Cool rooms are essential for businesses that need to hold supplies at low temperatures, such as restaurants and hotels. However, some people assume that all cold rooms are the same, so it doesn't matter how much you spend on it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any other investment for your business, careful thought and consideration should go into the purchase in order to ensure that you will get good service from it. Below are the most important points to cover with your supplier:
1. Understand your operational requirements
Even before meeting a supplier, have a sit-down with the relevant employees and outline exactly what the cold-room will be used for in the business. What needs to be stored in there? Where i's the best place to install it? How much space do you have? The immediate users of the cold-room will help you clearly outline your needs as well as highlight questions to be raised with potential suppliers.
Understanding the operational requirements will help you get maximum efficiency – you can figure out how to maximize on space so that the room is fully utilized. Create a brief to be given to potential suppliers so that they too can understand what and how the rom will be used when designing. Ensure that the supplier explains the design and installation process fully, and feel free to ask as many questions until you are fully satisfied.
2. Do the math
The three most important aspects of cold-room planning and design are capacity, space and application. As relates to application and capacity, you should have a clear picture of the volume, quantity and duration of food storage, as well as the annual changes in your chilled and frozen food requirements. Choose a supplier with proven capacity to manage the entire project, from conducting site survey and drawing plans for approval to installing, testing and commissioning.
The location and space will be major factors determining your specifications. Some business premises cannot accommodate a standard cold-room because of space and design limitations. Therefore, you may have to opt for exterior cold rooms in other locations. Whichever the case, the cold-room and door must be placed conveniently considering the cooking area's location. For tighter spaces, sliding doors instead of hinged doors can save on space.
3. It's not about size; it's about shelving
You might think that a bigger cold room is better, but this isn't always the case. What determines how much can be stored into a cold room isn't its actual size per se, but rather the internal shelving arrangement. In the absence of a customized shelving plan, you may end up with lots of wasted space in-between shelves. This means that you and the operators should sit down and discuss what produce should go where, so that shelving space is provided according to the size of produce. For instance, which foods can be stacked, and if so, how high? Ensuring that you use your space appropriately also contributes to the efficiency of the room. You can visit another establishment with a cold-room to get tips on the best way to organize the cold room, as well as learn from the mistakes they made.