Glass Door Fridges vs. Stainless Steel

Glass Door Fridge vs. Solid Door Fridge: Are Glass Door Fridges Better for Your Business?

Posted by | 22-06-2020

What does your refrigerator look like? For many business owners, these appliances work largely in the background — their exterior appearance and build is less of a concern compared to their storage capacity and cooling ability. But did you know that there’s more to exterior style than aesthetic?

Refurbished glass door commercial fridges can be found at Ancaster Food Equipment. They are becoming an increasingly popular option in stores, commercial kitchens, and other food service operations because of their clean, polished, and effective displays.

This comes after years of stainless steel commercial fridges dominating the market. Like their stainless steel counterparts, glass door fridges also pack spacious storage while promoting improved visual display that’s more energy-efficient and easier to use over time.

Choosing the right commercial refrigerator can be a pivotal decision for your business. The appliance not only needs to meet your storage requirements but should also be energy-efficient and visually appealing. In this blog, we will look in-depth at the pros and cons of glass door fridges compared to their stainless steel counterparts to help you make an informed decision.

The Rise of Glass Door Fridges

In 2022, the worldwide market for glass door refrigerators stood at a valuation of USD 12.42 Billion. By the end of 2030, this figure is projected to climb to USD 23.43 Billion. Between 2023 and 2030, the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.49%.

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Once a staple in only a few select upscale markets or restaurants, glass-door fridges are becoming increasingly popular across various sectors, from grocery stores to eateries. On the other hand, stainless steel fridges have long been the go-to choice for their durability and sleek look. So, how do these two types stack up against each other?

Fast Shopping and Restocking

Whether for merchandising display or kitchen and food prep, a glass door commercial fridge is easy and convenient, largely because of its excellent display features. These can easily be found, shopped, or collected for cooking without hiding food items, ingredients, and condiments behind a stainless steel exterior. The result is an effective display that lets you keep track of supplies that need restocking, with generous and easy-to-organize storage shelves.

Compact Storage

Stainless steel doors require frequent opening and closing to access food items and supplies, which results in higher energy consumption. These motions also require allocating more space around the fridge. In contrast, refurbished commercial glass door fridges are upright and feature sliding mechanisms, so customers and kitchen staff can easily find what they’re looking for and reach in without requiring much clearance behind them.

Durable Build

It’s common to think that glass is fragile and easily breakable, but that’s only true for everyday glassware, not kitchen appliances. Unlike stainless steel models, refurbished commercial fridges built with glass doors are extremely durable and resistant to dents and scratches. Glassdoor commercial fridges, like the ones sold at Ancaster Food Equipment, come in various styles, such as high-gloss color, frosted, and stainless steel with glass indoors. These are easy to clean using only soft towels and gentle glass cleaners and retain their polished and professional sheen despite heavy use in commercial kitchens and busy stores.

Energy Efficient

For busy stores and commercial kitchens, efficiency is a top priority — ensuring that every dollar is spent wisely in producing, storing, selling, and serving quality taste to every customer. In the background, that’s enabled by energy-efficient commercial appliances. Refurbished commercial glass door fridges are some of the most energy-efficient tools in food service operations, such as restaurants and grocery stores. With a clear visual display through double-glazed glass panes, you can reduce the number of times customers and staff need to open and close the doors to restock and shop. This keeps interior temperatures consistent, so food stored inside remains properly cooled according to food safety standards.

Attractive Visuals

Glassdoor fridges stand out because of their excellent and energy-efficient display. A key feature that enables this is their use of energy-efficient LED interior lights that fully illuminate the fridge's contents, so customers and kitchen staff can easily find the products they’re looking for and identify items that need to be restocked. These brightly illuminated fridge interiors also highlight a clean and organized display, so products look good and are attractive to shoppers, and mesh well with store or restaurant interiors for a pleasant shopping experience.

Brand Merchandising

Refurbished commercial fridges are essential to product placement and effective merchandising. Their clear display allows stores to organize items according to customer preferences and shopping habits. They can easily find products according to brand and type and compare them to various options next to each other. With an organized display, products can be positioned effectively for fast sales and improved customer satisfaction.

Easy Maintenance

Commercial appliances, like refurbished glass door fridges, are a long-term investment. To get the best value from them, store and restaurant owners must ensure efficient and reliable function throughout heavy use by customers and kitchen staff. This makes glass door fridges the obvious choice — they’re easy to clean and maintain using gentle glass cleaners, so you can quickly wipe off fingerprints and smudges and restore effective storage and product placement.



1. Clear, Open Display

A transparent facade on a commercial fridge isn’t just for aesthetic appeal. This feature offers practical advantages:

Visibility: Retailers and restaurant owners can showcase their products effortlessly. A clear view of the items inside encourages impulse purchases and lets customers quickly find what they want.

Efficiency: Staff can easily identify items that need restocking, reducing time spent searching. The reduced need to open the fridge conserves energy and keeps the temperature stable thanks to the visibility.

2. Polished Exteriors

The allure of a commercial space often rests not just on its offerings but also on its presentation. Refurbished glass door fridges play a pivotal role in this context.

