In the demanding world of food service, the importance of reliable refrigeration is crucial. Commercial fridges are important for keeping ingredients fresh and high-quality, which is important for the success of any food business.

This blog post will explore the various models of commercial refrigerators, highlighting their specific uses, key features to look for and valuable tips to help you make an informed decision when buying a fridge.

Types of Commercial Refrigerators

While all fridges share the purpose of cooling and preserving food items, certain models are designed with specific functionalities in mind.

Reach-in refrigerators

A staple in nearly every commercial kitchen, reach-in fridges offer versatility and practicality. These units can accommodate a diverse range of products, from fresh produce to beverages. Known for their convenience, these fridges provide easy access to ingredients, facilitating a smooth kitchen operation.

They come in various sizes, with dimensions tailored to fit different kitchen layouts. Primarily used by kitchen staff, these fridges are not typically used for displaying food items. However, models featuring transparent glass doors are available to easily view items inside.

Our product specialists recommend this 600L fridge with a glass door if you are looking for a large reach-in fridge to easily view products

Counter refrigerators

For kitchens that want to get the most out of their space, counter refrigerators offer a compact solution. These fridges maximise available areas by fitting under counters or preparation tables. Many models also incorporate a robust work surface for food preparation which can enhance kitchen efficiency. These units are ideal for areas requiring quick access to ingredients, such as cooking and prep stations.

Display refrigerators

Display fridges are designed to showcase food products attractively, encouraging customer purchases. These units have glass doors for easy viewing and are placed in customer areas to encourage impulse buying. These display fridges are designed for various retail environments, including convenience stores and supermarkets.

Our product specialists recommend this 235L display fridge if you’re looking for an elegant high-quality fridge to display your products.

Worktop refrigerators

Worktop refrigerators are an essential asset for food preparation areas, merging the functionalities of a preparation space and ingredient storage. Worktop refrigerators are usually placed in the kitchen or near the front counter. They help staff quickly prepare food and serve customers, making the process smooth and efficient. A popular example of these fridges is pizza prep tables .

Bar refrigeration

Bar refrigeration is indispensable for preserving the quality of beverages and maintaining optimal temperatures to retain flavour and quality. Bar refrigerators, such as drink fridges and mini fridges , are used for efficiently storing bottled and canned drinks. Most models feature glass doors that visually display alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

With a drink fridge , customers can easily view the available drinks a business has on offer. It’s also easy for staff to keep track of stock and restocking needs. Compact models can accommodate cans and smaller bottles, while larger ones can hold full-sized bottles like wine.

Refrigerated display cases

Refrigerated display cases are designed to showcase food products, engaging customers and stimulating sales. These units are used in front-of-house settings, including delis, cafes, bakeries and supermarkets. However, these fridges do not offer the same level of preservation as other refrigerator types.

Specific types:

  • Open display cases come in horizontal and vertical formats. They showcase food items while keeping them cold and are often seen in cafes and delis to make the food look appealing. We recommend this open-display fridge for self-service food businesses.
  • Bakery display cases are used for refrigerating and displaying bakery items like cakes and cupcakes. They also called pastry showcases and have a glass front to keep customers from touching the food.
  • Sushi display cases: These display cases are used in restaurants to display sushi and appetizers. Sushi displays are not designed to store food items overnight.

What to consider when selecting a commercial refrigerator

Because there are so many different types of refrigerators, finding the right one can be difficult. Before making a purchase, there are a few factors that you should always consider.


Understanding the capacity of your commercial refrigerator involves examining its dimensions and door configuration. External width estimates placement, but internal capacity shows the true storage potential of the unit. It’s advisable to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for accurate measurements and storage capacities.


Refrigerators are available with various door styles, including full-size, half-size, solid and glass options. When choosing a fridge, think about your kitchen layout, like entrance width and aisles, to make sure it fits well.

Full doors and half doors

The number of doors on a fridge determines its storage capacity and organisation. One, two or three doors can impact how easy it is to locate items inside. The configuration of the doors also affects the amount of food and drinks that can be stored in the fridge.

Full doors facilitate easy loading yet may obstruct workflow in confined spaces. However, half doors reduce cooling loss and offer a practical solution for high-usage scenarios.

Swing doors, when designed as half doors, are divided into dual sections. This unique design minimises wasted space and conserves energy. It achieves this by only opening a small portion of the door at once. This helps to decrease refrigeration loss.

Solid doors and glass doors

Choosing between solid and glass door refrigerators comes down to insulation and visibility. Solid doors have great insulation which saves energy. However, you can't see the contents inside. Glass door refrigerators while offering less insulation, provide the convenience of content visibility, reducing the need for prolonged door openings as staff can easily locate items before opening.

Door handles and locks

When examining door handles, consider their durability and construction. Refrigerators with recessed handles tend to be more robust, integrating seamlessly into the door's structure. Conversely, bar handles, being external additions, are more susceptible to wear and eventual detachment. Adding door locks introduces an additional security layer, safeguarding your refrigerated inventory effectively.

Self-closing doors

Particularly useful in customer-oriented settings, self-closing doors guarantee the refrigerator remains closed after use, conserving energy and preventing temperature loss. This feature is equally beneficial for busy staff members.

Temperature control with digital thermostats

Digital thermostats precisely control your refrigerator's temperature, ensuring items are stored under optimal conditions. Accompanied by digital displays, they allow for continuous monitoring.


Adjustable shelves enhance the organisation within the refrigerator, with varying positions available to accommodate items of different sizes. Whether wire or glass, each type of shelving serves specific purposes, from holding food pans to elegantly displaying merchandise.

Defrosting systems

A consistent cooling system, whether manual or automatic, plays a crucial role in maintaining refrigerator efficiency. It also prevents frost buildup which can impact performance and longevity. Fridges from Maxima use ventilated cooling, which means a fan circulates the air inside the fridge, keeping the contents evenly cooled. 

Maxima fridges also prevent large temperature differences. It quickly reaches the desired temperature and minimises ice formation with a cooling cycle every six hours.

Lighting solutions

Interior lighting, particularly LED, illuminates contents efficiently without the heat production associated with fluorescent lights, contributing to overall energy efficiency. By prioritising these features, you’ll not only ensure seamless operation but also contribute to energy conservation and operational efficiency

Additional tips for choosing the right professional fridge

It’s important to first know what food items you intend to store before selecting the appropriate refrigerator. Additionally, it's important to consider the setting in which the refrigerator will be used. For kitchen environments, options like solid-door reach-in fridges or units with adjustable shelves are a good choice.

Alternatively, for spaces visible to the public, refrigerators with glass doors may offer aesthetic appeal alongside functionality. The volume of food storage required will also influence your choice of refrigerator size. Establishments focusing on fresh produce for salads or sandwiches might find a saladette beneficial. For bars, using drink fridges and display fridges can enhance the customer experience.

If you need assistance in finding your ideal refrigerator, our team can provide you with the assistance needed to find a fridge that meets your specific needs.

Selecting the best commercial refrigerator for your business is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your operations. By considering factors such as size, energy efficiency, temperature control and storage capacity, you can ensure that you choose a refrigerator that meets your specific needs and enhances the efficiency of your business. Remember to also consider your budget and long-term maintenance requirements to make an informed decision that will benefit your business in the long run.

For all your refrigeration needs, explore Maxima’s wide range of refrigeration equipment today!