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December 4, 2022

Bar refrigeration is essential for keeping food and drinks fresh and cool.

How do you handle your bar?

In the US, nearly all bars have refrigeration equipment (and sometimes freezers), but do you know what those things are? Maybe you’ve seen them on TV or in the store aisle. But, on the other hand, perhaps you don’t even recognize their names.

It is widely known that a bartender first needs to get your drinks to cool down before they go out on the table. But what about food?

Let’s say you’re serving chicken wings for your guests. First, you might want to use something to keep your wings from drying as they cool off. A particular pop-top top allows them to be held at room temperature while still making them tasty and chewy while they cook. When it comes time to heat up or serve those wings after they cool down, however, there are several options:

1) You can heat the whole box of wings at once; that takes much time and doesn’t save much energy.

2) You could freeze them before serving, but you still must defrost them when they arrive, which also takes time. Not a good option if it means having to deal with foil/baking/freezer paper all day long!

3) You could try freezing them into individual portions. But then again, that means each wing has its container for storing it! That gets messy quickly!

4) Maybe you can sell the frozen wing pieces in packets so guests can pre-heat whatever wing dish they want before bringing it out to their tables? That saves cleanup time and potentially makes more money than just selling frozen wings but then again, there’s still a chance people will eat plain old unheated wings as well!

So, what does this mean for our readers who might be starting their food service businesses: how should we prepare ourselves for this new environment where we have less control over our bar inventory? How should we plan so we can minimize waste and maximize profits? Read further on!

What are the different types of bar refrigeration equipment?

If you’re looking for bar refrigeration equipment, there are various options. The main types of equipment include Bottle coolers, Direct draw refrigerators, Countertop wine chillers, and Glass frosters. Each of these options has specific functions. Learn about the benefits of each before making a purchase. Then, you’ll be glad you did when you see the extra profits they can make! And remember – the more pours you can serve per hour, the better.

There are a few different types of bar refrigeration systems for food service businesses:

Standard Freezer

A freezer has a compressor connected to a large motor that drives the fan, and inside it has an array of shelves or drawers to accommodate food items. This system is the most widely used in the US and Canada.

Deluxe freezer

There is no compressor; instead, a fan circulates air to keep food cold. The store may also have more drawers (called “refrigeration centers”), which can hold more items than standard units, such as bars or pitchers of beer.

Custom freezer

In this one, there is no compressor; instead, a fan circulates air through an electronic controller that uses infrared sensors to determine how much air needs to be drawn from the freezer. There are many variations on this theme — some employ motion sensors (to detect when temperature drops occur); others use temperature sensors (to know when food is cold enough); some use humidity sensors; some use light sensors; and so on.

Bottle coolers

The bottle cooler is a crucial piece of bar refrigeration equipment, keeping beverages cold until the bartender pours them. Bottle coolers come in two primary forms: horizontal and box models. Both types cool beverages using a refrigeration system and bulk ice to keep the bottles and cans cool. While refrigeration models are the most popular choice for bars and restaurants, operators may want to consider an ice-cooled model. This cooler is perfect for outdoor use and is often seen in convenience stores and other outdoor venues.

These appliances are built to last for decades. However, staff must inspect bottle coolers regularly to prevent damage to the interior or exterior. Periodically checking for air restrictions, leaking bottles, and misalignment of the door gaskets are essential to ensure that cold air is maintained in the cooler. They should also be cleaned monthly or weekly, if necessary, as dirty doors mean less cold air. If you notice any of these problems, you can always call a professional for repair work or replacement.

When purchasing a bottle cooler, make sure you check its capacity. The most petite models hold four and a half bottle cases, while larger units can store up to 55 cases. Generally, bottle coolers are used for storing bulk products and limiting restocking. However, if you own a sports bar or restaurant, you must also invest in a draft beer system. This type of beer refrigeration equipment allows you to provide authentic beer experiences to customers.

The best bottle coolers are aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. You should also consider the size and shape of the unit. Small back bar coolers are often built between other bar equipment. Some manufacturers also offer a pass-through style that allows access from two sides. This style is helpful for bars with limited space. It also makes it easier to reach the stock. Most of these units feature LED lights for illumination, so your customers can see what you have to offer.

