Whitbread’s kitchens are using significantly less oil than they used to, and the quality of its fries has improved at the same time. We take a look at the innovative tool having a major impact on its frying operations…
As the name behind some of the UK’s biggest hospitality brands, including Premier Inn, Beefeater and Table Table, Whitbread is one of the most established and respected hospitality companies in the UK.
With more than 1,200 venues and 35,000 employees, safety, compliance and sustainability are all essential values behind Whitbread’s success. This is especially true when it comes to serving their five million customers every month.
While continuing to operate efficiently, Whitbread realised that the quality of its fries wasn’t what it could be. Operationally, consistency between batches was often hard to maintain, and even when its kitchen teams produced top-quality fries the formula behind it was hard to pinpoint and replicate.
Food quality aside, due to the use of compliant but subjective single-use test strips which base oil quality on a simplistic colour chart, Whitbread also found it was having to discard gallons of usable oil each day.
Moreover — as is true across the entire hospitality and food sector — oil was one of its largest consumables. In line with its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Whitbread deemed the waste of perfectly usable oil as unacceptable.
It saw how it could cut its company-wide carbon footprint, while simultaneously making extensive oil savings.
Whitbread took direct action to address these issues. As with the smooth countrywide implementation of objective food oil monitoring systems by companies like McDonald’s, Wasabi and Five Guys, a trial was conducted across four of Whitbread’s kitchen locations using Klipspringer’s food oil monitor.
This instrument provides a fast and accurate reading of the Total Polar Compounds (TPC) within the oil — an objective indication of oil quality in fryers. Given that increasing TPC is associated with acrylamide build-up (a cancer-causing, customer-harming chemical), identifying oil with dangerously high levels is essential for consumer safety.
Klipspringer’s team of experts delivered a coordinated training programme for Whitbread’s staff, who mastered the Food Oil Monitor’s self-explanatory display and light-up system with ease.
After this successful trial period, kitchen staff across almost all Whitbread venues now use the Food Oil Monitor for daily checks.
Before, oil was changed prematurely, but since implementing Klipspringer’s digital solution nationwide, Whitbread has seen an average reduction in oil usage of around 30%, with some sites reporting savings of up to 52%.
That said, Food Oil Monitors are not for every kitchen. There is an initial upfront cost — typically between £350 and £500 — and other methods can be legally compliant. Nonetheless, it is anticipated that these monitors, already rising in popularity, will soon become an industry staple.
Benefits of food oil monitors
Food Oil Monitors are best suited for companies looking for:
– Significant reductions in oil usage and costs
– Enhanced fried food quality and consistency
– Greater sustainable practice
– Assured customer safety
– ROI within around six months
– No ongoing cost of test strips
– Increased working life of oil amid rising prices