Everyone likes to indulge in a pastry or cake occasionally and this desire means big business for cafes, bakeries and shops that offer fresh treats daily. To guarantee that you are able to maximise your profits and keep customers coming back for more it is vital to invest in a quality patisserie display that is able to perform to the highest standards.
Understanding how to go about deciding on the best refrigerated cake display cabinet for your business and which features are relevant to performance can be confusing if you are new to the patisserie game. This is why we have put together a helpful buying guide to explain key areas to consider and point you in the right direction.
Table of Contents
What are Patisserie Displays Used For?
What Size Cake Display Do I Need?
Choose your Design and Layout
Choose your Finish
Additional Features to Look Out For
Make Sure the Price is Right
Patisserie displays (or cake displays) are generally used for any form of cakes or pastries, providing not only an attractive display of what is on offer but also preserves freshness ready for service. Operating at slightly higher temperatures than other display refrigeration counters, patisserie counters are capable of maintaining pastries, sponges, meringues and chocolates without any compromise to the quality, taste and appearance.
Cake displays are available in a full range of sizes – the larger the external dimensions the greater capacity. Quite simply, the more cakes you want to showcase, the larger the cabinet you'll need.
It's not just about internal capacity though. Be sure to accurately measure the space you have available to ensure that the unit you purchase is suitable. Remember that all refrigeration needs to breath to perform to optimum levels. This requires a good airflow circulating around equipment.
Additionally it is vital to consider the access point at which the equipment will be brought through. Is the opening large enough to bring the display into the premises and situate without obstruction? Should you discover once you have receipt of the item that it does not fit you will incur additional costs in returning the product.
Your display needs to be as attractive as possible and yet still remain in keeping with existing décor. Luckily there is a wide range of styles and designs to choose from when looking for the perfect patisserie unit. Whether looking for clean, straight edges or flowing curves, there's plenty to choose from.
It is essential to purchase a model that complements your individual service style and the surrounding environment. With free-standing counters and counter top cabinets available, all business sizes and models are catered for. Popular designs include tall upright cabinets, slim line models and corner units guaranteeing there is something for everyone.
With ambient and refrigerated units available the perfect temperature can be achieved to ensure that your products remain in top condition. The types of produce you store will dictate the unit you require, for example, if chocolate is stored in low temperatures it may discolour resulting in a product that just looks ‘off’. For businesses that require a combination of storage environments there are displays which are chilled but also house ambient shelving suitable for multi-purpose use.
Each unit will feature a number of shelves on which to attractively display your cakes and pastries. This can increase capacity and allow clear organisation of what you have to offer. While some counters feature static shelves, there are rotating variations available to really showcase your baked goods and create a truly eye-catching display.
Your pastry cabinet or patisserie display should complement the surroundings and remain in keeping with existing décor. With multiple colours to choose from, there is something for all designs and layouts. Including wood effect, stainless steel, black, silver or gold plus many other colours and finishes, finding the right cake cabinet is easy.
Having been through the above points you should have a good base knowledge of the product you want and the main design points that work for you. Once this has been ascertained it's time to search a little deeper and address other features that will guarantee that your display performs exactly as you need it to.
- Fan assisted cooling; this can create even temperatures and increased consistency of environment resulting in no more hot spots.
- Ease of use; work out how you want the equipment to work for you. Rear access units are perfect for easy loading and retrieval of items for staff during serving whilst rotating or front hinged door designs work well for self service businesses.
- Pull out beds; especially useful for loading cakes and pastries etc. and cleaning the cabinet ensuring consistently good levels of hygiene. Not all units will feature pull out beds so if this is a necessity be sure to fully evaluate specifications.
- Illumination; many units will feature internal lighting in order to create a more appealing setting. Attracting customers and showcasing your delicious produce will inevitably see your profits soar.
- Under storage; some models feature additional under storage supplying extra space to house essentials. This storage may be refrigerated or ambient so also be sure to read all specifications carefully.
- Manufacturer; with many big name manufacturers lending their expertise to the choice of patisserie displays you will have plenty of choice. Whether you are replacing ‘like for like’ equipment or simply have a preferred brand there is a full range to browse through. If this is the first display you are purchasing always research potential manufacturers to discover what they can offer. Sometimes, although the price may be higher, the benefits of efficiency and longevity are worth the extra spending.
- Humidity controls; humidity can have a detrimental effect on delicate cakes and pastries, similarly an environment that is too dry can also have a negative impact on the end result. Some units feature humidity controls which allow the user to set the perfect conditions ensuring optimum freshness.
- Misting and fogging; this can be an issue when moisture levels are high. Not only do these natural occurrences reduce visibility but also look unprofessional. Certain displays feature a small glass section at the front of the viewing area to reduce any potential misting or fogging, alternatively turning the temperature up a little may also counteract the problem.
Although this is the first thought for many buyers, it shouldn’t be used as the sole deciding factor. It is important to purchase a unit that can cater for all requirements, scrimping on cost can result in a poor performance, short lifespan and increased running costs that will lose you money in the future. If you find that your budget just won't stretch to fund your perfect equipment, leasing is available on all orders of £1000 plus VAT allowing you to enjoy the best equipment for your business whilst spreading the cost.
The pressure of choosing the perfect piece of equipment first time can be great however if you have any doubts always seek a second opinion. If you know others in the same industry ask which unit they would recommend and why. Remember that their suggestions will be based on their own unique and individual requirements and so may not be right for your business. Alternatively contact the Fridge Freezer Direct sales team. Able to offer totally unbiased advice, we are able to listen to each individual requirement and tailor suggestions that meet your needs.