Bars and restaurants would be lost without a ready supply of chilled drinks, and bottle coolers are of course a crucial part of this. So for dealers considering specifying this refrigeration equipment, what are the latest developments they should be looking out for?
According to Maidaid Halcyon’s sales director Julian Lambert: “It is essential for dealers to take into account several installation requirements. Pubs and bars can quite often have limited space available; Maidaid Halcyon’s HBS range offers both a single and double door option, with the HBS900 (double door) available with either a hinged or sliding door. The sliding door eliminates the obstruction to working space for the users.
“When calculating the space available it is crucial that there is sufficient room for ventilation. This will allow the air to circulate freely and help keep the bottle cooler at its optimum operating temperature. We recommend allowing a 30mm gap at the sides, top and rear. To achieve and maintain a high standard, our bottle coolers use high quality circulations fans and a high efficiency compressor.”
He added: “Capacity is another key factor to consider. Our bottle coolers capacity is based on 330ml bottles, the HBS600 (single door) allows space for 104 bottles whilst our HBS900 offers a capacity of 169.”
At supplier, Pentland Wholesale, operations director Dean Simpson commented on bottle cooler trends: “The latest innovations generally relate to energy efficiency, using hydrocarbon refrigerants and LED lights.
“Over the years most cabinets have evolved to the same dimensions that fit neatly under most standard bars, however the choice of sliding or hinged doors and a choice of finishes is important. Clearly a stainless steel finish will have significantly different impact on the aesthetics of a bar than a black unit. Blizzard offers a full range of single, double and triple door options in both finishes.”
He emphasised: “Dealers need to be sure they are buying a product that offers the warranty their customers require and will be supported when the warranty period expires. Selling an item to your customer only to find you cannot buy spares due to being obsolete is frustrating for all concerned; spares are available via Pentland Parts for all Blizzard products long after the warranty expires.”
Elsewhere, Project Distribution (Prodis) is keeping abreast of bottle cooler demands from distributors with its recent launch, the NT1BHSP left-hand hinged single door undercounter bottle cooler. National accounts manager Darren Mairs said: “This small change has the potential to make a huge difference in terms of bar design allowing a single door unit to be placed on the far left-hand side of a run of bottle coolers, improving workflow dynamics and creating a safer working environment by not blocking access to the bar.”
For trends, he noted: “A bottle cooler is a sales tool. When a customer is waiting at a bar, the cooler and products need to stand out, that is why as standard all our NT series bottle coolers are fitted with pure white LED lighting. There is also a trend towards upright bottle coolers for new venues which allow for product placement at ‘buy level’ and lets the customer see which drinks are on offer without standing at the bar.”
For Glen Dimplex brand, Lec Commercial, head of UK sales and marketing Jon Usher believes: “The latest trends include units with front opening doors, those with sliding doors, or even those with a top loading design, ideal for busy bars with limited space.”