Frontline International and Cargill are teaming up to help operators achieve consistency and become more profitable.

Quick-service operators are acutely aware that frying oil is only getting more expensive. But oil that is not skimmed or changed out often enough can lead to poor consistency across fried foods and a less-than-stellar dining experience for guests. Add into the mix the fact that disposing of hot oil can be a safety liability when done manually, and these factors conspire to make proper oil management a pivotal aspect of running a profitable quick-service restaurant.

Frontline International and Cargill have teamed up to create Kitchen Controller, an end-to-end automated oil management system. Kitchen Controller eliminates guesswork by monitoring oil quality and communicating to staff when the oil should be changed out, optimizing the life of the oil.

The system, says Giovanni Brienza, senior vice president of Frontline International, helps in three key areas: It improves food quality and consistency, it makes oil programs more cost-efficient, and it enhances the employee experience.”

“Because of the worker scarcity, like never before, making best use of the team you have is essential,” Brienza says. “The Kitchen Controller system literally draws the team’s attention toward maximizing oil life, and the incremental actions employees take to enhance oil are now all calculated and processed automatically. We estimate that the ROI on this management system is 12 to 14 months—it’s something that makes a lot of sense for operators on many different levels.”

Here’s how the system works: A fry-vat sensor gathers oil quality information. That data is analyzed by the Kitchen Controller software and fed to an employee-facing touchscreen. The touchscreen uses simple directives to communicate when to expect the oil will need to be changed and when exactly to change the oil. When and if the oil needs to be changed, a simple press of a button can safely change the oil out without an employee ever having to carry it out back.

Kitchen Controller is the culmination of a partnership leveraging Cargill’s expertise and experience working with oil customers alongside Frontline International’s state-of-the-art oil management equipment and customer relationships.

“For so many years we have been working with customers and educating them on how to extend their oil life,” says Mike Christensen, Cargill’s global lead for food service oils. “The Kitchen Controller oil management system is going to help guide them to do the best possible job managing oil across their brand’s footprint, whether that’s a few stores or a few thousand stores.”

The two companies are proud to be working together to create back-of-house management efficiencies in restaurants across the globe. Brienza believes that it will be a key piece of addressing the labor crisis and making restaurants more profitable into the future.

“This is part of a new era of the digital kitchen,” Brienza says. “Kitchens are getting smarter every day, and yet very few people are focusing on the frying process despite the fact that it’s a key place where brands can save money. We’re very excited about this product and the impact it is going to have on the industry.”

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