If you own a restaurant, then you might be looking to buy a walk-in freezer. To help you save money, both on the upfront purchase and in the long run, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind.
Consider How Much Space You Need
When buying a walk-in, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is buying a unit that is either too big or too small. If you buy too big, then you will waste a huge amount of electricity on cooling that wasted space. If you buy too small, then you will have a lot of food that gets spoiled because it can't fit. Even if you can cram everything into the unit, it might be difficult to navigate and you might get some cross-contamination.
Some say that you should aim for between 1 and 1.5 cubic feet of space per meal that you serve per day. Of course, you'll have to take the number of shelves and the amount of actual storage space into consideration, but this gives you a pretty good idea of what you should be aiming for. As long as you pick a unit that can hold your average daily sales plus some overflow for particularly busy days, you should be set.
Ensure That You Have Quality Insulation
The last thing you want is a walk-in freezer that isn't properly sealed. You want to be sure that your freezer is going to retain cold air and keep out the heat. Walk-in freezers consume a lot of energy to maintain their temperatures, so even a small flaw in the insulation could end up costing you a huge sum of money. You should carefully weigh the upfront cost against the long term electricity costs. While you want to get the best deal today, you also want to have low electricity bills in 5 or 10 years.
While it isn't a cost directly associated with the walk-in, you want to be very careful that your employees are properly trained in the usage of a walk-in as early as possible. Untrained employees or employees that are unfamiliar with how walk-ins work might accidentally leave the units open for long periods of time or might change some important settings. You should oversee usage of the freezer for the first few weeks and should constantly reinforce just how important it is that the unit remain closed whenever possible.