Who doesn't like fried foods? From chicken wings to pizza logs, they are a cornerstone of the bar culture, and they make excellent appetizers at a classic American restaurant. But if you are going to offer fried food in your restaurant, you need to make a plan for the obvious byproduct: grease. Specifically, you'll need to know how you're going to dispose of the used oil, how you'll protect your plumbing from the grease, and how you will keep surfaces grease-free.
Disposing of Used Oil
To keep your quality consistent, you will need to replace your fryer oil at least every few days. That results in a lot of used oil! You can't just put it in the trash as it will make a mess. Rather, you'll want to make plans to have a grease removal company come pick it up. They can typically come once a week or once a month depending on how quickly your waste oil accumulates. They may even give you buckets that you can store the oil in until they arrive. Or you can recycle buckets from supplies like frosting and sauces for this purpose.
Many grease removal companies will recycle the grease. They may clean it and convert it to diesel fuel, so less petroleum needs to be used for this purpose. This is an eco-friendly choice, and one you can mention to customers who are worried about your use of green practices.
Protecting Your Plumbing
Grease that goes down the drain can cause huge problems not only in your own waste lines but also in the public sewer system and the lines leading from your home to the public sewer system. So before you start frying anything, you'll want to have a device called a grease trap installed in your drain system. A grease trap will accumulate grease as it flows down the drain. You'll just have the trap pumped and cleaned every couple of months.
Keep in mind that grease traps do have a limited capacity. Even though you have one, you need to limit the amount of grease that goes down the drain so the trap does not fill up too quickly. Make sure you wipe out any greasy pots or pans with paper towels before you put them into the dishwasher. Also, dispose of any greasy sauces in the trash rather than rinsing them down the drain. And use a degreasing detergent to break down any remnants of grease that do end up in the sink.
Keeping Your Kitchen Clean
Oil splashes. As a result, it tends to get everywhere and can make a kitchen look absolutely dirty within a few days' time. To keep your kitchen clean, you really need to stay on top of wiping everything down -- especially the walls behind the fryers and the floors beneath them. Consider having a few staff members to do these chores after-hours once a week. Give them a specific list of places to clean to ensure they do a thorough job.
Also, talk to the janitorial company that you buy your cleaners from to make sure you have ones that are truly effective at fighting grease. Use splash guards on they fryers, and do not start up more fryers than you need. For example, on Tuesday nights you may be able to get away with using one fryer, while on Saturday, you may need to use all three. The fewer fryers you have on, the less grease residue will accumulate.
Serving fried foods can be a successful endeavor for your restaurant, but do make sure you have plans for dealing with the associated grease and messiness first.