Choosing the Right Open Case Coolers for Your Deli can be a tricky decision

Choosing the Right Open Case Coolers for Your Deli: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by | 22-04-2024

In 2023, the global refrigerated display cases market was valued at USD 8.65 billion. Experts predict that by 2033, this market will expand to USD 14.23 billion, as reported by Spherical Insights & Consulting. This growth highlights the increasing demand for effective display solutions across the food retail sector.

For any deli owner, the way you present your products can be just as crucial as their quality. The right display enhances the visual appeal of your goods and significantly influences consumer behavior and sales. This guide will walk you through selecting the perfect display case for your deli, focusing particularly on the advantages and considerations of open-case coolers.

An open case cooler in a deli

What Is a Deli Case?

A deli case is essential for keeping cold foods like meats, cheeses, and prepared salads at safe temperatures. It's also used in convenience stores to showcase a variety of items, including bottled drinks, sushi, yogurt parfaits, ready-made salads, wraps, sandwiches, and quick snacks.

Deli display cases are not just functional equipment for preserving and showcasing food products. They are also a strategic store design element influencing customer experience and sales. Understanding the different types of deli cases available can help you make the right choice to suit your business needs.

1. Full-Service Deli Cases

These cases are accessible only from the back and designed for situations where staff interaction is necessary. Employees serve customers directly, maintaining a level of personalized service. Full-service cases are excellent for delis that offer gourmet meats, specialty cheeses, or other products that might need explanation or specific handling.

2. Open-Air Self-Service Deli Cases

Perfect for high-traffic areas, these cases allow customers to quickly grab pre-packaged items such as sandwiches, salads, or bakery goods. The open-air design facilitates easy access, speeding up the selection process and reducing queues. This type is especially beneficial in convenience stores or busy supermarket aisles.

3. Self-Service Deli Cases with Lift-Up Glass

These display cases feature a front glass panel that customers can lift, allowing them to view and pick products without any barriers. This option combines the visibility of traditional display cases with the convenience of self-service. This is ideal for ready-to-eat items like sushi or specialty desserts requiring a closer look.

4. Open Case Coolers

Often found near store entrances, open-case coolers are designed without doors, offering easy access for a quick grab-and-go experience. These coolers can be outfitted with shelving or hooks, making them versatile for displaying a variety of products, from bottled beverages to hanging sausages or cheese wedges.

5. Service Cases

Service cases are typically more structured and are used for items needing more careful handling or temperature control. They can have different styles of front glass (straight or curved) and include additional features like scale stands or paper cutters. Service cases are ideal for butcher shops or cheese stores where precise cuts and weights are important.

A food store displaying items in an open case cooler

Choosing the Right Open Case Coolers for Your Deli

When setting up or refreshing your deli, selecting the perfect open-case cooler is crucial for both the appearance and functionality of your business. 


The size of your cooler should match the space available and the volume of products you plan to display. A larger cooler can showcase more items but shouldn't overwhelm the space or impede customer flow.

Consider future growth as well. If you expect your product range to expand, opt for a slightly larger size to accommodate more items without needing a replacement soon.


Adjustable shelving offers flexibility for different types of products, from tall beverage bottles to flat cheese trays. Look for shelving that is easy to clean and rearrange as your product lineup changes.

Also, ensure the shelving is sturdy enough to hold heavier items without sagging. Well-designed shelving can significantly enhance product visibility and accessibility.


The style of your cooler should complement the overall aesthetic of your deli. Sleek, modern designs work well in contemporary spaces, while more traditional designs may suit a classic store layout.

Choose a style that fits your deli’s theme and appeals to your target customer demographic. A stylish cooler can be a focal point in your deli, attracting more customers.


Good lighting is key to making your products look appealing. LED lighting is a popular choice because it's energy-efficient and enhances the colors of the food, making everything look fresher and more enticing.

Make sure the lighting is evenly distributed throughout the cooler to avoid shadows or overly bright spots, which can distort the products' appearance.

End Panels

End panels can either be solid or glass. Glass end panels increase the visibility of your products from different angles, enhancing the open feel of your cooler and inviting customers to view more products.

Solid end panels might be necessary if you need to place your cooler against a wall or want to hide unsightly equipment. Choose what best fits your deli's layout and aesthetic needs.


The cooler's color should match the deli's color scheme. Neutral colors like black, white, or stainless steel are versatile and fit seamlessly into most décor styles.

However, for delis with a unique color theme, matching or complementary cooler colors can make a design statement and strengthen your brand identity.


The glass in your cooler does more than just show off your products; it also helps maintain temperature consistency and reduces energy consumption. Look for high-quality, double-glazed glass to ensure better insulation.

Additionally, consider anti-fog glass to keep the cooler clear and condensation-free. This helps maintain an unobstructed view of your products, no matter the weather or humidity levels.

Making the Choice: Factors to Influence Your Decision

Understanding your customers' preferences and shopping habits can significantly influence your display case choice. An open self-service case might be best if your customers value convenience. However, a service case might be more appropriate if your deli specializes in high-end products that require specific handling or customer interaction. Consider how each type of case will impact the visibility and accessibility of your products.

Choosing the Right Open Case Coolers for Your Deli can be a tricky decision

How Can Ancaster Food Equipment Help?

Ancaster Food Equipment has been a leader in the refurbished refrigeration market across the US and Canada for over 30 years. With decades of experience, we specialize in providing high-quality, cost-effective solutions for delis looking to enhance their display capabilities. Our extensive history means we understand the unique needs of food retailers. We are equipped to offer tailored advice and products that fit your specific requirements.

Choosing Ancaster means access to a wide range of refurbished open-case coolers that look and function like new. Our refurbished units help deli owners save money and ensure they don’t have to compromise on quality or aesthetic appeal. Each piece of equipment undergoes rigorous testing and maintenance to meet top industry standards, providing reliability. 

Final Words

Choosing the right display case for your deli is not just about keeping your products fresh; it's about creating an inviting atmosphere that enhances customer experience and boosts sales. Considering the factors outlined in this guide, you can select a display solution that meets your operational needs and attracts more customers.

Choosing the right display case for your deli is crucial for keeping products fresh and creating a welcoming environment that enhances customer experience and boosts sales. Consider the factors outlined in this guide to select a display solution that meets your needs and draws more customers. Ready to get started? Call us at 1-855-680-4398 today, and let our experts help you find the perfect display case for your deli.

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