Food storage and display

Related tags Stainless steel

Given the importance that food now has in most pub businesses, it is understandable that, as with bottle coolers, design considerations as well as...

Given the importance that food now has in most pub businesses, it is understandable that, as with bottle coolers, design considerations as well as functional issues have to be taken into account.

Foster Refrigerator recently launched its Premier range at the Design Museum where the sleek new-look was formally unveiled by museum trustee Sebastian Conran.

"Due to the growth of front-of-house kitchens, manufacturers need to design their products to be as attractive as they are functional," he said. "However, kitchen equipment should not be bold and dominate its surroundings."

The new Premier cabinet is simple yet stylish and has been designed with the minimum number of components for a very modern look. The range is made up of 54 models and 20 separate build options, including display features such as glass, half and pass-through doors.

With the demands of front-of-house kitchens in mind, it has smooth, clean curves and a radius door design which has evolved from previous Foster models. No external screws or fixings are visible and the range has an all-metal stainless steel finish.

"Food display technology has advanced radically over recent years," commented Ian Bell, head of design at catering and refrigeration specialists RSS of Hereford. "Display cabinets can perform many functions other than simply holding food in regulated conditions.

"Firstly, the overall design can make a statement about your style of establishment and is an integral part of the interior design, with any colour, finish and shape readily available.

"Secondly, the display area can be maximised by specialist designs. Thirdly, as well as holding food at the right temperature, a good quality cabinet will help maintain the quality of the food and prevent contamination."

A tailor-made counter system designed to meet the exact requirements of an individual pub or bar has traditionally been beyond virtually every licensee's budget. However, RSS now works exclusively with Italian manufacturer Orion Bocchini.

"When we started using the expertise acquired by manufacturers on the continent, where hot summers and strong design dominate, a whole new world of options open up," said Ian. "Orion Bocchini manufactures hundreds of modular units across many styles and finishes, allowing for a highly personalised configuration to be made up at far less cost than a custom-made counter system."

The latest additions to the RSS Koreia range also uses the modular approach using a "wide screen" curved glass front.

"Bottle coolers also have to operate effectively, even when faced with rapid stock turnaround, as doors are continually opened and closed, and bottles taken out and replaced. They also should be robust enough to survive a punishing level of wear and tear."

Naturally, Nicola is keen to point out that the latest models from Williams Refrigeration "have been designed with these testing demands in mind, combining practical concerns, with all important, aesthetic appeal."

Williams offers a single and double-door version of its standard model bottle-cooler, both of which feature large areas of clear glass that allow the bottles inside to grab the attention of customers at the bar. Either can be supplied in a clean stainless steel or hardwearing black PVC-coated steel construction to complement other aspects of backbar décor.

"They can be fitted under a backbar worktop, but the advantage of stainless steel is that is can be used as a work surface in itself, for example for chopping fruit," said Nicola. "There is an ever-increasing focus on design, which is why we are introducing a new, stylish door design featuring sleek curved handles in a bronze brushed finish."

Also with design needs in mind, Williams has created a remote system, the Cameo, which can be linked to a secondary refrigeration system which enables the units to be "banked" to create a seamless display of bottles that extends the entire length of the backbar if required.

This system uses an externally located chiller which can be fitted in a basement or yard, for example, to pump the food-safe refrigerant Glycol around a closed loop ring main connecting a number of independently controlled backbar display cabinets. A single system can also be connected to fridges in the kitchen, if required.

The advantages of opting for Glycol include increased operational efficiency, which saves energy, as well as the ability to maintain temperature. "In situations where the doors are being frequently opened and closed the temperature won't fluctuate," said Nicola.

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