Suppliers give their thoughts on buying back-bar fridges
BACK-BAR fridges play a key role in the operation of any bar – ensuring drinks are both visible to consumers and served at the optimum temperature.
That’s why manufacturers and suppliers of back-bar refrigeration units say it’s vital operators give careful consideration to the type of equipment they install in their outlets.
Choosing a system which can cope with the demands of a busy venue should be a top priority for bar, club and hotel owners, suppliers said.
“Back-bar refrigeration has to operate efficiently to maintain temperature as bottles are taken out, stock is replenished and doors are continually opened and closed,” said a spokesman for Williams Refrigeration. “It also has to be robust enough to survive a punishing level of wear and tear.”
That advice was echoed by Kurran Gadhvi, marketing manager at refrigeration equipment supplier Valera, who suggested operators should ensure they buy ECA-approved equipment, which has to pass a rigorous independent test on energy efficiency.
“A bottle cooler will be opened and closed many times during the day so it needs to be able to cope with this, both in terms of its construction and its ability to maintain temperature,” he said.
“More expensive units are likely to be more reliable and more energy efficient and are, therefore, likely to cost less to run in the long term. The bottle cooler is likely to be one of the most important sales tools in your bar and so you need it to be reliable.”
Killian McGarry, director of equipment supplier Katerbay, said stock levels are another key consideration for licensees choosing back-bar refrigeration equipment.
“Many operators make the mistake of over-stocking/over-refrigerating,” he said. “When specifying a bottle cooler all they actually need is a unit that is capable of holding enough stock for their busiest session.
“Anything more than that is unnecessary in terms of the space it will take up, the cost and, of course, the associated running costs.”
But it’s not all about cost and efficiency. Design is another important factor for operators to consider.
“Back-bar equipment needs to look smart as well as being energy efficient and easy to use,” said a spokeswoman for True Refrigeration.
“Increasingly back-bar design is integrated into the whole concept to present a seamless look throughout the entire operation, pleasing to the eye and user-friendly to both staff and customers.”
Nicholas Williams of manufacturer Precision underlined the importance of design.
“Bar designers are increasingly looking for more style and versatility in refrigeration,” he said. “It’s about keeping cold and looking cool.”
Images: Valera’s Kurran Gadhvi said operators should always buy ECA-approved back-bar equipment. Equipment is increasingly being designed to complement venue interiors, according to True.