He cautioned distributors: “Dealers need to be aware of how the bottle cooler will work as part of the whole back bar, once it is installed and in use. For example, busy weekend services don’t need to be made any busier with constant trips to stock up the fridges, and the E3 bottle cooler has the largest bottle capacity on the market.”
According to IMC commercial manager Gary Barnabas: “There is a distinct move away from the ‘painted box’ when it comes to the exterior design of bottle coolers. The more that the interior designer pushes the décor and accompanying front of house design, the more that the boundaries are being pushed with bottle cooler design in order to either complement or contrast the environment.”
However, he acknowledged: “On the face of it actual bottle cooler design has changed very little over the past few years. The evaporator and compressor designs have undoubtedly become more energy efficient but it comes down to supplying a product that can offer the service the end user needs.”
In terms of dealer considerations, he believes they have to be very wary of aftermarket support. “IMC offers at least a 2 year parts and labour warranty and backs this up with a country wide service team to ensure that its bottle coolers are always performing at their optimum and with minimal downtime,” he detailed.
At Iglu Cold Systems, it recently introduced the front of house Mirabilia System line, which owner and CEO Giacomo Ruzza feels reflects the trend for ultra-clear glass refrigerators and different materials and finishing. He added: “A strong technical trend is the wider use of connectivity and operational software: projects require new technologies such as custom made thermo-controllers, coupled to the local systems via internet, wi-fi or special bespoke systems to manage bottles’ inventory.”
He warned: “Dealers and consultants should choose bottle coolers with refrigerating group placed on the side (and not on the back): this solution allows the compressors to ‘breathe’ better than those who are stuck against the back wall, even when you allow the gap in the back recommended by manufacturers, because inevitably the working top closes completely the airflow. Also, if compressors are located at the back, their condensers are virtually impossible to clean: dirty condensers and little breathing space lead to a much shorter life for compressors.”
Elsewhere, Precision Refrigeration MD Nick Williams revealed how he believes the manufacturer is ahead of the technology game: “We’ve been using ‘wire on tube’ condensers on our bottle coolers for a couple of years now. These condensers are virtually maintenance free as it’s far harder for them to become blocked with dust like conventional condensers. This is especially important with bottle coolers as they are mostly built-in so access to clean condensers is often difficult.
He advised distributors: “Choose stainless steel interiors and exteriors as they will last longer than aluminium. Models that use recognised branded components (controllers, compressors and fans) rather than cheaper counterparts will also have a longer service life. Look for a reputable UK manufacturer who will have spare parts in stock. Don’t get caught waiting for components from the other side of the world or from a company that has gone out of business.”
Over at Uropa Distribution (formerly RB Distributors), it believes it has bottle coolers to suit all levels of requirement. Steve Harris, Polar brand manager, commented: “Our Polar range of back bar refrigeration units and bottle coolers are particularly popular and our range is so extensive as we recognise that for most establishments space optimisation is key. Bottle coolers should also be practical and include features that allow staff to serve customers both quickly and efficiently.
“The latest addition to our range of bottle coolers is the new Polar Undercounter Wine Cooler with Stainless Steel Door (CM359), which allows establishments to easily ensure they are serving wine at the perfect temperature every time.”