Minneapolis — Restaurant Technologies has partnered with three grocery brands: Weis Markets, Fry's Food Stores and Price Chopper. Over the next few months, each banner is on track to use the Total Oil Management system, a technology that automates the entire life cycle of fryer oil. Restaurant Technologies has seen double-digit growth in the industry; in 2016 the system was installed in approximately 2,000 grocery locations, with another 350 completed in 2017 so far.
"Prepared foods have skyrocketed in the grocery space, with annual revenue hiking from $12.5 billion to $28 billion in the last few years," says Jim English, director national accounts, Restaurant Technologies. "For this reason, more progressive grocery operators are modernizing the high-risk task of manually managing fryer oil in order to safely and efficiently offer a variety of quality fried foods. These three brands see the value of having a deli operation that functions as efficiently as any commercial kitchen."
Grocery operation comes with its own set of challenges, including delis that tend to be located far from the back dock, sometimes requiring hot waste oil to be transported through aisles of the store, and deli employees who tend to be older than a typical restaurant worker and more vulnerable to back strain and slip-and-fall injuries. In addition, Weis, Fry's and Price Chopper each faced its own unique challenges.
As one of its key initiatives, Weis was seeking to improve the quality of its fried-chicken offerings. Through an evaluation of its kitchen operations, it was determined that Weis needed a solution that addressed quality, safety and efficiency. As a result, the Total Oil Management is being implemented in 100 locations to help deliver consistent fried-chicken offerings throughout the chain as well as significantly improve efficiencies and safety.
Fry's, a Kroger banner, was disposing of its used cooking oil at such a high frequency, it resulted in an increased likelihood of unsafe working conditions and wasted oil. Upon thorough testing across key locations, Restaurant Technologies' training and support, along with the installment of the Total Oil Management system, helped Fry's deli teams maximize their oil life and improve their associates' challenges in dealing with the cooking oil while on the job. The oil management system is anticipated to be installed in more than 117 Fry's locations.
As part of Price Chopper's strategy to convert several locations into Market 32, which offers an array of prepared-food items, the brand was seeking technology solutions to optimize operations and elevate food quality. Additionally, Price Chopper had no visibility into its cooking oil usage and filtering habits, using more oil than necessary. Now, with Restaurant Technologies, Price Chopper expects to reduce oil usage by 10% in approximately 100 of its stores.
"As we continue to evolve our Market 32 concept, it's important to me that my deli equipment works even harder. The opportunity to take out any manual method of food preparation without sacrificing food quality and by using technology is key across the board," says John Mazzacco, director of food service, Price Chopper.
To learn more about Restaurant Technologies and its role in helping grocery store food service operations, visit www.rti-inc.com/industries/grocery-convenience.
Restaurant Technologies provides cooking-oil management and back-of-house exhaust cleaning solutions to more than 24,000 national quick-service and full-service restaurant chains, independent restaurants, grocery delis, hotels, casinos, universities and hospitals. Headquartered in Mendota Heights, Minn., Restaurant Technologies is a privately held company, currently operates 40 depots and has more than 800 employees serving customers across the United States. For more information, visit www.rti-inc.com.
SOURCE: Restaurant Technologies