Saturday, 30 March 2013

Commercial Freezers – 6 Signs You May Need to Upgrade

Commercial freezers and commercial refrigerators are the backbone of any food manufacturing catering company or food retailer. At Porkka we make and sell a variety of high grade, quality refrigeration products fit for a wide range of environments where food and drinks are either made or sold by hotels, supermarkets, corner shops, restaurants and food manufactures. In this blog we look at 6 telltale signs that your commercial freezer provision may not be quite up to the job and how this may be having a detrimental impact on your business.

1. Customers Can't Access Product Quickly

If your business is dependent on the sale of refrigerated foods or even has a refrigerated concession as part of your overall retail offering, then you may be losing revenue if your customers are unable to see or reach your range of produce easily. If freezers or refrigerators are poorly stacked with items fighting for space then it can put customers off making a purchase.

Items that are stored in commercial freezers or refrigerators with solid doors make it more difficult for customers to see your product range and fails to encourage them to select and buy.

Most customers rarely want to guess what is behind a door -they are more likely to buy food and drink that is attractively displayed and where brand, price and best before dates are clearly visible.  This can only be achieved if you have the correct commercial freezer or refrigeration units on the shop floor. Glass door and open fronted freezer and refrigerator units give you the opportunity to maximise storage and display produce along with strong point of sale messaging; making it all far more appealing for customers to buy.

The Porkka Display Line range is comprehensive enough in style and design to suit all sorts of food and drink produce and fit for use in almost all retail situations no matter how big or small. Glass fronted or open fronted commercial freezers and refrigerators that are well lit  generate a far greater number of sales which minimises the risk of products going out of date and being wasted.

2. Current Freezer is Regularly Overfilled

Freezers that are often overfilled can cause problems with temperature evenness which can lead to problems with food quality and even, in extreme cases, potential food poisoning. Overfilled freezers also make stored produce harder to reach, especially those items stuffed towards the back.  Food that is poorly stored may be in breach of health and safety regulations and it is more likely to be left to go out of date and increase wastage which puts pressure on your operating costs.   If this sounds familiar it is a sure sign that you need to increase your freezer or refrigeration space.  

3. You Run Out of Frozen Stock Too Quickly
This can happen if customer demand has grown but your order levels are the same, simply because you can only take delivery of and freeze or chill a certain amount of stock at a time. This is a definitive sign that you need increased freezer space to reflect your actual demand. A freezer isn't just for long term storage space, but is also for storing produce that will be used within a day or two of purchase; this is especially likely for a restaurant or takeaway which cooks from frozen.  By not upgrading to a larger freezer you could be limiting the turnover of your business.

4. You Need More Freezer Space but Can't Spare Any More Floor Space

In tough economic times, all businesses are looking for ways to increase their customer base and find new streams of income. Previously "static" food businesses like restaurants which were operating out of specific premises often expand their business by diversifying into outside catering services to cover functions, weddings and festivals.  This drastically changes your refrigeration and freezing requirements. The Cold Line cabinets known also as the Arctic Counters are the most versatile in the Porkka range as they are designed to enable you to chill or freeze, prepare and then display food. These commercial freezer and refrigeration units are also extremely mobile as they come with castor feet and come in a variety of heights and with a worktop height of 900mm in order to easily prepare food on site. All of these features make outside catering and business expansion far more possible. 

5. You're Actively Exploring New Ways to Expand Your Business

If you are a business which is expanding its throughput but isn't in a position to move to bigger premises then you may need to change your commercial freezer and refrigeration set up. This can be done with the use of upright cabinet freezers which make better use of your available floor space.  Our Future Plus cabinets are perfect for all food related businesses and are designed for heavy duty usage and maximising space.

6. You're Looking for Stricter Ways to Ensure Food Hygiene

Food Hygiene Ratings are now being displayed publicly on business premises and published on the Food Standards Agency website. This is making the food industry at large take a harder look at its food hygiene practices. Food manufacturers, hotels and restaurants are not just looking at their everyday hygiene practices, but at inventive ways of being able to demonstrate and report on their practices. This is of particular use when being inspected by the Food Standard Agency Hygiene Inspectors who are looking for detailed data which can be time consuming to produce if done manually. All commercial freezers and refrigerators must be maintained in accordance with the European HACCP food safety regulations. This involves regular checking and recording of refrigerator and freezer temperatures to ensure any fluctuations are not detrimental to the foodstuffs stored.

Manual monitoring is not always as safe or as thorough as automated real time monitoring like Porkka's XWEB system, which not only provides comprehensive reports but also has the capability of reacting to climate changes within the commercial freezer or refrigerator as soon as they are detected. The system is so effective that it can then automatically adjust the temperature and bring it back in line - and if this is not sufficient then XWEB sends further alarms or alerts to staff advising them to take further action.

This real time monitoring and reporting facility goes a long way in helping you maintain strict hygiene measures and reduce operational costs and energy consumption.  XWEB is also able to tell you how often the doors are opened and indicate particularly busy periods of the day. Fridges and freezers made by Porkka with automatic HACCP monitoring and recording are an easy way to demonstrate how safely you store you produce and products and will help you maintain your food hygiene ratings.

Commercial Freezers – Click here to view our  range of freezers

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Growing a Business with Refrigerated Display Units

Running a food or convenience store business from small premises may at first appear to limit the income that can be generated from that business. However even the smallest space can be transformed and revenue increased, with the right use of refrigerated display units.

Refrigerated display units provide the safe and hygienic storage of fresh food and drinks for customer selection in a retail environment. They come in a range of types to suit different businesses  and are designed to maintain product at a consistent temperature so food and drink is kept in optimum condition,  making it attractive to the consumer, tempting them to buy, and generating more money for a small business.

This article will focus on the use of refrigerated display units in small shop premises to expand the range and the quality of what they can offer.

We will present two possible scenarios in which the right choice of refrigerated display units can lead to business expansion and improved returns, particularly for a small premises business. Each scenario will focus on the use of a particular type of Porkka display unit and show how it can be appropriate to the setting and what products can be sold using it.

From Newsagent to Convenience Store

If space is tight in your premises then refrigerated display units take up little space along a wall and allow the sale of a variety of chilled foods. In newsagents this could mean expansion into a variety of chilled drinks, snacks and sandwiches, as well as the ability to chill chocolate items in the summer.

Taking it one step further and using chilled display units to hold items such as milk, yogurt, cheese and prepacked meats immediately transforms the business into a convenience store, attracting a far wider range of customers. If space allows then additional units could also house ready meals, pizzas and deli items.

 Alternatively, a  chilled display unit can be used to stock chilled beer and wine, offering added value compared to unchilled supermarket products.

Wherever footfall is high but floor space is limited refrigerated display units offer the opportunity to maximise business. The ability to be able to move and tilt the shelving units gives you the flexibility to show products to their best advantage. It’s also best if the unit has an open front so a variety of products can be displayed. An open fronted display unit also means the customer can choose the item they want easily and the unit is quick to clean and keep hygienic. Units may need to be moved around the premises for cleaning, maintenance, or for a shop move so castors are a good additional feature along with lighting in the top or sides of the unit to highlight the products on offer. To keep food and drink chilled overnight a night cover is essential so that a constant temperature can be maintained but running costs for the business are kept down.

The Porkka Grandioso chilled display cabinets are ideal for this small retail environment. Grandioso units chill the items on display by forcing cold air onto each shelf. This gives consistency of temperature in the whole unit  keeping waste to a minimum  and giving perishable foodstuffs a longer shelf life.

The Grandioso chilled display cabinets come in a standard 900mm width, a choice of 2 heights (1430mm and 1690mm) and a depth of just 742mm, making it a very feasible option for a small space.

From Bakery to Takeaway

In a business where food is your primary concern then a different type of refrigerated display unit may serve your purposes better. In bakeries, take-away outlets and sandwich shops multi-shelf units allow readymade sandwiches, baps, rolls, wraps and other baked goods to be displayed and for customers to help themselves. As well as the increased appeal to a wider range of customers, selling prepared food carries a higher premium and profit margin than unmade rolls or bread.

Of course, with any perishable food item freshness of the product is extremely important. A refrigerated unit that uses a method of distributing the chilled air evenly is required so that baked goods, sandwiches and bread do not dry out whilst being stored. Increasing the shelf life of products increases revenue and cuts down on wastage.

 Allowing customers to help themselves to the food on display also helps to keep staff costs down. A self service style refrigerated display unit is best for this and if your bakery or takeaway offers a seated area you would need a rail at the front of the unit where customers can rest a tray whilst choosing their food and drink.

Porkka’s Service Line Showcase cabinets come in 2 widths (600mm or 1500mm) and can be connected together if you wish to have several display units in your premises.

These units have an open front for easy selection and at the back of the unit are sliding glass doors so staff can access the unit to re-stock. The internal shelves are refrigerated and will hold a variety of take-away items in addition to baked goods, such as fruit, yogurts, drinks, salads and savouries. Shelves are lit which adds to the presentation of the items on offer. Non-chilled items, such as crisps, biscuits and crackers can be displayed on top of the unit.

For additional storage chilled cabinets underneath the main display cases will hold extra stock at the correct temperature ready for stock replenishment.

Both Porkka’s Grandioso and Service Line Showcase refrigerated display units are easy to use, maintain and keep clean and all Porkka’s products meet European hygiene standards for the storage of chilled items. These units are also hard wearing and long lasting, making them an ideal investment for any small food or retail outlet.

Refrigerated Display Units  – click here for more information on our range of products