Best commercial refrigerator 2023: Buyer's guide

buyer's guide

What’s inside this buyer’s guide


  1. Introduction
  2. What is a commercial refrigerator?
  3. Types of commercial fridges
  4. Commercial display fridges
  5. How do you choose the right commercial fridge?
  6. Features to consider
  7. Best commercial fridges
  8. Used commercial fridges — worth considering?
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. Commercial fridge glossary
  11. Keep your cash. Use ours!



Commercial refrigerators play a pivotal role in the food, beverage, and retail industry.

Whether it’s storing raw ingredients, increasing the shelf-life of cooked food, preserving beverages at the right temperature to serve, or visual merchandising to boost sales, commercial refrigerators are virtually indispensable. 

However, with the wide range of options, choosing the right one for your business can be tricky.

So, which refrigerator model is the right one for you? This guide will help you find out!

With a comprehensive breakdown of the different types of commercial fridges available and a thorough guideline on features to consider, this best commercial refrigerator buying guide will help you choose the right model in a jiffy.



What is a commercial refrigerator?

A commercial refrigerator diligently works to store and preserve substantial volumes of perishable items, maintaining a brisk temperature typically above 0°C, which may vary depending on the type or purpose of the unit.  

Unlike their household counterpart, commercial fridges boast robust construction, superior cooling capabilities, and ample storage space.

They are designed to maintain the right inside temperature even when the door is opened and closed constantly.

Indispensable for establishments such as restaurants, supermarkets, bars, cafes, and more, commercial fridges ensure products stay fresh, safe, and ready to be crafted into delightful dishes or sold to customers.



Types of commercial fridges

To meet the distinctive demands of the food service industry, commercial refrigeration solutions are available in multiple types.

Knowing the different types is your first step in choosing the right companion for your business.

Let’s learn about the options available.


Upright fridges

Double solid door upright commercial refrigerator

Commercial upright refrigerators offer maximum storage capacity, next to only the walk-in variety.

These refrigerators stand tall, utilising vertical space to give your ingredients a spacious chill-out zone while being easy on your floor space.

They are commonly available in one to three door models. While the larger versions boast ample storage for roomier kitchens, their single-door siblings slide effortlessly into tighter spaces.

Commercial upright refrigerators with glass doors, commonly known as upright display fridges, are excellent solutions for showcasing refrigerated items.

Their stainless steel counterparts are way more efficient for back of house operations.

Storing and retrieving items is straightforward, thanks to the design and adjustable racks.


Key advantages:

  • Smart floor space use.
  • Bountiful storage.
  • Flexible rack system.
  • Gastronorm (GN) compatible for smooth operations.



Counter fridges

Stainless steel counter fridge with door and drawers

Commercial counter fridges brilliantly merge practicality with functionality, offering a nifty worktop for meal preparation while providing refrigerated storage space underneath.

The worktop is typically crafted from stainless steel. Whether you need a compact double-door unit or a sprawling 4-door variant, there’s something for every kitchen size and need.

There’s also the option to choose a model with doors, drawers, or a combination of both styles.

Commercial counter fridges can even accommodate your smaller gadgets like mixers and blenders on top.


Key advantages:

  • Two-in-one magic: storage plus workspace.
  • Varied sizes and configurations to suit your needs.
  • Gastronorm (GN) compatibility.



Prep fridges

Prep fridge with three doors.

Commercial prep fridges, while echoing the dual functionality of commercial counter fridges, take it up a notch by offering extra refrigerated countertop storage, making them a dream for crafting pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Prep fridges make it possible to have all the fresh ingredients for food preparation right at your fingertips. With options of see-through or solid stainless steel lids and sometimes a removable cutting board, they’re a chef's delight.

Available from cosy double doors to spacious 4-door models, and with door or drawer options, they cater to varied kitchen needs.

Feel free to explore more about prep fridges in our detailed guide - Best Pizza Prep Fridges 2023: Buyer’s Guide.


Key advantages:

  • An all-in-one solution, reducing the need for movement within the kitchen.
  • An aesthetic addition to open kitchens and prep areas.
  • Available in a range of sizes and setups.


