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For many businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, breweries, walk-in coolers are indispensable assets. Maintaining these coolers and proper organization is a must to both keep your goods fresh and to optimize space. There is nothing worse than a disorganized walk-in cooler that makes it hard to find what you need. So, in this blog post we will share the best practices for walk-in cooler organization to help maximize efficiency.

Use Shelves

Using shelves is a great way to organize your products. It helps keep things tidy. It will also save you room because instead of having everything all over the place it will be placed neatly in shelves so that you have the ability to walk around and find what you need.

Categorize Your Products

Categorizing your products is a great practice to implement in your walk-in cooler organization. You should group similar items together. So, all the fruits will have their section, dairy will have another section, and the meats will be on another section. This not only makes it easier to find a certain product based on their category, but also helps maintain optimal temperatures for different products. 

Label Everything

Labeling everything will make life much easier. Label any shelves, containers or boxes. Write down the product name, when you received it, and its expiration date. Doing this will help you identify products that might look the same and can easily be confused. 

First-In, First-Out

A great practice to also implement in your walk-in cooler is what’s called the FIFO method. This means older inventory must be used first before newer arrivals. This ensures there is no wasted product. 

When it comes to organization consider placing the older inventory in the front and the newer inventory all the way in the back. This way, you get rid of the older products before the newer items start getting reached for. 

Store Meat On The Lowest Shelves

If you were to store raw meat on the top shelves it has the potential of contaminating the products below it. This is a huge violation code. You wouldn’t want to get your customers sick. Instead, store meat on the lowest racks so that if any liquid were to drip down, it would only be on the ground below. You would not be contaminating anything. All you really would need to do is mop the ground. 

Ensure Adequate Space

Make sure to not over clutter your walk-in cooler. Don’t stuff it with as much as you can. Doing this will only cause harm to your products because it will not allow for air circulation between items. This leads to uneven cooling or freezing

Instead, leave at least 3 inches of space between your items so that you are guaranteed even cooling. 


Efficient walk-in cooler organization is vital for your business. Implementing these best practices will help you improve your business operation. Having a disorganized cooler offers many disadvantages. While on the other hand, a well organized walk-in cooler offers many benefits. So choose wisely and keep your walk-in cooler organized!

Coast 2 Coast Refrigeration are experts in small business refrigeration, commercial refrigeration, and marine refrigeration. Please feel free to give us a call for your refrigeration needs. We can be reached at (619)288-3842 or by email at