How to Choose a Floral Cooler for Your Business
Florists and shops that sell fresh flowers need the proper equipment to protect inventory. Without the right cooler, your flowers and greenery won’t last long. This puts your business at risk for being expensive and wasteful, not to mention losing customers. Today, you have many different options available for your floral cooler, which might make it difficult to find the ideal solution for your needs. Here, we offer tips on how to choose a floral cooler perfectly suited to your business.
If your shop offers premade arrangements, then having a well-lit display case that allows customers to look at their options is very important. Customers can see your arrangements and help themselves to the flowers they find appealing. Large windows in hand with smooth door operation, are ideal for self-serve floral coolers. Self-serve coolers should come with adjustable shelves to suit the varying heights of the flowers and greenery used in your arrangements. You also want to ensure your self-serve cooler is energy efficient, as they have to run 24/7 to keep your inventory fresh. You have three options for self-serve coolers:
- Sliding doors. Sliding doors require less space to open the doors, so they work in smaller shops. However, they also make it difficult for customers to maneuver when taking the arrangement out of the cooler. Although they provide a good view of the stock offered for customers, once your customer makes their selection, their only option is to hold the door open with their body.
- Swinging doors. Floral coolers with self-closing swing doors help florists conserve space. As well, unlike sliding doors, customers appreciate the swinging door, as they can be held open more easily when reaching in to get their arrangement. As an added benefit, often the door jams are heated so the flowers remain cool, but customers are not chilled when they open the cooler.
- Open-air. Much like the coolers found in grocery store dairy aisles, the open-air model is very popular with florists with a larger selection of pre-made arrangements. Customers can more easily access the arrangements, turn them to check the condition of the flowers, and also benefit from the lovely scent of the arrangements. They come in a variety of sizes, so they can be purchased for both large and smaller shops. However, because they are open, they also tend to be energy wasters, which add to your overhead and operation costs.
Storage Cooler Size
If you own strictly a custom florist shop where you have limited self-serve bouquets and storage is more important, then the proper floral cooler is key to preserving your inventory. In this case, you need to determine the size and capacity of your floral cooler to meet your needs. If you choose something too large, it takes up wasted space and also uses more energy. However, choosing something too small will limit your ability to store larger inventory for major events and orders such as weddings. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overfill a floral cooler, as it won’t allow flowers to breathe. Therefore, you have to consider spacing to maintain the quality of your flowers when choosing the right size.
Floral Cooler Humidity and Temperature
Floral coolers have special humidity needs to maintain the flower’s beauty. Ideally, the interior humidity levels should be maintained between 80 and 95 percent. So, while it might be tempting to simply buy a commercial fridge, humidity levels in most refrigeration falls below 10 percent if the door remains closed most of the time. Your storage coolers, therefore, must be made specifically for flowers if you want to reduce risk for waste. When it comes to proper temperature, most flowers and plants should be stored at 33-35 degrees Fahrenheit to retain their appearance and keep them fresh for your customers.
The more diverse your inventory, the more important it is to choose a floral cooler that can be customized to meet the needs of the flower. Custom settings allow you to sort and store your flowers based on their need to survive, so each type of flower maintains its freshness and beauty longer.
The costs of standard commercial coolers vs. floral coolers can often have florists leaning towards the more affordable standard cooler. However, you have to keep in mind that flowers are living inventory that can’t be stored in the same type of cooler used for cold food and beverages. Your flowers require special conditions that prolong their life and preserve their beauty, so always opt for the floral cooler instead, as it will save you money in the long run.
The Importance of Floral Coolers
Choosing floral coolers for your florist business is important, as it ensures you lose fewer flowers. Floral inventory is vulnerable to many issues including stem and petal wilt, infectious bacteria, and plant dehydration. With floral coolers, you increase shelf life and customer satisfaction. You get a better return on investment by reducing waste. As mentioned, flowers require a much higher humidity level that actually proves detrimental for coolers storing other types of inventory.
Humidity restores freshly cut flowers that have travelled to your shop and reduces chances of shocking flowers when moved from one environment to another. The trauma of travel can lead to fast deterioration. However, when placed in the proper moisture-rich environment, you promote healing and help flowers return to their healthy state. The longer your flowers maintain their beauty, the better chance there is that you can sell them and avoid waste.
If you would like more information on floral coolers, speak to the experts at Ancaster Food Equipment today.