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Managing a smarter, safer kitchen

safer restaurant kitchen

In a day of spiking labor costs and razor-thin profit margins, restaurant operators can’t afford the operational inefficiencies, lost productivity and higher workers’ compensation premiums that workplace injuries bring.

Many times, the fryer station is the site of avoidable injuries and costs in restaurants. In fact, managing fryer cooking oil is one of the most time-consuming and hazardous tasks that some operators ask their employees to do. It presents several significant risks, such as burns from skin contact with hot oil, slips and falls from oil spillage on floors and wrenched backs from hoisting hefty oil vessels.

Indeed, 60 percent of workers' compensation claims in restaurants are related to the handling of cooking oil, according to a study carried out by a major insurance company. In addition, a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study of injuries among adolescent restaurant workers found that nearly half of burn injuries involved hot grease and more than half of fall injuries were caused by wet or greasy floors.

The old-fashioned way of manually siphoning hot, used oil from fryers into stockpots and carrying it outside the restaurant for disposal can be extremely dangerous. And refilling fryers by hand with jugs of fresh cooking oil is just as messy.

For those reasons, many operators have switched to modern systems that reduce the risks and streamline the process of managing cooking oil. Oil management solutions facilitate the filtering of food particles from the oil to optimize its cooking life and its replacement with fresh oil when its lifespan has expired.

One option for easy, safe oil changes is a fully automated oil management system for buying, storing, filtering and cleaning oil. In addition to doing away with manual drudgery and injury risk, systems such as these dramatically raise efficiency and cost savings. Managers can monitor the system via an online dashboard that analyzes and forecasts oil usage and automatically schedules oil deliveries and disposals.

The payoff for eliminating manual oil changing occurs not only in improved safety, but in terms of greater employee satisfaction—and consistent results. Maintaining clean cooking oil assures that fried chicken, Buffalo wings, French fries and other fried items will have the crisp texture and craveable flavor that customers love.

Additionally, oil management systems help operators keep labor costs down by preventing workplace injuries and worker’s compensation claims. These costs are expensive—lost time claims alone average $42,586—so systems that mitigate the risk of such claims can have a huge effect on a restaurant’s bottom line.

A good oil management system that encourages recycling and reduces the amount of packaging sent to landfills can also improve a restaurant’s standing in the eyes of customers who care about the environment, especially young adults. National Restaurant Association research found that more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds want to patronize restaurants that practice sustainability.

This post is sponsored by Restaurant Technologies

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