By: Total Food Service
For more than 15 years, Restaurant Technologies has excelled at the management of fryer oil and solutions for foodservice organizations and commercial kitchens of all types and sizes. And now it can offer restaurants a cleaner, smarter, more efficient way to use it safely.
You may not think much about the oil you use, but there are some very important steps to be taken to make sure it is fresh, filtered, without health concerns, and tastes good. Managing the cooking oil used by restaurants to keep it consistent, of superior quality, providing operational efficiency, cleanliness and sustainability and meeting health and safety standards, making it easier – and safer – is what Restaurant Technologies does. “We want to help restaurant managers handle that very important element of cooking, oil,” said Restaurant Technologies CEO Jeffrey Kiesel.
The world changed drastically in 2007 when trans-fat-free oils came out. “At that point, the core oils that were used by our customers had trans fat in them. And then all of a sudden, everyone wanted to get out of that. So people switched from solids to liquids, from a lard to an oil, and then all the oils became customized,” Kiesel recalled.
As for how they know when customers need oil, “We have a cellular device that tracks how much oil they’re using and that runs our trucks,” Kiesel noted.
But whether it’s solid or liquid oil, the bottom line for Restaurant Technologies is setting up standard operating procedures around cooking oil management.
All of which goes back to the ability of restaurant managers to properly handle the workers, the quality, food safety, when it comes to cooking oil. “How do you make the manager’s job better, so they don’t have to manage everything? How do you give them the time to manage what’s important? Which means, you’re managing exceptions, rather than the everyday,” he added.
A safer workplace is every restaurant’s goal. “Cooking oil management, the slips and falls – those can be anything from a soft tissue issue, to a major burn. That’s a couple hundred thousand bucks. Handling the oil can be deadly. Carrying hot oil out the back door, burn your leg and you could see someone in the hospital for weeks with a third-degree burn. Ninety-nine percent of what can happen with cooking oil is something you have to be aware of, and prepare for,” he asserted.
“We can give them an efficiency metric about how much oil they should be using and convert that into whatever their goal is. There’s a range based on the pound of food and the pound of oil. It gets back to that managing by exception,” he reported. “Does the restaurant manager know that the oil is being filtered rather than looking at a piece of paper that says someone checked it,” he queried. “So we’ll send them a text to say, you missed the filtering. And that’s very important because you have to track the aging and the breakdown of the oil, the free fatty acids that’s in the oil. And then of course, there’s the look, the smell, which is how people do it right now.”
Kiesel stipulated that there are between 150 to 170,000 potential installations for the company’s oil system in all parts of foodservice, including grocery stores, hospitals, hotels, military establishments.
“We’ve added more variations of our core product,” he said. “Our initial product was really geared towards QSRs and independents. Roughly a third of our customer base is independents and we consistently grow that. The regional chain business is also very important to us,” he affirmed.
The core commercial kitchen market is another area where the company excels. “They have a different need. In a Marriott you may have three or four kitchens on three or four different floors. That’s certainly the case with casinos. So we have a portable system where you can have a host of tanks at the loading dock. And then the portable system can hook up to each of the restaurants.”
As for the future, Restaurant Technologies is launching in Florida and soon, other markets, a new product called AutoMist, which automates the cleaning of hoods, and ceiling fans. “It is a system that cleans your hoods and flues continually. The short description is, we’ll put metal tubing and copper nozzles throughout the whole flue, so we have 100% coverage and the water right into the drain. And the flue is continuously clean. We also have our own installed service network,” Kiesel explained.
“The way it’s done today, restaurants clean it once every 90 days, sometimes once every 60 days. But the second or third day, it’s dirty again. And it’s also a flame source. Sometimes you have to shut down a 24/7 restaurant. All those extraneous costs, who needs that? It’s a pretty straightforward proposition. Ours is completely clean. It pays for itself.”