It can get hot in a commercial kitchen at any time of year, but during the current heatwave one kitchen was recorded at 46 centigrade. Fatal heat stroke can occur when the body reaches just 40 centigrade.
As well as losing staff to absenteeism there are also serious issues concerning food hygiene and lack of reliable refrigerated storage space. Most domestic refrigerators cannot function outside quite a narrow range of environmental temperatures. They don’t just fail to keep food cold, they actually die on you if it gets either too hot or too cold outside. Not having the right commercial equipment can, therefore, be costly in terms of appliance replacement, wasted food, restaurant closures, health and safety breaches, alienated customers and disaffected staff.
And what is true of refrigeration equipment is also true of cooking and ware-washing appliances – if they aren’t up to the job it leads to breakdowns, unsatisfactory shortcuts and stopgaps, customer complaints and staff losses. We should also mention that overtaxing them negates their guarantees and your commercial insurance policies? Installing non-commercial grade equipment is often against local health codes.
When is the best time to invest in commercial equipment?
As early as possible is the best answer. We would not advise embarking on a catering venture without allowing for capital expenditure on appliances sufficient for the volume of trade expected in the first two years of operation. Thereafter, upgrade as soon as you can, because it is false economy to “make-do and mend”. you may also want to look into investing in some shelving to go in your kitchen which is very handy to store all your accessories. It’s a little bit like garage shelving to go in your shed and keeping your tools safe but in your garden. You can source that from sites including https://www.garage-shelving.co.uk.
Are walk in cold rooms an extravagance?
If we have more summers like this one, definitely not. Different parts of a cold room can be designed to maintain different temperatures suitable for almost all types of foodstuff. Another great advantage is that heat pumped from a cold room is usually expelled from the building instead of contributing to the ambient temperature in the kitchen.
The initial cost of upgrading older less adequate appliances is also offset by more efficient energy consumption. There are some calculators online you can use to estimate your long-term savings here https://www.energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-and-cost-savings-calculators-energy-efficient-products.
Even when specifications appear similar, commercial equipment is designed in anticipation of constant heavy use and for easier cleaning and maintenance. In a commercial kitchen that also means savings in man hours.