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Choosing flexible commercial kitchen refrigeration solutions

In the not-so-distant past, restaurants had no choice but to use large, one-size-fits-all refrigerators in their kitchens. Now, though, foodservice operations have flexible refrigeration solutions that better fit their ever-changing kitchens and needs. Here, we’ll talk about the wide range of options in flexible refrigeration and discuss how flexible refrigeration can help you better meet the changing expectations in your kitchen.


What is flexible refrigeration?

At its most basic, flexible refrigeration moves away from standard refrigeration options that come in a single model that cannot be altered. In contrast, you can customize a flexible refrigeration solution when purchasing your refrigeration and whenever you need to alter the refrigeration during service.

The difference between standard equipment and flexible refrigeration

Standard equipment is, like its name suggests, standard. You buy a product that comes with a set of features that are the same for every model. Once you buy the product, too, you can’t change of any of the features. If you have a single-tiered door in your sandwich unit, say, then you can’t alter that configuration if your kitchen needs change.


The flexibility in flexible refrigeration comes into play when you first purchase the product. When purchasing the unit, you can decide what features you need. You could choose, for example, vision panel lids instead of flat insulated lids. Or you could decide you needed both lid types at various times and switch them out as necessary.

When choosing a Reach-In refrigerator, for example, you have many choices in flexible solution, including adjustable legs, wine display, glass doors, draws, and custom laminates. Once purchased, too, wine racks and pan slides can be altered based on your changing refrigeration needs.

Changing menu demands

In your restaurant kitchen, too, flexible refrigeration proves to be more useful than standard refrigeration too. Take a base unit from Continental Refrigeration for example. Say you need to store tall, large meats for preparation. Then, you might choose to adjust your base unit refrigerator to have three single side-by-side doors.

However, if your menu changes and you start needing to store more prepared sides, you could alter the configuration of the base unit to have two- or three-tiered drawers, in place of those single doors. Based on the needs of your service, too, you could also decide if you want a hinged glass lid, a composite cutting board, or vision panels, as well.

Flexible refrigeration aids in timely service

Your refrigeration needs change based on many factors, ranging from the time of service (breakfast, lunch, dinner), the season, or even the busyness of your establishment from day to day. The benefit of flexible refrigeration is that you can change your refrigeration based on your preparation and service needs daily, or even throughout the time of day.

Take the different configurations a sandwich unit can undergo as an example. Many of these alternatives can be mixed and matched to provide you with a unit that works in your kitchen. Here are all the ways a standard unit can be altered:

  • A front breathing alternative can be added so the unit can exhume exhaust from its front.
  • Pan placement can be moved from left to right.
  • Additional tiers can be added to the front doors on the right side, the left side, or both.
  • A cutting board can be added to the top.
  • An insulated night cover and crumb catcher can cover the top.
  • A rear-mounted cutting board can be installed.
  • One or two overshelves can be mounted over the refrigeration unit.

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 Continental Refrigerator’s flexible solutions

A flexible refrigeration solution supports your ever-changing kitchen better than a traditional refrigeration unit can. Though there are many choices in flexible refrigeration, Continental Refrigeration has the experience and focus on restaurant refrigeration alternatives that helps them stand out. Winning both an ENERGY STAR partner of the year accolade and a “Best in Class Award,” Continental offers smart refrigeration solutions that help you accomplish more in the kitchen.

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