Chefs at an award-winning French Quarter restaurant are now working in a safer, cleaner and more efficient kitchen. That’s because Haley Bittermann, corporate executive chef for Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill, found a more sustainable and efficient way to manage its cooking oil. Bittermann installed an automated oil management system from Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (RTI) in the restaurant, which is known for its seafood specialties. Just 60 days after implementing the RTI system, oil usage at Red Fish Grill decreased 48 percent.
Before installing RTI’s automated system, Red Fish Grill was using an outdated, manual process to handle its cooking oil. Restaurant protocol required staff to filter oil twice a day, which required kitchen staff to shut down the fryers. Because busy chefs couldn’t afford the downtime needed, the staff threw out unfiltered oil to safeguard food quality – while unintentionally throwing out “money” by tossing the oil instead of filtering it.
Employees now filter oil according to the restaurant’s filtration protocols, and the general manager and chef are sent alerts in real-time when employees do not meet filtration standard operating practices. The Red Fish Grill general manager remotely monitors employee compliance though RTI’s Total Oil Management (TOM™) online portal, which gives managers an easy-to-use dashboard for visibility into the restaurant’s oil performance and filtration trends, as well as delivery and disposal history and compliance to SOPs. This helps them improve training, correct employee behavior and identify areas to improve efficiencies.
On top of oil use and cost savings, employee safety and satisfaction has improved. Bittermann credits the RTI system with a reduction in workers’ compensation claims, and providing peace of mind not having to worry about employees slipping, falling or burning themselves while handling hot oil. Employees are happy because they don’t have to haul grease anymore. In fact, the automated oil management has been so successful at Red Fish Grill that the parent company is installing it in a California restaurant.