Undercounter fridges

Single door compact under counter fridge

Undercounter fridges slide smoothly into the often-overlooked spots beneath your counters.

If your kitchen is already flaunting ample worktop, these models sneak in below, offering extra refrigerated storage without demanding more room.

Ideal as secondary storage or for front-of-house applications to keep aesthetics sleek, they come in various sizes to cater to diverse needs. Commercial undercounter fridges with glass doors are quite useful for merchandising refrigerated items.   

A quick tip: measure your counter’s height and depth before choosing a model, ensuring a snug fit beneath.

Want more insights on undercounter options? Dive into our 'Best Commercial Undercounter Fridge and Freezer 2023: Buyer’s Guide' for all the nifty details!


Key advantages:

  • Maximises space utilisation.
  • Ensures swift access to items.
  • Comes in varied sizes and setups.


Walk-in refrigerator/Coolroom

Walk-in refrigerator

Walk-in refrigerators, or coolrooms, invite you into a world where refrigeration meets walk-in convenience.

Imagine stepping into a chilled room, handpicking your items, and strolling out - that’s the luxury they provide.

Plus, it is totally customisable according to your needs.

A staple in supermarkets and expansive food chains, these refrigerators cater to the substantial storage needs of perishables, ensuring they remain in peak condition for prolonged periods.


Key advantages:

  • Expansive storage space.
  • Accurate temperature controls for enhanced efficiency.
  • Unhindered, walk-in access.
  • Can be tailored to your specific requirements.



Commercial display fridges

Commercial display fridges, a pivotal player in both storing and showcasing food and beverages, come in a delightful array of styles, each serving distinct applications.

With a bounty of size options within each variant, they cater to the unique needs of various businesses.

Let’s explore some of the prevalent commercial display refrigeration solutions used in the industry.


Upright display fridges

Upright double door display fridge

Upright commercial display fridges are common in stores, and supermarkets.

They offer a versatile selection, available in various sizes and, typically, one to three door options.

Proper interior lighting ensures that food items are effectively showcased, while models with sliding doors provide a practical solution for space conservation.


Refrigerated display cabinets

Refrigerated display cabinets

Refrigerated display cabinets, characterised by their three-side-glass design and typically a sliding glass door at the back, are commonly used in bakeries, delis, and cake shops.

They maintain the prescribed temperature range to store food items in the display area.

Available in square and curved glass variants in different sizes to fit your exact needs.


Countertop display fridges

Countertop display fridge

Meet the compact countertop display fridges, a smart choice for showcasing products right where customers can see them, all while ensuring they stay perfectly chilled.

With their sleek glass walls and a handy glass door, these fridges are designed to sit on countertops.

Available in various sizes, styles, and configurations, they effortlessly blend into smaller front-of-house spaces, making them a favourite in cafes and shops.


Countertop prep fridges

Countertop prep fridge

Countertop prep fridges, equipped with refrigerated wells, offer convenient and visible storage for fresh ingredients right where they're needed most.

Ideal for environments with live food preparation stations, they allow customers a clear view of the culinary process.

Available in various shapes, sizes, and configurations, they provide practical solutions for diverse kitchen and front-of-house spaces.


Open display fridges

Multi deck open display fridge

Imagine strolling by a fridge, your favourite drink or snack catching your eye, and simply reaching in to grab it.

That’s the effortless customer experience commercial open display fridges bring to the table!

With no doors to navigate, customers can easily spot and snag their desired items, potentially boosting sales in the process.

Whether it’s beverages, dairy products, ready-to-go meals, or fresh produce, these units, available in an array of sizes and styles, are ideal for visual merchandising.


Bar fridges

Bar fridge

Commercial bar fridges and coolers are elegantly designed to serve the dual purpose of chilling drinks while adding a dash of style to bars.

Specifically crafted for alcoholic beverages, they maintain a temperature range that’s optimal for the purpose, often between 2 to 8°C (~10°C).

They feature glass doors, blending aesthetics with functionality while making it easy to identify and select drinks.

Available typically in one to four-door undercounter models, they seamlessly blend into the bar setup, ensuring a cool drink is always at hand.


Wine fridges

Wine fridge

Commercial wine fridges are all about keeping your bottles just right - not too hot, not too cold, but typically stored between 5 to 22°C.

