Costs have inflated. Are operators thinking about their deep-fryer oil enough? 

According to recent data from the National Restaurant Association, 94 percent of operators said their operating costs—including supplies—were higher in 2022 than they were in 2019. The National Restaurant Association found that operating costs were up an average of 16.7 percent since 2019 across the entire foodservice industry. 

This has left operators grasping at straws, looking to cut costs in any possible place. There’s one area that John Guentz, director of sales at Stratas Foods, believes hasn’t received enough attention: deep-fryer oil management. There is no shortage of ways the average oil management program could be improved, Guentz says, to help cut operating costs and improve overall profitability. In the process, food will have better flavor, and oil will need to be changed less often. 

“There are so many ways that could help save them money in the long run, but it would also help them develop that operational excellence they’re all striving toward,” Guentz says. “It all adds up to better food, retaining customers, and helping out the bottom line.” 

Is staff skimming oil enough? Are they switching oil out on a designated day at a designated time rather than when oil no longer has any fry life left? These are questions Stratas helps address with its offering of products, as well as expertise in the field. For example, the company sells high performing high-oleic oils that typically have a longer fry life when compared to commodity oils. 

Stratas Foods also offers a Fry Test Kit, a tool that helps operators and team members follow certain protocols to ensure fry life is maximized. Each kit comes with bilingual instructions that outline best practices when it comes to filtering and skimming oil. The kit is part of Stratas Foods’ ongoing efforts to educate its client partners on how to extend fry life and ultimately lower costs. 

“We try to educate the operator and their entire staff,” Guentz says. “That could be a single one-off operator, a local chain, a regional chain, or a national chain. We will commit to go in and train the staff and train the people in the trenches. Because the people who work with the food ultimately are the ones who are going to maintain oil.” 

With everything continuing to inflate, it makes sense why operators are hesitant to spend more on goods right now, Guentz says. But thinking of it as spending more is the wrong way to look at it, he adds. The way a customer should view it, is not cost per case—but cost per day. 

“We provide a valuable service,” Guentz says. “We tailor our solutions to what each client’s biggest pain points are. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all oil program. If we sell an operator an oil program, we look after your food quality and your bottom line.”

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