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Penn Entertainment
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COOKING OIL CASE STUDY

PENN Entertainment is the nation’s largest regional gaming operator with 43 casinos, racetracks and destinations across North America. In addition to entertaining millions of visitors each year, its exceptional culinary team feeds hungry guests and employees across every location at nearly every hour of the day. 

Guests enjoy a delicious variety of fried food and wall-to-wall entertainment. In the kitchen, however, the massive amounts of oil used to create many menu items requires the heavy lifting of oil jugs (called JIBs) and handling of hot used oil.

As a company dedicated to fun, safety and sustainability, PENN Entertainment sought out a more efficient solution that would result in a cleaner and safer environment for its team members, while also upholding PENN’s high standards of food quality.

Uncovering the Challenge

Each casino has a massive back-of-house footprint where the magic happens — foodservice, laundry and housekeeping, maintenance, administrative offices, and other areas. The maze of service corridors underneath the public areas makes moving oil around an unappealing job.

Culinary staff were tasked with manually hauling hundreds of pounds of used cooking oil through the corridors every day from kitchens to outdoor access areas with grease pits, or from delivery trucks back to the kitchen.

According to Corey Johnson, Director of Strategic Sourcing at PENN, “this manual, messy process was inefficient. Our team members were spending time transporting oil around the facility when they could be using this time to focus on food quality, consistency and customer experience.”

“We worked with Restaurant Technologies to implement a custom-designed infrastructure of interior piping,” explained Johnson. “Now, fresh oil is delivered on-demand to fryers while used cooking oil is safely extracted at the push of a button. Both fresh and used oil is stored in secured bulk oil tank locations, easily accessible to the outside where Restaurant Technologies manages our schedule of refilling and removing oil as needed.”

“We were able to improve back-of-house productivity, safety and food quality by removing manual oil handling from our team members’ responsibilities,” said Johnson. “This approach and the partnership we have with RT aligns with and furthers our strategic goals for operational excellence, corporate responsibility, and employee well-being. It’s a win-win.”

Serving Up a Solution

PENN brought in Restaurant Technologies (RT) to assess its back-of-house operations and propose a solution to its existing oil management program. With over 25 years of helping restaurants, casinos and other foodservice businesses solve similar oil challenges, Restaurant Technologies knew it could completely automate the system.

Restaurant Technologies and PENN began by collaborating across PENN’s facilities management and culinary teams to identify the problems and opportunities. Assessments helped create a customized solution for each PENN property based on kitchen locations, oil usage and access to outdoor oil fill and retrieval locations.

The automation eliminates the need for team members to manually transport cooking oil to and from kitchens by hand or with pumps, barrels or buckets, solving problems associated with handling, safety and wasted time.

PENN also has access to Restaurant Technologies’ Total Oil Management (TOM) portal — a cloud-based software that allows kitchen managers to monitor the amount of oil used, the cadence of filtration and adherence to standard oil management operating procedures.

This “set it and forget it” approach allows culinary staff to focus on food versus heavy lifting and cleaning. Restaurant Technologies’ tanks and smart monitoring also optimize oil usage to reduce waste, enhance financial performance and support PENN’s sustainability commitments.

Boosting Profits, Safety and Food Quality

Since implementing Restaurant Technologies’ automated oil management system across nearly 75% of its properties, PENN has realized tremendous labor efficiency, sustainability, and operational gains.

In one year, PENN recycled more than 865,000 pounds of used cooking oil through Restaurant Technologies’ biofuel program — a more than 38% increase from the previous year. It also helps that PENN gets a credit back for its used cooking oil, helping offset the price of the system. The kitchens also eliminated approximately 39,800 plastic oil JIBs which no longer go into landfills.

MORE CASE STUDIES

Restaurant Technologies - Cooking Oil Delivery and Recycling for Commercial Kitchens by Restaurant Technologies Serving Customers Nationwide

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