your exhaust hood may need to be cleaned, or may need its belt replaced. Taking care of these things now reduces the likelihood that you’ll run into problems later.

What do you do to get your restaurant ready for the summer rush? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Image credit: _gee_