Maintaining the refrigerated shelves in your store needs to be a high priority. That’s important for many reasons. First of all, you want to impress your customers with the cleanliness and organization of your products and merchandise. Second, you want to make sure that your sellable inventory stays in good shape while on display. That’s important for both liability reasons from consumers as well as simply not wasting your inventory. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your store’s refrigerated shelves.
Space Things Out
Food items in refrigerated units need space between them so the cold air can actually keep them cool. You should also keep the lowest shelf at least 6 inches off of the floor for sanitary reasons. Another great reason to space things out is to make sure you can keep the sales presentation neat and organized. You’ll also make it easier to stay under the weight limits of each shelf so you don’t compromise the structural integrity of the whole unit.
Know Your Brand
Your store’s refrigerated shelves and cases were likely manufactured by a specific brand name. Find out what that maker is, and then stock up on OEM parts you might need for future upgrades, maintenance, or repairs. For instance, if your store uses Hussmann shelves and cases, then stock up on Hussmann case parts to minimize your downtime when you need to work on your units or have a repair technician do it for you.
Write Out the Maintenance Schedule
Some maintenance tasks might happen weekly, monthly, and quarterly, but others might be happening daily or even by shift. Whether it’s checking the mechanicals or just cleaning the shelves and doors, you need to list out every single task that should happen for the refrigeration unit and its shelves. Print it out, and make sure every task has someone assigned to handle it.
Label Each Shelf
Labels are necessary for the front so customers can see the prices and names of the items. If you can access the shelves from the rear, employees can see what items go where and possibly even the last time the shelves were cleaned or serviced.
One final tip is making sure you know who to call when something breaks or you need maintenance and repairs your own store personnel can’t handle. The longer a refrigeration unit is down, the longer you aren’t making money off of it. Have someone you trust available, and be sure the contact information is posted for everyone to see.