Restaurant Saves on Food Costs with Automated Oil Management

Wild Wing Cafe needed a solution for how the restaurant handled its fryer oil. Manual oil handling was a safety risk for employees and impacted cleanliness inside and outside of Wild Wing Cafe locations. All locations had grease caddies that were unwieldy and caused oil spillage. In one location, employees were transporting pots of hot oil down a flight of stairs each night to the grease trap.
But rising food costs were also a driver to look at new oil management options. You can lower the consumption of frying oil with efficient and consistent filtration. The South Carolina-based restaurant installed a new automated oil management system from Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (RTI) after unsuccessfully attempting other approaches to improve filtration and increase profitability. With RTI, the chain reduced annual oil use by almost 14,000 pounds and $150,000 across 13 company-owned stores, offsetting some of the cost of rising food prices.
The RTI Total Oil Management online portal, by comparison, collects oil-monitoring data from fryer sensors and sends it to a Web-based site, accessible by managers online. Restaurant and regional managers can track oil usage, real-time filtration frequencies and durations. This determines if employees are following proper restaurant procedures to maximize oil usage and food quality.
The automated and closed-loop RTI oil handling system includes a fresh oil tank, a waste oil tank, filtration monitoring and a secure fill box mounted to the restaurant exterior. Restaurant operators never touch hot oil while adding, filtering and disposing. Employees fill the fryer with oil using a wand, the closed-loop system removes used oil and RTI empties the used-oil tank.
Sciortino noted that eliminating manual oil handling has solved restaurant cleanliness, safety and manpower issues ranging from pressure washing oil spills to struggling with the grease caddies.
Working with Wild Wing Cafe, RTI streamlined a multi-store implementation and staff-training program. The system works – but sometimes employees need convincing to trust that the system won’t fail.
Ultimately, the training has paid off. Employees now realize that the filtration monitoring system, combined with new processes, makes their jobs easier while decreasing oil usage and improving food quality. It also makes the fryers easier to clean because old oil isn’t building up residue in the fryers. Through the portal, managers can receive alerts if filtration processes are missed. This gives them an opportunity to have conversations with staff on why and how to fix the problem.

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