Chill out with the right equipment

- Last updated on GMT

One of the more practical aspects of putting together an efficient bar area is making sure all the equipment works. With people these days expecting...

One of the more practical aspects of putting together an efficient bar area is making sure all the equipment works. With people these days expecting their bottled drinks to be properly chilled, one of the most important things is your fridges.

"The critical thing is performance," said Malcolm Harling, UK sales director for manufacturer Williams. "You can buy inexpensive bottle coolers, but you get what you pay for.

"We have done a lot of tests on the speed bottles take to chill down and if you want to serve your customers cold beer in the summer, you simply won't achieve it unless you have the right equipment. A domestic style fridge will struggle, for instance."

One of the main differences between fridges is the kind of insulation they use. While some still use polystyrene more advanced models use ODP polyeurethene foam which has a superior performance as well as being environmentally friendly.

Malcolm also advises licensees to check the operating temperature before they buy - it should be between four and six degrees celsius.

You can also help by storing the bottles in the cellar or a cold room so they haven't got so far to chill down.

Good stock rotation is essential. Once you have decided on equipment that is going to perform, you can think about looks.

Malcolm has seen a big shift away from black and brown finishes to stainless steel. "Nearly all the fridges we sell now are stainless steel. They are brighter and display bottles better."

Licensees are also taking advantage of lease deals so they can afford better quality chillers. "Leasing will account for 20 per cent of our sales this year and it is a significant move," said Malcolm.

"Publicans experience pressure on their finances and leasing doesn't tie up their capital."

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