Designed with a glass front and racks spaced to fit wine bottles, they make it easy to store and find the right option in a jiffy.

Plus, they often have special shelves, like ones made from beech wood, to help your wines age well.

Commercial wine fridges come in different sizes and specs to fit your space and collection, giving a simple, stylish, and safe way to store your wines for as long as you need.



How do you choose the right commercial fridge?

Choosing the best commercial refrigerator for your business is simple when you're crystal clear about your needs and limits.

So, before diving into this journey, consider the following to make a choice that fits just right!


What will you store in the fridge?

First things first, decide what you'll store in the fridge.

Your choice of the right fridge for your business hinges on the type of items you'll be storing in it.

Commercial fridges aren’t one-size-fits-all - they maintain various temperature ranges to suit different needs.

For instance, while the typical commercial upright refrigerators used for food and fresh ingredient storage keep between 1 to 4°C, wine fridges prefer a warmer stay, often maintaining 5 to 22°C.

Also, for storing raw ingredients, a solid-door fridge might be more appropriate than a glass-door model.

So, selecting a commercial fridge tailored to your specific storage needs is a smart move.


Where's it going to live?

Pinning down the location is crucial before diving into options.

For front-of-house use, there are endless possibilities.  

From sizable upright display fridges to chic refrigerated display cabinets and handy countertop models, the choice is yours.

Tailor your pick to the size of your operation and the goodies you’ll be selling.

Envisioning a front-of-house food station featuring sandwiches, or salads?

A commercial prep fridge with glass lids might just be your match.

And for the back-of-house operations?

Whether you have room to spare or space is tight, choosing between an upright, underbench, or countertop fridge has got you covered.

Each variant comes in several sizes, ensuring there’s something for every space.


A handy tip on fridge placement:

Steer clear of placing them next to high heat-producing equipment like a gas range or an oven.

And for those front-of-house spots, don’t pick areas that bask in a lot of sunlight.

Smart placement ensures optimal performance.


Measure your space

Once the perfect spot for the fridge is picked out, measure it.

Whether it's taking centre stage front-of-house or playing a supporting role backstage, finding a fridge that meets your storage needs and fits your space is key.

Don’t forget to account for the ventilation needs of the model while measuring.

Most commercial fridges need around 20cm gap from the back and sides, but it can vary depending on the make and model. 

Ensure easy access for both loading and unloading items, as well as enough room for cleaning.

And since commercial fridges typically just plug in and go, consider whether you'll need a new electrical point at your chosen spot.

Smart planning makes for smooth operations.


Features to consider


Finding the right refrigeration match in terms of size is crucial.

Opting for a unit that's too large means dealing with unnecessary space and footing the bill for cooling areas you're not utilising.

On the flip side, a too-small fridge can lead to a daily puzzle of trying to fit items onto shelves, wasting valuable time and causing potential staff frustration.

Commercial upright refrigerators are your go-to when floor space is scarce, but you've got plenty of headroom.

The under-counter models usually stand at about 850mm in height to slide right under the counters.

However, always double-check the exact height and depth of the model and ensure it fits nicely with your counter before making that purchase.

Counter models usually boast the height to whip up a comfy meal prep area.

And if your fridge has castors, remember to factor that into your height measurements.



In the world of commercial fridges, there are two capacities to keep an eye on overall and net.

The net capacity gives you the lowdown on the actual usable space the fridge offers.

So, hunting for a model with a higher overall-to-net capacity ratio is a smart move. It will give you more storage for taking up comparatively less kitchen space.

Think about the refrigerated space your team might need during a bustling, busy day and choose the capacity accordingly.

Commercial upright refrigerators, especially the double-door models, can offer a whopping capacity, stretching up to 1200 litres.

As for counter and under-counter models, their capacity is influenced by size and the number of doors.


Tropical rating

Tropical rating in commercial fridges is crucial. It tells you the highest ambient temperature the fridge can handle without putting extra stress on the compressor.

A tropical-rated commercial fridge is designed to work efficiently in high temperatures and humidity, typical in tropical regions.

If your kitchen often heats up above 32°C due to outdoor temperatures or other kitchen equipment, a tropical-rated model is a wise choice.

