Frying oil is the lifeblood of many quick-service restaurants, but with oil prices sky high and labor an increasingly difficult issue, some say operators may not have done enough to create an oil management program that decreases costs and increases brand consistency and employee happiness.
“Naturally, operators are focused on big bucket items like labor and food costs, and rightly so, but we think there’s a huge opportunity to enhance profitability when it comes to how you manage oil,” says Todd Wixson, vice president of Oil Solutions Group®. “Our products and expertise can help a brand save $3,500 per year per fryer by increasing oil life and decreasing the labor associated with frying oil management.”
Here are a few of the ways that switching to Oil Solutions Group’s Masterfil® Filter—a reusable fabric <cloth> filter—can help restaurants at a time when they need it most.
Joe Sharp is the facilities manager for a franchisee group that operates four Zaxby’s Restaurants, and for a long time many of his work days were dominated by deep fryer maintenance. This was especially a problem for Sharp because of Zaxby’s brand-wide standards for its fried food offerings—a standard Sharp always wanted to uphold, no matter how much tinkering it required.
“Zaxby’s wants to ensure brand consistency, so that the fried chicken sandwich you’re eating in Arkansas should taste the same as it does here in Georgia, and oil shouldn’t be getting in the way of that,” Sharp says. “That meant oil maintenance became the bane of my existence. It was such a headache. Because if my deep fryers aren’t working properly, then I can’t maintain those brand standards. We were having to change oil out more often than we should’ve had to, and clean the deep fryers, both of which cost us a lot of money.”
Sharp was eventually connected with Oil Solutions Group. He switched to Masterfil Filters and happily reports that he “can’t remember the last time” he had to fix his deep fryer. He says he has considerably fewer headaches, if any, and always meets Zaxby’s standards when it comes to the quality of his stores’ oil.
One of the biggest upsides of using Masterfil Filters, according to Wixson and Sharp, is that employees enjoy them almost as much as management does.
“Oftentimes, the worst job in a restaurant is filtering fryer oil,” Wixson says. “It’s something that takes 30 minutes per filtration, and sometimes you have to do it multiple times per day. We turn that 30-minute job into a 90-second task. So now our system is not just a cost-saving tool that extends oil life, it’s also an employee retention tool because we’ve basically eliminated one employee’s least favorite job. How big is that in the current labor environment where the pool has shrunk so drastically?”
Sharp reports that, on top of his own headaches being remedied, his team has cut 25 percent of the labor that was once spent cleaning the deep fryer tanks. “And that’s a conservative estimate,” he says.
Return on Investment
Wixson and his team take great pride in the amount of money they save their client operators on costs associated with oil per year. They even have a calculator on their website to help operators see what they could be saving if they made the switch to Masterfil Filters.
“We’re proudly a family-owned business, but we have the people, the experience, and the vision to manage the biggest of clients,” Wixson says. “We use American-made products and can say that proudly—we get excited about working with brands of any size, and helping them save money and run better operations.”
Sharp insists that the above quote isn’t Wixson making a sales pitch, and that he’s experienced firsthand the type of customer service Oil Solutions Group provides to its customers.
“I don’t know how else to say it other than I have never once felt like they are selling me something,” Sharp says. “They have been a true partner from day one. They have industry experience and know that when I need something, I need it right then and I can’t be waiting. They’ll have it on the truck that day to make sure we don’t have to slow down service.”
To find out how much your company could save by switching to Masterfil® Filters, visit the company’s website.
By Charlie Pogacar