Strategic Restaurants’ Experiment With Automated Oil Management Proves Big Benefits
Restaurant Technologies’ system reduced oil consumption and enhanced safety across Strategic Restaurants’ 292 Burger King locations
MINNEAPOLIS – March 4, 2013 – Strategic Restaurants owns 292 Burger King locations across America, but it selected just a few in Florida’s Panhandle for a recent experiment. The goal: to see if it could improve employee safety while optimizing its oil usage.
At those sites, Strategic Restaurants handed over oil management to Restaurant Technologies, Inc.® (RTI).
“After only three or four months, we knew the RTI system was the way to go, and we began rolling it out to all of our Burger Kings,” said Steve Grossman, CFO of Strategic Restaurants, based in California. “The results were remarkable.”
The company receives critical benefits from reducing shortening quantities, equipment maintenance expenses and insurance costs. In terms of employee safety, the change has successfully resulted in one to two fewer insurance claims per year – which can cost upwards of $100,000 each.
Behind these results is RTI’s oil management solution, which completely automates the oil-handling process. Instead of relying on employees’ best guesses about when to filter oil – usually based on the way it looks – the system determines the optimal timing that will maximize freshness and minimize waste.
Filtering isn’t the only task the system eliminates. “Employees used to have to schlep the old oil out to the back of the restaurant and dump it in a container, where it would eventually be picked up and disposed of,” Grossman said. “Now it’s all automatic – employees just push a button, and new oil is added to the fryer, while old oil is filtered or discarded.”
The closed-loop system consists of two tanks inside the restaurant – one for fresh oil, and the other for waste oil – and a secure fill-box attached to the restaurant’s exterior. RTI’s trucks deliver fresh oil and remove old oil through the fill-box, eliminating the risks of spillage and waste. Therefore Strategic Restaurants kitchens are now cleaner, a critical standard for Burger King.
Administrative responsibilities are also reduced because RTI manages all oil sourcing and removal for the franchise. This efficiency is further enhanced by the RTI’s web-based Total Oil Management™ (TOM™) portal, which gives managers real-time, store-level visibility into oil usage statistics through a simple Internet connection.
“We have an entirely new level of information that we didn’t have before,” Grossman said. “We can see which stores are using too much or too little oil, filtering too many times or too few, and work to remedy any problems – all by just looking at a website.”
Managers are not RTI’s only admirers. “Employees are big fans of the system,” Grossman said. “It’s much simpler – there’s no more lugging hot oil, no more judgment calls on whether it’s time to filter or not, less spilling and cleaning, and fewer injuries.”
Since frying oil is one of the costliest, messiest and most-used materials in a quick-service restaurant, the positive effects of RTI’s system stretch beyond the fryer and the employees near it. The path from the fryer to the outdoor dumpster is noticeably cleaner – something employees and restaurant patrons value.
“It can be said that as the cooking oil goes, so goes the restaurant,” said Jeff Kiesel, chief executive officer, RTI. “People like Steve Grossman get this, and know that automated oil management not only makes their oil-handling processes more efficient and safe, but their restaurants as a whole.”
RTI – Restaurant Technologies, Inc.
Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (RTI) is the leader in smart, safe, sustainable oil and operations management technology for the food service industry. The company’s fully automated oil storage, handling and disposal management system helps increase worker safety, improve restaurant cleanliness and minimize frying oil inconveniences. RTI data-management solutions provide restaurant decision-makers with increased visibility into oil usage for better food quality and consistency. Headquartered in Mendota Heights, Minn., RTI serves more than 19,000 customers via 41 oil depots throughout the U.S. Visit RTI online at www.rti-inc.com.