The year 2000 wasn’t just the start of a new millennium, it also ushered in a new era in cooking oil handling for foodservice. That was the year Frontline International created the Smart Oil Management category—and in 2020, the company celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Founder and president John Palazzo had spent his career in diverse industries, including aerospace, healthcare, and consulting for Fortune 500 companies before transitioning to the foodservice industry. He understood how to build a company for longevity and growth. He also knew there was a better way to increase safety, savings, and sustainability in foodservice kitchens via the thoughtful, well-planned, and well-executed management of cooking oil.

Frontline International, Palazzo’s company, introduced the first closed system, in which there was little or no need to touch oil throughout its life cycle—from the moment of its introduction into the fryer, to its accumulation in tanks, to its collection by renderers. Frontline’s approach was modular, scalable, and easily customizable to suit any kitchen environment. It revolutionized foodservice’s approach to cooking oil.

Products borne of the Frontline method include EZ Oil®, Auto Top-Off, Direct-Plumbed Waste Oil Systems, smart containment tanks, and the Grill Grease Caddy, to name a few. Frontline built in other attractive features, such as the ability to collect data on cooking oil management in order to adjust usage and further maximize efficiency and profits. It was a revolutionary cradle-to-grave approach to cooking oil usage that forever changed how foodservice kitchens would operate.

The company’s products are marketed under the umbrella theme Smart Oil Management.

Now—20 years, tens of thousands of installations, and six continents later—Frontline International pauses for a brief moment to consider all it has accomplished in a very short time. “I want to thank the hundreds of customers who have trusted us to make their oil handling safer, more profitable, and more sustainable,” says Palazzo. “We began Frontline because we knew there was a better way, but without customers willing to embrace change, we never would have had our proving ground.”