Aesthetic Appeal: The polished finish of these fridges, combined with design options like high-gloss colored or frosted glass, elevates the aesthetic appeal of any commercial space. It's more than just a storage unit; it's a piece of modern art that showcases what's on offer.

Design Versatility & Brand: Whether aiming for a minimalist look, a vibrant pop of color, or a frosted elegance, there's a glass door fridge design tailored to amplify your space's aesthetic. A clean, sleek, and sophisticated exterior draws customers in and communicates a message of quality and professionalism. Investing in such polished exteriors subtly reinforces a brand's commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

3. Effective Lighting

Lighting can significantly affect the visual appeal and functionality of a commercial fridge.

Bright and Energy-efficient: LED interior lights not only ensure the contents of the fridge are brightly illuminated, but they do so with minimal energy consumption. This ensures customers have a clear view of the products, which can enhance the shopping experience.

Ambiance Enhancer: Good lighting can elevate the ambiance of a store or dining space. The soft glow from a fridge can create a warm environment and make products look even more enticing.

4. Scratch-resistant

While glass might seem fragile, it's essential to remember that not all glass is made equal.

Durability: These refurbished glass door commercial fridges are designed for heavy commercial use. They resist common wear and tear, such as dents and scratches, ensuring they maintain their polished look over time.

Easy Maintenance: Their resilience to scratches means less constant upkeep. A simple wipe-down with a gentle glass cleaner can quickly restore their glossy sheen, making them look brand new.


1. You Need to Get Organized

A glass door fridge can be a double-edged sword in terms of its transparent nature.

Always on Display: While it's an advantage for customers, it also means that the inside needs to be organized at all times. Any disarray becomes immediately visible, which can be off-putting for potential customers.

Constant Management: Especially in high-traffic stores or kitchens, products move rapidly. Regular attention is required to ensure everything remains organized for optimal shopping or working experiences.

2. Fingerprints and Smudges

The very nature of glass makes it a magnet for fingerprints.

Regular Cleaning Required: The glass can quickly get smudged from frequent handling, especially in places with high foot traffic. This means regular cleaning is required to keep it looking pristine.

Maintenance Consideration: While it's easy to clean, businesses must factor in the time or labor costs associated with frequent cleaning.

3. No Door Storage

While the design of commercial glass door fridges is sleek and modern, it comes with its trade-offs.

Sacrificing Some Convenience: Door storage is common in many residential fridges. Not having it in these commercial units means missing out on this added storage option.
Compensated Design: However, it's worth noting that these fridges often have spacious internal shelving. The absence of door storage is compensated with a design that ensures all items are cooled evenly and effectively, paramount for food safety in a commercial setting.

Glass Door Fridge vs. Stainless Steel Door Fridge: Criteria for Comparison

When evaluating these two types of commercial fridges, we will consider four main aspects:

  • Storage Capacity
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Display Capabilities
  • Durability

1: Storage Capacity

Glass Door Fridges

One of the key advantages of glass door fridges is their transparent facade, allowing for easy access and visual management of inventory. While they may lack door storage, the generous internal shelving makes up for it, offering ample space.

Stainless Steel Fridges

Stainless steel models often come with door storage options, but the downside is that all inventory is hidden, making it harder to identify and access what you need quickly. This could result in more time spent on managing the storage.

2: Energy Efficiency

Glass Door Fridges

Glass door fridges reduce the need for frequent door openings thanks to their clear display. Furthermore, most modern models come fitted with energy-efficient LED lights, making it easier to manage the fridge without wasting energy.

Stainless Steel Fridges

In contrast, stainless steel fridges often require you to open the door multiple times to check the inventory, thus increasing energy consumption.

3: Display Capabilities

Glass Door Fridges

A glass door fridge offers a visually appealing experience for customers, allowing for better product visibility. This aesthetic advantage also contributes to better brand merchandising, as you can strategically display items to capture customer attention.

Stainless Steel Fridges

These fridges are robust and sleek but offer limited opportunities for visual merchandising since their contents are hidden behind the door.

4: Durability and Maintenance

Glass Door Fridges

Don't be fooled by the glass exterior—these fridges are scratch and dent-resistant. They're also easier to clean, requiring only a gentle glass cleaner to wipe off fingerprints and maintain a polished look.

Stainless Steel Fridges

Though durable, stainless steel fridges are more susceptible to dents and scratches. They can also be more challenging to keep spot-free.

Section 5: Additional Features

Both fridges offer additional features like customizable lighting options and varying storage mechanisms. For example, some glass door fridges offer sliding mechanisms, making it easier to reach items without needing much clearance behind the fridge.

Final Words

Both glass door and stainless steel fridges have their own set of pros and cons. While glass door fridges excel in display and energy efficiency, stainless steel models may offer a more traditional and rugged aesthetic. Your choice should align with your specific business needs, be it a focus on visual merchandising or durability.

This makes glass door fridges the obvious choice — they’re easy to clean and maintain using gentle glass cleaners, so you can wipe off fingerprints and smudges quickly, and restore effective storage and product placement.

Are you trying to decide between a refurbished glass door commercial fridge and a stainless steel model?

To learn more about the benefits of refurbished glass door commercial refrigerators, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 1-855-549-1204 or contact us here.

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