Stainless Steel vs. Glass Door Freezers: The Right One For Your Kitchen

Does it matter what your refrigerator or freezer looks like? If you are a business or restaurant owner, your refrigerator or freezer is likely working behind the scenes - that is, in a kitchen or back room away from the view of customers. If that is the case, the appearance of your refrigerator or freezer may be less of a concern compared to its function, storage, and cooling abilities. We all know the saying, "it's what's on the inside that counts," but is this true for refrigerators and freezers? Believe it or not, the appearance of these appliances isn't just for looks. 

With so many makes, models, and sizes to choose from, it can be challenging to pick out the refrigerator or freezer style that fits your needs. Both stainless steel and glass doors have their advantages when meeting the needs of the function and placement. 

In this blog post, we will provide you with information on stainless steel vs. glass door refrigerators and freezers to help you choose which options are best for you and your business. 

Cleaning Needs

In the food and beverage industry, we know how important cleanliness is to the success of your business. It is best practice to wipe down and sanitize your cooling units between shifts ( from morning to afternoon and afternoon to evening) while also completing a deep cleaning at least once a week. 

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider:

  • Glassdoor refrigerators and freezers tend to show smudges more easily and require more frequent cleaning. Depending on your business and the frequency that the glass door refrigerator is used, you'll want to consider the ability and need to clean the doors throughout the day. 
  • Believe it or not, there are a variety of different types of stainless steel used in appliances. The difference is in the coating or protective surface. The protective surface is very thin and can be easily damaged if not cared for correctly. Stainless steel doors also require cleaning but do not show smudges as easily. You will want to be sure to properly care for your unit as it is essential to the operation of your business. 

 The stainless steel surface can be damaged by -  

  • Hard water deposits that are left sitting on the surface causing water spots and a break down the protective surface
  • Abrasions from items like steel wool, scrapers, or wire brushes that will leave scratches on the protective layer
  • Chlorides that can be found in industrial cleaners, table salt, and food that will wear down the protective surface over time

Depending on where your appliance is kept (front of the house or back), it is essential to consider these cleanliness factors, keeping in mind who will be seeing the machine and how often you can keep up with the individual cleaning needs. Be sure to research the correct cleaning products and needs for the appliance you choose. 

What You Want Them To See

Along the same lines of cleanliness, it is also essential to consider what you want individuals to see. 

Keeping in mind that your employees will need to see what is held in the back, it might be vital that they can easily keep an inventory of items. If they can see the items they need, individuals can get in and out quicker, causing the door to be open for a shorter time. This will ensure that the temperature of the unit remains consistent. In that case, a glass door might be the best option. 

If your refrigerator or freezer is kept in a place where your customers can see, you need to consider the contents within. If your business deals with medical supplies, a glass door may cause safety and privacy issues related to the medication within. In this case, a stainless steel door may be the best option. It will conceal the items within and maintain privacy. 

A glass door is an excellent option for displaying chilled items available to customers, such as soda, juice, fruit, or sandwiches. On the other hand, a stainless steel door might make more sense for a casual or fast-casual style restaurant with a visible kitchen and individual ingredients stored within the customer's eyesight. 

Overall, it is crucial to take the time to consider the use, placement, items within, and visibility of the unit when making your decision. 

Insulation and Cooling Ability

After considering the visual aspects of the item, you will need to consider its purpose. What are you storing in the refrigerator or freezer? Generally speaking, fresh and raw foods are best kept in a solid door or stainless steel appliance. Some medical supplies can be light-sensitive and will require a stainless steel appliance. However, you should weigh your options and keep in mind that items within are not visible through stainless steel. Even though stainless steel cooling units are considered more energy-efficient, they may cause the door to remain open longer while individuals look for a particular item. As mentioned above, this may cause a change in temperature to the delicate items inside. 

Glassdoor cooling units can be visually appealing to customers and allow people to get their items quickly. However, glass doors units are often double-paned, and gas-filled causing them to work a little harder than a stainless steel unit. In the unfortunate event of a power outage, a glass door unit may warm up more quickly, leading to spoiled food or loss of product. 

Final Considerations

As you prepare to purchase a refrigerator or freezer for your business, consider the information above while answering the following questions. 

  1. How much time do I plan to spend cleaning?
  2. Will the refrigerator or freezer be visible to others?
  3. How often will it be opened, and for how long?

Ultimately, it is vital to make the best decision for you, your business, and your products. 

We are confident that this blog post has helped you weigh the options of stainless steel vs. glass door refrigerators and freezers and has allowed you to make an informed decision.

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