Vegetable and other cooking oil prices in the United States continue to climb due to increased demand and tightening supplies. Renewable fuel mandates are diverting more vegetable oils for biofuel production, and extreme weather events can disrupt the production of crucial oilseed crops. For the foodservice industry, this translates to soaring frying oil expenses that eat directly into margins. Luckily, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help.
The Impact of Degrading Frying Oil
As frying oil degrades from repeated frying, flavor and nutrition suffer. Food absorbs more grease, becomes soggy, and loses its appealing texture. Degraded oil also foams more, boils over quickly, and produces smoke. This leads to more frequent oil disposal, higher costs, and potential kitchen hazards.
How Connected Fryers Provide Visibility into Oil Quality
By integrating IoT sensors into fryers, operators can set optimal thresholds and automatically get notified when oil needs to be filtered or changed. This heads off issues before oil quality degrades too far. A connected facility also makes it possible to constantly monitor important oil-health parameters like:
- Total cook time
- Number of frying cycles
- Temperature fluctuations
- Total oil disposed
Automation Dramatically Extends Oil Life
Specialized filtration systems continually remove food debris from frying oil. This keeps oil cleaner for longer, extending its life. Some systems feature automatic oil top-offs and bulk-changing capabilities. This saves significant staff time, reduces oil waste, and improves consistency.
Back-of-house solutions like Open Kitchen aggregate data into user-friendly dashboards that provide foodservice operators with a unified view of oil performance across all fryers in their fleet. They can set oil cost targets per basket or store and track progress over time. Regional managers can benchmark real-time oil metrics across locations and quickly spot underperforming locations to address issues promptly. By connecting fryers and automating filtration, restaurants gain unprecedented control over one of their highest variable costs.
The Bottom Line: More Profits from Each Drop
With rising prices and shrinking margins, getting maximum value from frying oil is mission-critical. Connected fryers and automated filtration give foodservice operators the insights and control they need to optimize quality, costs, and safety. This empowers them to turn up the heat on profits even in challenging times.
Interested in learning how connected equipment provides visibility into oil quality? Reach out to a member of our team to find out.