Check the manufacturer’s manual for details on the maximum ambient temperature for a commercial fridge model.


Doors and drawers

There is a spectrum of options in doors and drawers, each designed with a specific utility in mind.

Solid stainless steel doors promise durability, while glass doors offer aesthetic value.

Depending on the size, models may feature anywhere from 1 to 4 doors.

The vertical fridges come in standard doors and their savvy siblings - the stable or half-door options.

Half doors not only allow separate access to different sections but also allow you to control temperatures separately in each, enhancing your storage versatility.

When it comes to drawers, they're a more familiar sight in counter, undercounter, and prep fridges.

Drawers make storing and retrieving items a breeze, albeit at the cost of typically offering less storage space than door models.

And for those seeking the best of both worlds, there are models that thoughtfully combine doors and drawers, weaving together the advantages of both styles in a single unit.



Defrosting in commercial fridges is crucial for maintaining efficiency and ensuring the longevity of stored products.

Automatic defrost systems work to prevent ice accumulation by initiating the defrost process automatically.

It helps to maintain a steady temperature and eliminates the risk of excess ice build-up, which otherwise can reduce the refrigerator’s efficiency and spoil the stored items.

Some fridges require manual defrosting, which allows control over when the defrosting occurs but can be a bit difficult to manage in commercial settings.

Missing out on defrosting at the right time can lead to food spoilage.  

You also have to consider factors like the fridge’s capacity, the type of products stored, the frequency of door opening and the ambient conditions of its location when managing defrosting manually.

It's vital to choose a defrosting system that aligns with the usage and storage needs of your establishment.


Frost-free refrigerators

Frost-free technology in refrigerators offers a seamless solution to ice accumulation by automatically melting it without disrupting the essential cooling cycle that keeps food fresh.

While these refrigerators are notably more energy-efficient compared to auto-defrost models, it's worth noting that they come with a slightly higher price tag.

This innovative technology ensures convenience and energy savings, presenting a valuable option despite the initial investment.

Security features

Security is paramount for commercial display refrigerators, especially those situated in front-of-house or accessible public areas.

It holds true even for back-of-house applications, where maintaining the fridge under a lock can proficiently manage stock and ensure that the refrigerator door is opened only when necessary.

Whether opting for a display unit or a solid door model, selecting one with an integrated locking system is the way to go.


Temperature control and display

Commercial refrigerators, designed for food storage, usually maintain between a crisp 1°C and 4°C.

Some models may offer a wider cool range.

Also, fridges for storing alcoholic beverages roll with a warmer temperature, often around 2°C to 22°C.

Now, depending on the weather outside and the type of food you’re storing, you might need to tweak the temperature within the range for optimal cooling.

So, it’s wise to get a fridge that sports a digital controller and display.

This little feature gives you precise control over the temperature setting and clearly shows the inside temperature at any given moment, wiping out all the guesswork.


Compressor and its position

In commercial fridges, the compressor stands out as a key component, crucially maintaining the food and drinks at the ideal temperature.

Choosing a model with a high-quality compressor from a trusted manufacturer means not only better efficiency but also better reliability and longevity.

You should also consider the position of the compressor before making your choice. The options are,


These are great for spaces where dust or spills are common because the compressor is away from the floor-level mess.



This design is a good pick for busy kitchens where the temperature often goes high. Positioned near the floor, the compressor here is in a potentially cooler zone, which can be helpful for optimal performance of the appliance.

Bottom-mounted compressors also make the lower shelves easier to reach.



Side-mounted compressors are commonly found on commercial counter, undercounter and prep fridges. Here, the compressor is mounted on the left or right side of the unit.

In most commercial upright fridges, the compressor is placed at the top or bottom of the unit.


Noise level

Commercial refrigerators, like any other machine, produce noise, and their noise level is typically higher than the domestic variants.

However, commercial fridges from premium brands come with a number of noise-dampening features to keep it quiet.

These models can be a little pricey, but they certainly help to keep the workspace more comfortable for your staff and customers.   


Energy efficiency

Commercial refrigerators work non-stop, day in and day out, and they can be pretty energy-hungry.

But if you invest a little extra upfront for a more energy-efficient model, it'll pay off in the long run.

You'll see savings on your energy bills, plus you'll be doing your part to reduce your business's carbon footprint.

Now, in New Zealand, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has set energy efficiency standards for refrigerators.

So, if you're shopping for a fridge, you'll notice a Mandatory Energy Performance Labelling (MEPL).

This MEPL has a Star Rating at the top - the more stars, the better the fridge's energy efficiency. It also shows you the energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.

This way, you can easily compare different models and figure out which one sips less power.


Ease of use and cleaning

Efficiency in both use and maintenance is a crucial factor for commercial refrigerators.

Commercial fridges with user-friendly controls and adjustable shelving to accommodate various products and packaging sizes are certainly a better choice.

This adaptability simplifies daily operations, allowing employees to organise and access items effortlessly.

Moreover, cleaning your commercial refrigerator should be a breeze.

Easily accessible interior design with removable components, are key to making the mundane task of cleaning simple.

Many models have removable shelves, gaskets, and even self-cleaning condenser options.

This not only ensures food safety and hygiene but also saves valuable cleaning time in busy commercial kitchens.

In addition, some refrigerators come with features like anti-microbial coatings, which inhibit the growth of bacteria and odours.

These features promote a cleaner and more sanitary storage environment.



Best commercial fridges

Polar Refrigeration

 Polar Logo

Polar Refrigeration, a globally recognised name with over 15 years of industry presence, has built a rock-solid reputation in the commercial refrigeration industry.

Their commitment to quality is evident in the wide range of high-quality commercial fridges and freezers they offer, all at a budget-friendly price point.

Now, let's dive into a couple of their popular commercial fridge models.

The Polar C-Series CD082-A Upright Fridge, boasting a sturdy stainless-steel door, is a compact yet robust 400-liter unit. Ideal for professional kitchens with limited space and light-duty requirements.

For bakery owners seeking efficient refrigerated storage, the Polar U-Series Single Door Bakery Fridge GL180-A stands out as one of the finest options on the market. Capable of accommodating up to twenty 600x400mm trays, it offers ample space for storing your baked goodies.

Businesses in need of a versatile solution can turn to the Polar U-Series DL914-A Double Door Counter Fridge. With 282 litres of overall capacity and a convenient upstand at the back, it combines refrigerated storage and workspace in one unit.

Explore Polar Refrigeration’s commercial fridge range here.  


Skope Refrigeration

 Skope Logo

With over 50 years in the game, New Zealand's Skope Refrigeration masterfully crafts bespoke commercial cooling solutions.

Globally recognised, they smartly blend quality and innovation, serving up their premium range in New Zealand and beyond

For smaller kitchens, the ReFlex 1 Solid Door Upright Fridge is a smart cooling choice. It features SKOPE-connect, meaning you can change temperatures with just a tap on the app. Compact yet mighty, the model brings Skope’s classic durability and energy efficiency into a compact space.

If you’re looking for something bigger and more advanced, check out the Skope ProSpec 2 Solid Door Upright GN 2/1 Fridge. It features five adjustable stainless steel shelves per door, a fully removable racking system, door-activated LED light, GN compatibility, and rugged durability for regular back-of-house tasks.

And for those eye-catching displays, the Skope OD260 Open Deck Fridge is your go-to. Compact and door-free, it offers easy peeks and grabs, boosting impulse buys.

With LED side lights, two adjustable shelves, and a cool performance up to a 25°C ambient temperature, it’s a visual merchandising dream!

Explore more Skope Refrigeration fridges here.


Federal Hospitality Equipment

 FED Logo

Federal Hospitality Equipment (FED) has been serving the commercial kitchen equipment industry of Australia and New Zealand for over 45 years.

They offer top-notch commercial refrigeration, from solid door and commercial display fridges to bar fridges and wine coolers, all designed to jazz up your food prep, storage, and display. Let’s check out some of their top models.

The FED-X Stainless Steel Two Door Upright Fridge – XURC650S1V, a favourite of medium to large businesses, harmoniously integrates three levels of 2/1 gastronorm-compatible shelves and a split door design, ensuring both energy efficiency and rapid recovery.

In the beverage display solutions, the Double Door Upright Drink Fridge – LG-1000BGBM emerges as a noteworthy option. This model, with its double-glazed tempered glass doors, forced air circulation, and digital controller, offers an efficient and visually appealing display solution.

For establishments seeking optimal bar refrigeration, FED presents a diverse collection. The LG-208HC Double Door Underbench Bar Cooler offers a compact, economically friendly solution, while the WB-51 Single Zone Wine Cooler stands out as a favoured choice among bars and restaurants, ensuring wines are preserved under the best conditions.

Explore the FED commercial refrigeration range here.


Bromic Refrigeration


Bromic Logo

Bromic Refrigeration, originating in 1999, has evolved into a notable name in the commercial refrigeration sector, blending innovative solutions with customer satisfaction. Bromic focuses not merely on product provision but delivering above-and-beyond solutions.

Consider the UC1300SD-NR 2-Door Gastronorm Stainless Steel Storage Fridge, a robust solution for commercial kitchens and bakeries. It ensures prolonged freshness with its potent fan-forced cooling system while offering ample space with a 1300-litre volume and five racks per door.

To add a dash of nostalgic flair, get the RETRO Upright Display Fridge - GM0300-NR RETRO. This 1950s-inspired model isn’t just a fridge; it’s a statement piece, offering a sublime refrigerated display solution for cafes, takeaways, and self-service retail spots.

And for the bakeries and cafes, the FD4T0900C-NR, a four-tier cake display cabinet, is here to spotlight your baked masterpieces. With high-impact LED internal lighting, it illuminates your goodies in a way that’s simply irresistible.

Easy-to-clean removable shelf inserts, plus a corrosion-resistant construction featuring toughened safety glass, ensure convenience and durability.

Explore Bromic Refrigeration’s commercial fridges here.


Williams Refrigeration

 Williams Logo

Williams Refrigeration is a true-blue Aussie creator of top-tier commercial refrigeration equipment.

With a global presence and a local touch, Williams Refrigeration seamlessly blends worldwide expertise with a keen understanding of the local market, ensuring a service that's simply unparalleled.

Take a peek at the Garnet G1 H, a high-performing, single-door upright fridge designed to meet all your food service needs, delivering stellar performance, reliability, and efficiency.

Thanks to its Coolsmart electronic controller, it guarantees consistent temperatures and precise control, even in challenging 43°C ambient environments.

For the supermarket scene, the Quartz Star QS3 display solution, boasting a generous 1500-litre capacity, is a savvy pick. Its sleek aesthetic finish and LED lighting perfectly spotlight your products, while its self-closing doors, fitted with easy-to-clean, replaceable magnetic gaskets, add a dash of convenience.

And let’s not miss out on the Deluxe Beverage Cooler DBC-1, a compact, front-of-house glass door model that brings both style and functionality to your executive lounge bar. It maximises visual impact with its contemporary and superior design.

Find more Williams Refrigeration commercial fridges here.  


Used commercial fridges - worth considering?

Spending thousands of dollars on a new commercial fridge can put a strain on your budget and cash flow.

If you’d prefer not to invest a lot of money in new commercial kitchen equipment, a cheaper, used commercial fridge might be the solution you’re looking for.

SilverChef’s range of ‘Certified Used’ commercial equipment is mostly ex-rental equipment sourced from businesses we know and trust.

The equipment is typically less than two-and-a-half years old, has been fully refurbished by us, and is backed by a three-month parts-and-labour warranty.

Considering the effective, or useful, life of a commercial fridge is much longer, you can be sure our Certified Used products have plenty of life left in it.

You can either buy or finance the ‘Certified Used’ (and clearance) equipment on our website. (We’re one of the few financiers, if not the only one, in New Zealand that funds second-hand commercial kitchen equipment).

Read more about ‘Certified Used’ equipment


Frequently asked questions

Which commercial fridge is the best?

Looking for the best commercial refrigerator?

The key takeaway is – there’s no one size fits all.

You need to choose a model that meets your requirements, expectations and limitations the best. But, try to stick to a renowned brand.

This will ensure quality and longer, hassle-free service.

