How do catering fridges and domestic fridges differ?

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to domestic fridges and commercial fridges, as although they look similar, they are extremely different.

If you’re looking to buy a fridge, and are unsure whether to invest in a domestic or commercial one, check out the core differences below before making your purchase.

1. Staying cool under pressure

The primary function of both domestic and commercial fridges is to keep food cool. However, the power of a domestic fridge’s compressor correlates to the handful of times the door is opened over the course of a day. Therefore, its power is rather modest, but it can still cope with any heat accumulation without safety risks to food.

In contrast, a catering fridge, such as those found at, comes with a powerful compressor that can cope with the door being opened frequently. It also efficiently decreases the temperature inside the fridge to accommodate for heat loss. Furthermore, the majority of commercial units have fans that help dispense cool air evenly throughout the inner fridge, so your food stays fresh for longer.

2. Layout and size

Compared to domestic fridges, commercial units have far more space, allowing for the storage of substantial amounts of food. Although domestic fridges do have more drawers and adjustable shelves to compartmentalise your food, they won’t be able to hold vast amounts of food.

3. Maintenance

Both domestic and commercial fridges require maintenance checkups. It is particularly important to maintain commercial fridges, since any faults can lead to food safety risks. If you want to know more about how to maintain a commercial fridge, click here

4. Cost effectiveness

If you’re purchasing a fridge for your business, commercial versions are more cost effective in the long run. The motor and the cabinet of domestic fridges are designed for simple home use. As a result, a domestic fridge would be unable to cope with the pressure found in a commercial environment, posing food safety risks, and having to be replaced often.

5. Exterior aesthetics

Commercial fridges all look similar, with exteriors made of stainless steel. However, domestic equivalents often come in various shapes, sizes and can be made from different materials. So, if you want to avoid pondering on your decision for too long, commercial fridges are the way to go.


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