Hello.....Have been viewing this forum for a few days hoping to un-confuse myself on how to buy a Walk-In Cooler for my new business. I'm still confused so I'll just put the question out there for hope that the experts can help me. I'v received quotes from a few different companies but before I purchase, want to be sure it's the right decision.
We are opening a Fresh Pasta and Ravioli Market and will have Italian Specialties as well. It is strictly take-out and mostly manufacturing so the Walk-In box is an obvious necesity rather than individual refrigeration units in the back and front of store. Items to be stored in Walk-In are mostly: cheeses, fresh produce, certain types of flour,sauces, and possibly pre-cooked foods, and some meat.
We are limited in space, approximately 900 sq ft (first floor). THere is a basement and the Walk-In would be placed on the first floor above. It has been recommended that in order to conserve space and money, we should purchase a Walk-In with Display doors on the opposite side. Originaly we wanted a small Walk-In for the back of the store, and Display units for the front. The recommendation seems to make sense. Right now we're looking at a 6'w x 10'L x 7'-8'h with 2 30" display doors and a standard entry door on the 10' side with a floor. Not thrilled that we are using that amount of space, but we have to do it. Outdoor cooler was an option, but it seems like too much of a hassle since we are leasing the space. The outside set-up is a house converted to commercial property. We would have to prepare a concrete surface underneath as well as overhead protection, get approved, etc., etc.
Is there anything I should be aware of when buying the unit? Some issues that have come up are: the fan being placed above rather than on shelf space inside; display doors need to be heated; compressor placed outside rather than in the basement; installation of central AC will require an extra ton to compensate for all refrigerated units inside store; power loss. These are just some of the recommendations we were given.
Frankly, I need a solid opinion on what is good for us. We are trying to be conservative with the money spent, but do not want to jeapardize quality. Right now we're looking at a 5-year Lease with options after that, so that Walk-In isn't moving for a while.
Any help with manufacturers, features, etc. is appreciated. Thanks.