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What are the Differences between Commercial and Residential Refrigerators?

What are the Differences between Commercial and Residential Refrigerators?


Restaurant operators may sometimes be tempted to purchase a residential refrigerator or freezer for the restaurant instead of a commercial unit. These facsimiles are less expensive, and small business owners might think they can get by with something smaller and less powerful. However, there are several functional, legal and safety-related reasons why commercial refrigeration is the best choice for commercial kitchens.

Despite residential refrigerators being inexpensive and easy to come by, there are legal and safety considerations that require all commercial kitchens to invest in commercial refrigeration.

Residential Refrigeration

  • Provides less storage space than commercial models of equal exterior dimensions.
  • Weak compressors and minimal insulation results in heat loss and temperature fluctuations.
  • Door storage poses a food safety risk because products on the door are not kept cold enough.
  • May not comply with health code inspections due to non-NSF rated materials.

Commercial Refrigeration

  • Coved interior corners allow for easy cleaning.
  • Design meets or exceeds health code requirements.
  • Powerful refrigeration system keeps temperature within two degrees of the thermostat setting.
  • Made of commercial-grade materials which resist bacteria and hold up to heavy use in a busy commercial kitchen.


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