Franco Manca has rolled out a grease management system across its business – and revealed a kitchen closure incident last year has left it only too aware of the importance of taking the issue seriously.
The 50-strong sourdough pizza chain has installed Filta Group’s grease recovery units at new sites in Oxford, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Exeter and Birmingham.
With 70% of drain blockages from fat, oil and grease from restaurants reportedly caused by FOG build-up generated from washing pots, pans and plates, the company expects the move to not only stave off drain blockages, but help it avoid costly repairs in the longer term.
Bruno Leal, head of openings and maintenance at Franco Manca, said the company had witnessed how a lack of attention to FOG management can prove costly.
“Good practice aside, we know first-hand the repercussions of drain blockages on a business. Only last year, a neighbouring catering operation with no grease management system in place caused the manholes to overflow and we had to close the kitchen.
“Our Covent Garden and Soho restaurants alone deliver up to 1,000 covers on a Saturday and good grease management has to be an integral part of any operation.”
Unlike some traditional grease traps, which are not always large enough to be effective, need constant monitoring to ensure they are not overloaded and whose contaminants are difficult to recycle, the GreaseMaster fits under the sink to remove FOG from sinks, dishwashers, rotisserie ovens and combi-ovens in real-time before it gets to the drains.
Mr Leal said the GreaseMaster solution had been easy to manage so far: “With a side box for solid waste, staff can very visibly see the grease build-up in the FOG container and any water is automatically taken away from the business. There are also no moving parts, making it easy to clean in just a few minutes with no costly repairs.”
The system automatically captures unwanted food debris and holds it in a removal food strainer basket, where it is then separated. Pressure forces the FOG out of the oil valve and into an oil collection cassette, with the clean water being discharged out of the outflow into the sewer system.
Mr Leal added: “It is an investment, but one that is not only having benefits now, but will pay off long term when it comes to averting closures caused by fat accumulation. Emergency call-outs and having to descale the pipework can set you back up to £2,000 and there is the ripple effect of toilet and bathroom sinks being blocked to consider. This is a great preventative measure and we are not planning to go back to the grease trap ‘black boxes’ moving forward.”