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The Different Types of Commercial Refrigeration Units – What to Know

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In the food and beverage industry, refrigeration is of utmost importance; additionally, in the world of commercial refrigerators, there are dozens of different configurations and models available on the market today. Any business owner looking to utilize these machines must first be able to ascertain what their needs are so that they can find the right type for their establishment.

To help with this, we’ve outlined some of the most commonly used varieties in the sections below. If you want to know which type of commercial refrigerator you need for your business, use this guide to help you make a decision.

Reach-In Refrigerators

These most closely resemble the traditional refrigerators that are found in most homes. They are vertically oriented, allowing them to take up a small footprint. Most models are equipped with solid or glass doors, and your choice here will primarily depend on the amount of visibility you need. If the machine is intended to store raw ingredients such as meat, for example, then a solid door will be more appropriate. For products that need to be merchandised, a model with a glass door will make more sense.

Under-Counter Refrigerators

These represent another type of reach-in refrigerator, except that they are built at a low height. Their design allows them to fit easily underneath counters and bars, allowing them to be easily stashed away conveniently. These models are typically designed for staff use, as customers should not be made to bend over to access their contents. Some varieties will have workable countertops, allowing you to save space in your establishment’s layout.

Pass-Through Refrigerators

These machines are designed to serve both customers and staff, as they feature doors on both the front and back. This design allows customers to easily access the contents from the front of the machine, and staff to replenish stocks from the opposite side. They make the most sense when your establishment’s layout has partitions to separate the front of the house from the back.

Walk-In Coolers

A walk-in cooler is just as the term would suggest, allowing items to be held in a cold storage location with  door access to walk in. Walk-ins are typically used to store large quantities of raw ingredients and are almost never intended for direct consumer use. They have a large footprint and  are incredibly efficient at keeping ingredients safe and organized.

Dual-Temperature Refrigerators

These machines have separate cabinets with varied temperatures for each one, allowing a business to store different types of ingredients at their optimal temperatures consistently. They also provide the added benefit of segregating ingredients, preventing cross-contamination that can lead to food safety problems.

Specialty Units

There are dozens of other commercial refrigeration varieties, and most are designed for specific types of businesses. From sushi cases and cake displays to draft bar systems and wine coolers, there is undoubtedly a machine that is capable of matching your unique set of needs.


Take the time to determine what your needs are so that you know exactly what type of commercial refrigerator solution you need. When selecting one, you should also consult with an expert to weigh in on the matter and help you decide.

KPS Global designs and build custom walk-in coolers and freezer systems for cloud kitchens, grocery pickup services, and many other types of applications. To learn how KPS Global can help you, email us at [email protected]

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