Cool runnings

Energy efficiency a key consideration when choosing kit

Wine fridge
Visibility is an important consideration.

IN an ever-competitive market, no one in the licensed trade needs reminding of the importance of serving appropriately-chilled drinks.

But refrigeration in pubs and bars is about much more than just keeping a drink cold; there’s a range of other practical considerations to take into account, including space behind the bar and how packaged products will be displayed to customers.

Steve Loughton of Hoshizaki said choosing the correct refrigeration equipment is “crucial”.

“As well as acknowledging that space is at a premium, operators need to ensure that their drinks offer is in the direct sight line of consumers and displayed in the most visually-appealing way to boost incremental sales,” he said.

Gary Barnabas, commercial manager at IMC (Imperial Machine Company), underlined the importance of choosing refrigeration units that fit well both in terms of the back-bar space and layout, and the venue’s overall design.

“Consumer expectations of bars and restaurants has increased markedly in recent years and this is reflected in the quality of the equipment now being demanded, including bottle coolers, which must look the part and reflect the feel of the establishment,” he said.

Prudent operators will understandably always be looking to get the most bang for their buck, although more expensive pieces of kit can prove a burden for smaller businesses as a significant one-off charge.

With this in mind, Robert Campbell, managing director of Quality Equipment Distributors (QED), advised that paying for larger refrigeration units on lease purchase agreements is a “very good way of offsetting the cost”.

Another substantial cost that should be carefully considered is energy usage, as fridges will be running continually using potentially substantial amounts of electricity.

Malcolm Harling of Williams Refrigeration said energy efficiency is an important consideration, adding that operators “should expect all new equipment to offer more energy-saving features compared with older models”.

This was echoed by Maidaid Halcyon, which advised operators to choose equipment which has been designed with energy efficiency in mind.

“To achieve and maintain a high standard our bottle coolers use high quality circulations fans and a high efficiency compressor,” said a spokesman.

“Combined with an electronic temperature control and powerful forced cooling this ensures they maintain an optimum operating temperature whilst remaining energy efficient.

“Our HBS range not only balances quality and cost, but also offers energy efficiency. Halcyon bottle coolers can give typical savings of up to 35% in annual running costs whilst also incorporate an eco-friendly refrigerant; self-closing doors and double glazing help to ensure this is possible.”