Can You Think Inside the Box?

The first step to ensuring your beverage business has enough kegs, bottles, and cans to get through the busiest of rushes is to consider the layout and composition of your walk-in cooler box, and you should start with one simple rule:

Be careful not to purchase shelving that does not fit your space or buy shelving that won't be able to handle the heavy loads required for kegs and beer service.

This blog will ask and answer questions all foodservice operations should ponder when organizing their walk-ins.

What's your available footprint?

When it comes to the footprint you have, you need to ensure that the cooler shelving you select will fit within the allocated space. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches of space between each shelf and the top and bottom of the walk-in. If you are using a sliding door cooler, ensure the shelving you select can be easily accessed from inside and outside the unit.

What are your storage needs? Kegs or cases?

Next, consider what will be stored in the cooler and the total amount. This will help you determine the correct type of shelving and spacing for your cooler (i.e., 2 "x2", 4' wire, etc.) 

If you plan to store kegs in your walk-in, consider installing a set of shelving customized to handle heavy loads and extra weight. These shelves will allow you to quickly secure keg couplers tightly. This will also ensure nothing is rolling around on the bottom of your unit, causing damage or breakage.

On the other hand, if your beverage operation needs bottle storage, ensure you have shelves supporting at least 20 lbs per linear foot. Alternatively, go for durable materials like stainless steel that can support heavy loads while preventing bowing and sagging.

How much beer are you going to serve each week? How many beers will be on tap? 

When looking to install walk-in storage for kegs, cases, or cans, ensure you do some math about the beer you plan to sell. Beer math is the art of knowing how much beer your bar or restaurant can serve each week. Your walk-in storage should be capable of housing all the beers you are planning to sell on a given day. 

If you have 10 beers on tap at any time, ensure the cooling unit is large enough to handle this volume plus anywhere from 15%-25% extra stock for turnover and special orders. Additionally, ensure you have enough space for your delivery, receiving, and storage of empty kegs as well as a designated recycling area. 

A walk-in cooler can also be used to house all of your beverage needs if appropriately designed and with the right amount of product. Keep in mind beer is heavy. As such, ensure the shelves you've selected are up to the task of handling regular deliveries of beer weekly. 

Unsteady shelving might bow out due to the excess weight, causing damage to your walk-in and attracting hefty costs for repairs or new fittings. A good rule of thumb when purchasing wire shelving for your beverage cooler is to ensure each shelf can support at least 250 lbs per shelf with a maximum load of 500 lbs.

How many cases of drinks do you plan to store?

Considering the number of drinks cases you intend to store can help you decide on the type of shelving to select. Most cases of canned or bottled drinks weigh 20-30 lbs, so shelves that can handle this weight capacity without bending or breaking are ideal. 

If you have several cases to store, purchasing an adjustable wire shelving system will give you the flexibility to change the height of the shelves to accommodate taller or shorter items.

Cooler Concepts is the best choice when it comes to the reliable manufacturer of keg storage units for walk-in coolers. We design and fabricate walk-in cooler storage options that suit our clients' beverage needs. Our workmanship is backed with a lifetime warranty, and our products are made in the USA. Contact us today for a partnership that will increase the efficiency and profitability of your business.

Ready to see how your shelving doesn't need to be stuck at sea? Click below to find in-stock walk-in cooler shelving!

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