Industry News | February 13, 2013

Burger King Franchise Serves Up Employee Safety

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Employees are less likely to suffer from slips, falls, burns, or strains at nineteen Burger Kings because Republic Foods found a better way to handle cooking oil in its franchise restaurants. Republic Foods installed an automated oil management system from Restaurant Technologies Inc. (RTI). Now, employees enjoy easily managing the restaurant oil – because it can be added, filtered, and disposed of, even while hot, without ever needing to touch a drop.

“It’s our job to provide a safe work environment for our employees,” says Eric Oppenheim, chief operating officer, Republic Foods, the largest Burger King franchisee in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. “Installing technology that makes our fried food more consistent and better tasting, and eliminates liability and risk due to oil mishaps is a win-win.”
 
Prior to installing the automated RTI system, employees changed out used cooking oil by manually removing it from the fry vats, pouring it into barrels, and carrying the barrels outside to a grease trap behind the restaurant. It was difficult work and full of potential dangers: splashing hot oil, slick floors from spills, and the potential for injuries from handling heavy oil jugs.
 
With the RTI closed-loop oil handling system, safety standards have been elevated because employees can now easily dispose of used oil by pressing a button. Adding fresh oil to fryers is easy too – employees simply use an oil-filler wand to add new oil. The RTI oil management system is comprised of two tanks – one for fresh oil and one for waste oil – and a secure fill box mounted to the exterior of each restaurant.
 
“Employees love not being exposed to hot oil during the filling, cleaning, and disposal process,” says Oppenheim. “Our kitchens are simply cleaner. We’ve seen a tremendous reduction in the risk of injury because fewer oil and grease spills happen and staff no longer carry heavy barrels of oil.”
 
While RTI helps keep Burger King kitchens clean and employees safer, it also offers data on oil usage. The RTI Web-based Total Oil Management (TOM) portal provides Burger King decision-makers with store-level visibility into oil-related activities such as daily usage and optional filtration monitoring tracking, thus optimizing oil usage and ensuring consistent fried food quality.
 
“Frying with smoky, black oil is a guarantee for substandard food quality,” continues Oppenheim. “The TOM portal helps us ensure that employees follow best practices for a more efficient and more profitable business.”
 
He adds, “With the right oil filtration system, any restaurant owner can provide an exceptional product in a safe environment. It should be standard operating procedure in our industry.”