The FOG impact: How to prevent your restaurant’s money from circling the drain

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It’s a common mistake that food service employees make every single day when faced with used cooking oil. Their training tells them they should dispose of the used oil properly, but in many cases they opt to simply dump the oil down the nearest drain. To them it's a quick, easy solution for a problem they never expect to see again.

However, many food service businesses will not be so lucky, as out of sight rarely means out of mind.

Clogged pipes lead to resurfacing problems

While cooking oil may flow down the drain easily, it seldom works its way through the rest of the piping system so seamlessly. The result? Clogged pipes that can cause major backups and cost the business thousands of dollars to repair.

For food service providers, this problem is all too common. Consider that, in the United States alone:

  • 47 percent of sewer overflows each year are caused by fat and oil buildup.
  • 2,000 overflows have occurred in the city of Los Angeles alone over the last five years, prompting lawsuits by the Environmental Protection Agency. Forty-one percent of those buildups are due to fat and oil buildup, according to an EPA audit.
  • 5,000 fat-based pipe backups occur in New York City every single year.
  • 75 percent of sewers are so clogged that they work at half their intended capacity.
  • 40,000 incidents of illegal overflows flow into open water each year.
  • The food service industry is responsible for producing 3 billion pounds of restaurant grease each year.

The problem is not going away, and the evidence proves relying solely on employees to follow proper protocol is hardly a complete solution.

Finding a solution to the oil management problem

Food service managers face a difficult challenge in monitoring their staff’s compliance with proper used-oil disposal practices. Effective training is essential, but continual monitoring of employees to ensure that training is always followed can be difficult. And if procedures are not followed to the letter and costly repairs or fines arise, few food service businesses have the excess money available to handle costs. It is a proposition that can leave managers feeling powerless.

There is a better way.

Restaurant Technologies’ Total Oil Management System makes managing this labor-intensive and potentially dangerous and expensive task simple by handling the storing, transferring and recycling of used cooking oil in one simplified process. Best of all, the Total Oil Management solution alleviates the need for managers or their staff to ever manually dump or transport oil again.

The Total Oil Management System utilizes two tanks — installed in the business — to hold new, fresh oil and used waste oil. These tanks are connected to the business’s fryers, and automatic controls allow your employees to add, filter and dispose of oil from the system, all with the push of a button. It's safe, easy and effective.

Transfer of the oil is then handled by Restaurant Technologies service trucks, which deliver new oil on your schedule and take the used oil to recycle it into biodiesel. This turns a potential environmental challenge into an environmentally friendly solution all with no capital costs or service charges. In short, it turns a common food service concern into something that truly is out of sight and out of mind.

There is a better way to handle the cooking oil disposal challenges managers face every day and the time to do so is now. Before those problems come bubbling up from the drain.

To learn more about how Restaurant Technologies' Total Oil Management System can help your business, contact us today.

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