Direct draw refrigerators


Direct draw keg refrigerators keep a cold beer draft on tap. Continuous cold air circulation cools the draft tower, ensuring the beer draft is cold and consistent. This single keg cooler features a glass rail and standard casters, making it ideal for any bar or event. It also features ample storage space and is ideal for medium to high-volume drink service businesses. Its design also makes it easy to move from one location to another.

The Everest line of direct draw keg refrigerators is a versatile solution for the beverage industry. Everest’s range of bar refrigerators includes customizable draft arms and easy-to-access storage for canned drinks. Moreover, these refrigerators are sturdy, with an NSF-approved white coating steel finish. In addition, they feature an easy-to-clean stainless-steel floor. They also come with energy efficient R290 refrigerant and have 1.3-inch thick polyurethane insulation for added thermal efficiency.

Countertop wine chillers

Consider a countertop wine chiller if you run a restaurant or bar and want to keep the wine fresh and at a temperature your customers can enjoy. These appliances store up to 18 bottles of wine and have built-in ventilation and circulation fans to maintain the ideal temperature for storing wine. These chillers are available as freestanding or built-in models. They are safe to use, plug-and-play devices, and can be easily adapted in a restaurant or bar setting.

While there are many advantages to countertop wine chillers in bar refrigeration equipment, you should also consider the price and style of the unit. Some models come with stylish designs, while others are made with simple features. Consider a unit with digital temperature control if you want to purchase a home bar cooler. You should also consider the space the appliance will occupy in your kitchen. Many countertop wine chillers are affordable and can be installed in a small kitchen.

A wine cooler’s design and features will determine how effectively it keeps wine at a consistent temperature. It should have a locking mechanism to prevent thieves from taking your favorite bottles. Some models also offer dual-zone cooling, which allows the owner to store different types of wine in separate compartments. Many wine chillers feature LED lighting, which saves electricity and is more environmentally friendly than traditional lighting. Finally, some models feature self-cleaning features that help keep the bottles fresh and at the correct temperature.

Choose a countertop wine chiller that fits your needs and is easy to use. Smaller units are more convenient and can be easily moved. They are also easier to install and move around. It is important to choose a cooler that has easy access to your wine bottles but remember that not all units come with built-in locks. Selecting a countertop wine chiller is essential for your bar or restaurant.

Glass frosters

A glass froster is piece of refrigeration equipment used to chill drinks and glasses quickly. Unlike a traditional freezer, these units are made to cool mugs and glasses rapidly. As a result, they also tend to stay cold longer than other bar refrigeration equipment. Typically, this equipment holds internal temperatures of -10degF to 15degF. The capacity of these glass frosters will vary depending on the type of bar you run and the volume of drinks you will be serving your guests.

For added beauty and aesthetic appeal, glass chillers are available with various exterior finishes. Some of the beer glass frosters feature stainless steel finishes for stain resistance. Others are available in black laminate finishes. Leading manufacturers often offer these units at lower prices. You can choose a model that complements your décor and delivers high performance at an affordable price. A glass chiller should be a focal point of your bar’s layout and add to the overall ambiance of the establishment.

A commercial glass chiller is a must-have piece of bar and restaurant refrigeration equipment. A glass chiller can be used for various purposes, from cooling beverages to serving desserts. Using a glass chiller for a cocktail or a beer is especially popular with customers. This equipment will give your bar or restaurant a premium feel, boosting customer satisfaction and drink sales. In addition, a commercial glass chiller can be NSF-certified, and the ice cream and fresh salads you serve may be cold too.

A glass froster is integral to a complete bar-refrigeration system, including a beer dispenser, bottle cooler, and portable tapper. In addition, a good mug froster will be efficient in frosting a large variety of glassware, while the even layer of frost will ensure that your drinks stay chilled for longer. Therefore, these frosters are an essential part of bar refrigeration equipment.

We think the above information will help you navigate between these different types of units and make an informed decision about which one might work best for you from a practical perspective as well as from an aesthetic point of view. We’ve tried to cover all the bases here with clear descriptions of each unit type.


How do you choose the right bar refrigeration equipment for your business?

If you have a food service business, your refrigeration unit will likely be your most essential piece of equipment. Unfortunately, refrigeration units are typically large and very expensive. As a result, you can’t afford to buy one as a standalone unit; instead, you need to buy a “build-to-order” model.

