Three grocers—Weis Markets, Fry’s Food Stores and Price Chopper-Market 32—have changed oil management practices in their hot prepared foods programs through service from Restaurant Technologies. Over the next few months, each retailer will begin using the “Total Oil Management” system that automates the entire life cycle of fryer oil.
“Prepared foods have skyrocketed in the grocery space, with annual revenue hiking from $12.5 billion to $28 billion in the last few years,” said Jim English, director of national accounts for Restaurant Technologies. “For this reason, more progressive grocery operators are modernizing the high-risk task of manually managing fryer oil in order to safely and efficiently offer a variety of quality fried foods. These three brands see the value of having a deli operation that functions as efficiently as any commercial kitchen.”
According to Restaurant Technologies, grocery operation comes with its own set of challenges, including delis that tend to be located far from the back dock, sometimes requiring hot waste oil to be transported through aisles of the store, and deli employees who tend to be older than a typical restaurant worker and more vulnerable to back strain and slip-and-fall injuries. Weis, Fry’s and Price Chopper each faced its own unique challenges, says Restaurant Technologies.
As one of its key initiatives, Weis seeks to improve the quality of its fried chicken offerings. Through an evaluation of its kitchen operations, it was determined that Weis needed a solution that addressed quality, safety and efficiency. As a result, the Total Oil Management is being implemented in 100 locations to help deliver consistent fried chicken offerings throughout the chain, as well as significantly improve efficiencies and safety, according to Restaurant Technologies.
Fry’s, a Kroger banner, was disposing of its used cooking oil at such a high frequency that it resulted in an increased likelihood of unsafe working conditions and wasted oil. Upon thorough testing across key locations, Restaurant Technologies’ training and support team, along with the installment of the Total Oil Management system, helped Fry’s deli teams maximize their oil life and improve associates’ challenges in dealing with the cooking oil while on the job. The oil management system is anticipated to be installed in more than 117 Fry’s locations.
As part of Price Chopper’s strategy to convert several locations into Market 32, which offers an array of prepared food items, the brand seeks technology solutions to optimize operations and elevate food quality. Additionally, Price Chopper had no visibility into its cooking oil usage and filtering habits, using more oil than necessary. Now, with Restaurant Technologies, Price Chopper expects to reduce oil usage by 10 percent in approximately 100 of its stores.
“As we continue to evolve our Market 32 concept, it’s important to me that my deli equipment works even harder. The opportunity to take out any manual method of food preparation without sacrificing food quality and by using technology is key across the board,” said John Mazzacco, director of foodservice for Price Chopper.