There are several options. Skope refrigerators are well-known for their innovative and energy-efficient designs, becoming a go-to for many businesses. Then there’s Polar, a brand synonymous with reliability and a diverse range that caters to various commercial needs.

FED steps into the spotlight with its wide array of products and customer-centric approach, while Bromic is celebrated for blending aesthetic appeal with top-notch functionality.

And let’s not forget Williams Refrigeration, which brings to the table a blend of global expertise and durable, efficient refrigeration solutions. So, do your research and find out which is the best commercial refrigerator for you.


How to clean a commercial fridge

Keeping your commercial fridge clean at all times is essential to maintain hygiene standards.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual to find the right process and best cleaning agents for your appliance.

Here’s a general guideline for cleaning a commercial fridge:

Step 1: Power down - Safety first! Unplug the refrigerator to keep things safe.

Step 2: Empty out - Take out all stored items and any removable parts, like the racks, boxes, gaskets, etc.

Step 3: Clean the removable parts – Soak the racks and boxes in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to dislodge any stuck food items. Scrub gently with a sponge. Wash off with clean water and dry before sanitising.

Step 4: Clean the interior- Grab some warm, soapy water and a sponge. Scrub the interior gently. For stubborn spots and tight corners, a toothbrush works wonders. If the gasket is not removable, use the toothbrush to scrub it and the area around it clean. You might need food-safe glass cleaners to clean the glass doors and walls of commercial display refrigerators.

Step 5: Sanitise - Swipe the surfaces with a food-safe sanitiser to keep things hygienic, bacteria and mould-free.

Step 6: Dry time - Dry the interior with a clean, dry towel or cloth. Then, let it air dry for some time.

Step 7: Put it back together - Reassemble any parts you removed and cleaned. Close the door and then wipe down the outside of the unit with a microfiber cloth. Finally, plug it back in.

Your commercial fridge is now squeaky clean and ready to chill your goods in a spick-and-span space.


Where to buy a commercial refrigerator?

There are several places where you can buy a commercial refrigerator.

From specialised appliance stores and big-box retailers to numerous online platforms, the options are vast and varied.

Local appliance stores and specialised retailers often provide the benefit of personalised advice and the chance to view units in person.

Meanwhile, online platforms might offer a wider range of options and potentially better deals. It's all about weighing the pros and cons and choosing a route that aligns with your preferences.

And if you're on the hunt for a second hand commercial fridge, SilverChef has got your back!

We offer a fantastic selection of certified used refrigerators that won’t break the bank. Plus, we also have a Rent-Try-Buy option, giving you total control and flexibility over your purchase decision.


Commercial fridge glossary


The heart of the refrigeration system, which actively circulates the refrigerant and maintains the necessary pressure to ensure adequate refrigerant flow, meeting the system's cooling needs.


Condenser Coil

The condenser coil acts as a heat exchanger, efficiently converting refrigerant from a gaseous state to a liquid by expelling its heat.



The evaporator is where the refrigerant gets to work, evaporating and soaking up heat from the glycol as it courses through the system.


Gastronorm (GN) compatible

Gastronorm refers to a standardised system that determines the size of kitchen containers and trays, ensuring they harmonise and work efficiently with various kitchen tools and appliances.



The gasket provides an airtight seal that prevents cold air from leaking out of the door and warm air from seeping in, essential for maintaining temperature consistency and energy efficiency.



Refrigerant, a chemical compound, works to absorb heat from inside the fridge, transport it through the system, and then release it outside.


Low E glass 

Low E Glass, known for its energy-saving properties, minimises the transmission of ultraviolet and infrared light through the glass without limiting light transmission. This helps to keep the heat out of the refrigerator. Commonly utilised in commercial fridges to manage efficiency and energy use.



The thermostat, a device with sensors and relays, oversees and regulates the refrigeration system's operations, ensuring a stable and cool environment within.


Keep your cash. Use ours!

We hope this guide has helped you better understand what you need to look for in a commercial fridge and how to choose the right model for your needs.

If you want to know more, you can always reach out to the SilverChef team.

Hospitality equipment can be expensive, and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.

Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.

Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it gives you unrivalled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.

You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.

If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 50% of the rent you paid in the first year and 25% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.

Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.