Restaurant Technologies Inc. (RTI) is helping Central Iowa-based KFC franchisee Kevin Schlutz optimize his oil-management operations with its closed-loop process and services. The RTI Total Oil Management (TOM) solution eliminates the often messy and time-consuming process of manually handling oil, with a goal of maximizing food quality and saving money.
"Managing oil effectively is vital in our business because it affects cleanliness, employee safety and operational efficiency," Schlutz said. "Plus, we can't afford to overuse or misuse shortening because it affects the flavor, quality and consistency of our products."
RTI Total Oil Management automates KFC oil handling, maintaining oil at peak freshness and making the handling process safer and more efficient. Operators add, filter and dispose of oil without touching a drop. The closed-loop system comprises two tanks – one for fresh oil, and a second for waste oil – and a secure fill box mounted to the restaurant's exterior.
The RTI web-based TOM portal provides operators with real-time visibility via reports showing store-level activities such as oil usage statistics, shortening quantities, oil quality and filtration data. Restaurant managers can access the information with an Internet connection.
"We can monitor – up to the exact minute – which of our stores are using too much shortening and those not discarding enough," Schlutz said. "Employees no longer need to waste time ordering shortening or scrambling when not enough is in stock. Real-time reporting notifies central managers before they even know it."
Prior to adding this new solution, KFC fryer operators had to pour oil from jugs into fryers, which potentially compromised their safety. They also used traditional "grease shuttles" for used oil disposal, which was another kitchen safety hazard. Because these KFC units don't buy and discard oil jugs and boxes, franchisees avoid storage issues and improve restaurant cleanliness.
Eliminating oil packaging waste also supports the KFC sustainability initiative.
"Restaurants that care about quality need to focus on food and employee improvements," said Jeff Kiesel, chief executive officer, RTI. "Franchisees like Kevin Schlutz understand this. Proper oil management – from delivery and storage through handling and disposal – gives them peace of mind when it comes to customer satisfaction, employee safety and efficient operations."
Read more about operations management.