Display coolers are a great way for bars, restaurants, sports clubs, gas stations, supermarkets, convenience stores and other merchandisers to keep beverages cool while displaying them at the same time. These display coolers are vertical storage refrigeration units which increase product visibility. By increasing visibility, these coolers can encourage impulse buys, adding significantly to sales.
Display coolers can be large and designed to stand on floors, but countertop coolers are the most popular. They come in a variety of sizes. You will find a cooler that can hold 50 to 100 beverage cans will usually cost between $150 and $250. Depending on the countertop space that you have, you can choose from a variety of styles and capacities for your needs. Here is a look at what you can expect from the typical display cooler.
Interiors & Exteriors
Most display coolers are designed to be space efficient, so you can fit the maximum number of beer cans, soda cans, and liquor bottles in the available space. They may have sliding glass doors or swing doors. The glass used on the facade is typically thermal glass, to keep the interiors chilled and energy efficient. If the door is a swing door, it is recommended that you look for a self-closing design, so that the unit will always be properly insulated.
Shelves may be wire mesh coated with epoxy or plastic, which helps to keep the interiors clean. The best coolers may use metal sheets with UV protection for the exterior and interiors. Depending on whether you will be placing the shelves in an indoor or semi-outdoor area, you may want to ensure that the cooler you’re considering has protection against the elements. Check manufacturers’ statements for a sign that the unit has been tested for outdoor conditions or higher ambient conditions.
The kind of illumination found in display coolers is also important to consider. Many modern coolers use LED lighting, which can help save energy bills. Rear illumination is a useful feature that makes the cooler an attractive addition to a store’s interiors. LED backlit coolers can be a sophisticated addition to your store furniture.
Temperature Control & Cooling System
You want to look for a cooler that lets you control the temperature for ideal settings to keep chilled beer or soda. Many coolers come with touch controls. The ideal temperature for beer and chilled soda is between 38 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cooling mechanism is another feature that you should carefully consider before you make a purchase. The best coolers have a system to uniformly cool the interiors. These coolers may use a mechanism to force air circulation throughout the interiors, so that all beer and soda cans are cooled at the same rate and to the same temperatures. The last thing you want is to have a customer find the cans in the front are warmer than the ones at the back.
You will also want a system that has a quick refrigeration process, so that beverage temperatures are quickly pulled down. With quick sales of beer and soda from the display cooler, you can replace empty spaces with new cans and expect them to cool quickly for the next customers.
Also test the unit for any noise during operation. You want to find a unit that cools noiselessly, so that the ambiance is not disturbed by unpleasant sounds from the compressor. Many commercial units in the market claim to make no more than whisper-soft levels of noise while running.
If you are a green business or aim to be environmentally conscious, it is always a good idea to look for energy efficiency and eco-friendly refrigerants. There are many cooler manufacturers who claim to use environmentally friendly refrigerants. But when making a choice, it is best to go with the cooler that uses a natural refrigerant. Make sure that you comply with local council orders for any prohibition on the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants or HFC gases. R22 or R12, for instance, are ozone-depleting, while R134a is ozone-friendly. CO2 and HC are natural refrigerants to consider.
There are plenty of display coolers in the market today, available in several styles, prices and capacities. They are a great addition to increase sales, while offering customers refreshing beverages. Going forward, we will review some of these coolers and help you make the best purchase for your restaurant, bar or store.
Our top recommendation when looking for a display cooler is the Danby 120:
Or read our extensive review here, where it’s currently our number 1 ranked beverage cooler.