Industry News | August 8, 2012

Jack in The Box Operator Adopts Safer Oil System

Jack in the Box, one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, lists food quality, safety, and innovation among its core values. To stick to these, one operator, Srinivas Vajupeyayajula—who owns 18 Jack in the Box franchises in the greater Houston area—has switched his restaurants over to an automated oil management system from Restaurant Technologies, Inc (RTI).

“I was all too familiar with lifting oil jugs, moving dirty oil out the back, lifting and pouring hot oil into dumpsters, and dealing with spills,” Vajupeyayajula says. “All things that cost me time and money, and I hated that.”

Now, Vajupeyayajula’s 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.

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.

The closed-loop automated oil handling solution helps restaurants manage oil more efficiently while increasing workplace safety and improving restaurant cleanliness.

RTI’s Web-based oil management portal provides Jack in the Box decision-makers with store-level visibility into oil related activities, thus optimizing oil usage and ensuring consistent fried-food quality.

RTI also recycles used cooking oil into biodiesel and feedstock, directly supporting corporate sustainability initiatives.             

“I was hooked as soon as I went through the RTI oil management training,” Vajupeyayajula says. “It just makes sense—not only does the system automatically fill and remove oil from the fryers; it has an online portal that tells me how much oil is used, filtered, recycled, and at what times.”

Using the Total Operations Management (TOM) portal, managers can monitor data for single or multiple restaurant locations, analyzing oil quality, usage, and filtration statistics. The portal provides easy-to-interpret graphs eliminating data analysis and enabling managers to take action quickly on SOP compliance and process improvements.

TOM alerts Vajupeyayajula if more than 100 pounds of oil is used in a day so he can evaluate why more oil has been used. If employees are not following the proper oil management processes, he knows right away and can work with staff to get back on track.

The portal also shows how often the oil is filtered, when it is filtered, and for how long. By properly filtering, restaurants maximize the oil’s life, which contributes to the company’s bottom line and overall food quality.

“The oil monitoring system has helped bring down our oil usage significantly since we’ve installed it, while not depleting the quality of product,” Vajupeyayajula says.

Jeff Kiesel, CEO of RTI, says, “Jack in the Box is a great example of a restaurant manager seeing an opportunity for improvement and taking it.

“With our unique and cost-effective system, we help restaurants maintain high levels of food quality and safety, while eliminating one of the worst and most time-consuming tasks employees have to do,” he says. “It’s a win-win.”