Tuesday Tips: Shelving and Storage

Storage solutions is a key component in your food service application that is often overlooked. Efficient use of space can help maintain cleanliness, speed of service and ultimately the overall bottom line of the business. When considering the type of shelving needs for your storage area, it is best to choose the type and construction based on your application.



Vented is the most popular type of shelving. Its open design takes advantage of the minimal surface area. Advantages indclude:

  • Good circulation for drying and temperature regulation
  • Lower weight allows for easier mobility
  • Shelf design allows for easier loading and unloading of productVented Shelf


The one-piece construction of solid shelves gives more surface area for storage. Advantages include:

  • Easy to clean surface
  • Ideal for messy areas like food prep and warewashing
  • Good for controlling spills and storing small itemsSolid Shelf


Shelving can be constructed from metal, polymer plastic or a hybrid of both.


The most common metal shelving is vented wire shelving consisting of epoxy coated or plated steel wire frame. Plating or coating the metal wires helps provide durability and corrosion and is usually a lower in price. Solid shelving is also available and the typical construction is a corrosion-resistant metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum. While epoxy-coated and s/s shelving is suitable for wet or humid areas, plated shelving should be considered for dry storage only

Polymer plastic

It is a more recent development that provides great corrosion resistance, light component weight and does not sacrifice capacity. Polymer plastic shelving is ideal for humid or moist storage areas. Typical polymer plastic models are more expensive than traditional wire shelving—but extra-long warranties help create long-term solutions.


Hybrid shelving combines the best of both worlds, by utilizing a metal structure and polymer components. This gives you added cleanability from polymer and the flexibility to mix up shelving components to match your application. Most shelving units that use both polymer components and metal components have a price range that falls into the middle.

Shelf Weight Capacity

Eash unit lists its shelf weight capacity. This applies to stationary units only. The shelf capacity on mobile units varies depending on the caster’s weight capacity.


Models are available with antimicrobial protection. This helps to defend against mold, bacteria and mildew growth.

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