Skip to main content

Harvard Dining Services Streamlines Ops with Oil Management System

Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) is the oldest collegiate foodservice establishment in the country, as well as one of the largest. With a staff of 650, they serve an average of 25,000 meals a day during the academic year and 5 million meals annually. And a lot of those meals involve fryers and cooking oil.
Director for HUDS Operations & Facilities Robert Leandro has been doing the job for 40 years. He not only oversees renovations and maintenance but also is HUDS’ environmental safety and compliance manager. Leandro realized the university’s foodservice operations needed a better system for managing used cooking oil to comply with the university’s spill prevention and containment program.
“Like a lot of folks, we had 55-gallon drums and dumpsters outside for waste oil,” Leandro said. “Employees would try to pour hot oil in, it would spill; it was not a great system. We wanted to bring the storage inside and find a way to minimize spills.”

He wanted a system that would work for all 30 locations in which they operate on Harvard’s campus. And HUDS had a particular challenge. Unlike chain restaurants, HUDS establishments’ menus are different every day, and they also change seasonally. He needed a solution that could work everywhere there was a fryer on campus, whatever the setup, menu, or volume.
Initially, HUDS used Frontline’s caddy system to shuttle waste oil from fryers to storage tanks, into which it could be pumped hands-free. That was a big improvement over previous methods they had used. The caddy system proved to be very economical, and it is ideal for operations where space is tight or where older fryer equipment does not allow for a direct-plumbed system. Utilizing caddies eliminated the old method of an employee physically carrying used oil in buckets, so it lowered the risk of spills, injuries, and accidents.
In 2004, Harvard underwent a renovation to some operations in its dining facilities, and Leandro took that opportunity to install Frontline’s direct-plumbed system. The direct-plumbed system is fully automated, allowing oil to flow from fryers to storage tanks with just the push of a button.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds