Restaurant Cooler Care Guidelines

Posted on: 11 July 2017

A large walk-in cooler can be an indispensable tool for restaurants. Without these devices, it would be impossible to safely store food in large enough quantities. Often, new restaurateurs may assume that these devices will have the same needs as residential refrigerators, but this is incorrect. 

Maintain The Outdoor Components Of The Cooler

Due to the large size of a walk-in cooler, it will often be necessary for these systems to have outdoor components to help dissipate the heat produced by the cooler. Yet, these exterior components can be easy to forget about, and this can cause the cooler to suffer problems. For example, weeds and trash can gather around the exterior components, and this will greatly reduce the ability of the system to vent heat.

If these components are on the roof of your restaurant, you may assume that these problems will not be an issue. However, birds and other small animals may still build nests around these components, and this can have the same effect. Every couple of weeks, a quick visual inspection of these components should be done so that these potential blockages can be removed.  

Check The Doors For Drafts

A walk-in cooler will be a very large space to cool, and this makes it necessary to keep the door as airtight as possible. To this end, there will be gaskets that are installed along the edges of the door. These seals can weaken or become damaged, which can allow the cool air to start escaping from the cooler. You may not immediately notice this problem, but it can drastically reduce the energy efficiency of your cooler. Testing for one of these drafts will be fairly simple. You can light a candle and gently move it around the edges of the door. If the flame flickers more than normal in one spot, you may have a leak.  

Install A Thermometer In The A Visible Area In The Cooler

If your cooler is unable to maintain a temperature that is low enough, you may have to dispose of much of your food far sooner than what would normally be expected. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for individuals to know whether the temperature in the cooler is in the correct range. By placing a thermometer in the cooler, you and your workers can easily glance at this temperature gauge to determine whether or not the cooler is operating effectively. To help ensure that your employees know the correct temperature range, you should mark the range on the thermometer for easy reference.