But this isn’t always the best option, as it can be very difficult to know what exactly you need. Even if you know what type of refrigeration unit you want, it can be challenging to find the right one for your business. So here are some common questions about the kinds of refrigeration units that many food service businesses ask about:

What is your current production volume?

The answer will vary by location and seasonality, but a cool or chilled room generally has at least 1 million BTUs (billion British thermal units). That means a bar with one bar fridge would probably have between 6 and 8 million Btu capacity (BTU = British thermal unit ). Q: What kind of plan do you have in place?

The short answer is that there isn’t much guidance on this topic other than two main types of plans:

1) Production contracts and

2) Build-to-order models.


Production contracts are very similar but use different terminology (called “orders”). They require an upfront payment for the refrigeration space (usually on an annual basis) and then pay periodic amounts for monthly usage if space remains available. There are also plans called “rolling monthly payments,” where every month comes with a fixed price that can be used until space runs out so that your costs are only paid when space is used. Build-to-order models tend to be more flexible; the upfront payment is typically more like monthly payments with some fixed price (usually less than production contracts). Some restaurants use build-to-order plans with both production contracts and rollover payments so they don’t have to worry about paying up front every month when they take over another restaurant space or last month, they closed another restaurant due to financial issues or bad weather etc., but that doesn’t mean all restaurants do this or should. Businesses will usually make their decision based on how many months they get paid per year if they choose either kind of model and if 5 years or 25 years seems like too much money, then building up enough demand.


What are the different features of bar refrigeration equipment?

If you are a food service business in the US, you need to have bar refrigeration equipment. Many drinks and food require refrigeration to remain fresh for the intended consumption time. This is especially important during summer when temperatures can reach 90 degrees F or higher.

You will also need a crash cart for your bar refrigeration equipment, which is required for emergency repairs on your bar refrigeration equipment. The crash cart is necessary, so your bar fridge can be easily moved from one location to another if there is an emergency repair/replacement of some component on your bar fridge.

In addition, there is an additional need to have a thermostat and temperature gauge to always monitor and control the temperature of your bar refrigerator. These are simple components that are typically included in a standard refrigerator or freezer. You don’t need to buy them separately (free ones are available online).


How do you maintain your bar refrigeration equipment?

There are many types of bar refrigeration equipment. They include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and air filtration systems. These products are important to keep in your bar area and must also be maintained. With the proper maintenance, these products can last a lifetime; they will look new when you take them out of the room and put them away in the basement or garage. But if you do nothing but maintain them, they will become dated fast. So here is an essential guide to keeping your equipment running at peak performance:

Keep your bar refrigeration equipment clean and sanitized.

Keep your bar in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated location.

Keep the refrigeration units away from direct sunlight by installing them under covers or leading out of the bar area, out of tempting sight from curious guests. Also, ensure that the refrigeration units are not exposed to temperatures above 43 degrees F (6 Celsius).


Bar refrigeration equipment is an essential part of any food service business

Please ensure you understand the essential equipment for a bar and how it relates to your business.


A design is one of the most important elements of any bar refrigeration unit. It affects how clean your customers feel when you offer them cold drinks and how easily they can move through your space (ease of storage, storage capacity). This makes ice dispensers more important than freezers – they need to be easy to use and store with minimal effort. The key elements here are:


The size of a refrigerator or freezer is determined by how much room you need for it and what type of ice dispenser you want it to be compatible with (e.g., oil or compressor based). When you think about these two things combined, you can work out an ideal size for any given application – in this case, we assume a dedicated freezer room in a restaurant kitchen. Generally, there will be some trade-offs between appliance size and space requirements. There’s also some overlap between different applications, so keep this in mind when choosing what size unit best suits your needs.


Depending on what kind of equipment you have in your fridge or freezer, there may be compatibility issues, which means that certain brands may not work well together with other brands or designs (the ones we focus on here are all oil-based machines, so don’t expect all models to work well with others). This again depends on what kind of system you’re using (e.g., oil vs. compressor vs. oilless) so make sure that any manufacturer’s website has comprehensive compatibility details which should list out the devices that no other brand can fit into a system without significant changes or the ability of the designer to provide compatibility.


If you have any specific questions, our expert sales team here at Foodservice Exchange is always ready to help you with the proper selection – we are just a message or call away!