Managing oil effectively with Restaurant Technologies

If your customers aren’t crazy about your French fries, don’t blame the potatoes. Perhaps you should check your oil management and filtration practices. “Oil management has a very profound effect” on the customer experience, says Tina Swanson, vice president, customer experience for Restaurant Technologies. “It can be positive or it can be negative.”

Establishing and following standard operating procedures for oil management is essential for getting optimal performance out of your oil and your fryer. “The filtering process is basically a mechanism for cleaning your oil,” says Swanson. “The standard operating procedure would be to filter your oil twice a day for five minutes for each vat of oil.”

Too frequently, the filtering process is done on a calendar basis – such as once a week. And since no one wants to do the messy task, it’s relegated to some of the least-trained staff. What often passes for effective filtering is manual “cone filtering.” The employee will remove the hot oil from the fryer and run it through a strainer, then reuse the strained oil. When the oil is bad, the employee dumps it from the fryer into some type of container and hauls it out to the back of the restaurant into the rendering tank. “It’s an extremely manual process,” Swanson says. “It’s such an unproductive and dangerous process, it oftentimes doesn’t get done.”

That’s why more and more operators are turning to the Total Oil Management system offered by Restaurant Technologies. It’s a completely automated solution that covers every step of the process, from ordering and delivering fresh oil to the pickup and recycling of used oil. What’s more, labor time and effort are decreased significantly. “All the employee has to do is push a button to fill the fryer, another to filter the oil and another to dispose of it,” says Swanson. “That’s what we mean by Total Oil Management. The system automates the whole process.”

Oil levels and frequency of filtering are monitored remotely through a sophisticated sensor system so operators receive regular reports that show oil usage and quality. If an employee neglects the filtering process or disposes of good-quality oil too soon, management is alerted and can take steps to remedy the problem.

Besides cost savings and product quality improvement, one of the major benefits for restaurants using Restaurant Technologies’ Total Oil Management system is customer satisfaction. Research done by a major burger chain found that the satisfaction level for their units using the system for french fries was 81 percent, compared with a 60-percent system average for units not on the system. A major casual chain using the system in some of its stores found an increase of 98 percent in customers rating their chicken strips exceptional and 93 percent rating their cheese sticks exceptional.

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