Is it cheaper to buy or hire a walk-in cold room?

If you’re a hospitality business that needs to keep raw materials stored and served fresh but need more space than a freezer can provide, then a walk-in cold room may be the most efficient solution. These are an effective and efficient means by which to safely store large quantities of fresh ingredients. They provide ample space, making storage and retrieval simple. In a busy hospitality business they can increase efficiency, making it easy to lay your hands on the ingredients you need quickly.

If you’ve decided that a cold room is right for your business the question then arises as to how you finance it. Is it cheaper to buy or hire a walk-in cold room?  If you’re just starting out and keen to keep upfront costs to a minimum you may be tempted by the option to hire rather than buy, but which is most cost-effective over time?


Hire prices on average


You should expect on average to pay around £250 on average for a couple of days of cold room hire. While this may be acceptable if you’re hiring a portable unit for use as part of an outside catering service, perhaps at a festival, wedding or other event, it’s not cost effective for permanent use.

The average cost of installing a small walk-in cold room is around £6,000. This figure would give you 48 days of cold room hire at a rate of £125 per day. Based on those figures, it would seem much more cost effective to buy a cold room rather than hire it.

That said, a permanent walk-in cold room is a large investment for many hospitality businesses, particularly when cash flow is tight and there’s a need to keep down overheads. It’s important therefore to properly consider if it’s the right choice for your business.


Why might someone choose to hire?


Cold room hire services are available and in some instances it’s an option that makes perfect sense. If you’re staging a temporary event and are looking for a cold room to assist with the catering operation, then hiring a cold room is the perfect solution.

Mobile cold rooms are also available that you can take from venue to venue. You can also purchase these, but if your business is seasonal and you perhaps only operate from April to October over long weekends, then a hire contract might be the most appropriate choice.


Maintenance costs


One consideration that sometimes tips people towards hiring rather than buying is the perceived ongoing maintenance costs of a cold room. It does take time and some outlay to ensure that a cold room keeps working as efficiently as possible, but maintenance contracts are actually cheaper than many people realise.

At Enviro Chill, our regular air conditioning and refrigeration maintenance agreements begin from as little as £50 a year. Our comprehensive breakdown policy ensures your cold room and other refrigeration equipment runs at maximum efficiency.

The affordability of regular maintenance is often something that isn’t reported by companies offering cold room hire which can lead to people opting for a hired option when buying a cold room would be more cost effective.


Permanent premises

If you operate a catering or hospitality business from permanent premises where you intend to stay for some time, then purchasing a cold room is always likely to be the most cost effective option. It really wouldn’t be practical or cost-effective to hire a cold room on a long term basis although it’s certainly possible to do so.

If you have a permanent premise and require significant storage space for perishable ingredients then you should try to budget for a walk-in cold room.


Affordable cold room installation


At Enviro Chill, we are cold room and refrigeration service experts. We offer both chiller and freezer cold room options, from small modular cold rooms to large cold room systems for warehouses. You can also choose from an extensive range of cold room shelving in order to make the most of your space.

Whatever your particular requirements we can find the perfect solution for you. For more information call our sales staff on 0151 268 1854 or contact us online.