Sustainability has become increasingly important in recent years, with restaurants and other foodservice operators looking for ways to both meet consumer demand for socially responsible companies and reduce operational expenses. Whether it involves extensive changes across an entire restaurant or small tweaks, emphasizing sustainability can help a restaurant minimize waste, increase efficiency and improve its bottom line. Dave Booher, group leader, healthy oils, for Dow AgroSciences, was featured in the September issue of Grocerant Solutions, where he talked about how making an oil change can help restaurants reduce their waste significantly.
The article, “Waste Not,” cites a case study involving The Restaurant Co., a large Arby’s franchisee in the Richmond, Va., area. The Restaurant Co. decreased oil changes at its restaurants by more than 60 percent annually after switching to longer-lasting Omega-9 Canola Oil. Similarly, a popular drive-in quick-service restaurant showed a 40 percent annual decrease of oil usage by switching to a blend that included Omega-9 Canola Oil.
The fatty acid profile of Omega-9 Canola Oil — with high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and lower levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids — means it is naturally stable and does not need to be changed as frequently in frying applications. It can extend fry life by up to 50 percent without the hydrogenation and higher levels of saturated fats associated with other commercial cooking oils.
Oil is the costliest and most wasteful non-food item restaurants face, so by switching to longer lasting oil, restaurants can reduce the number of JIBs (jugs in boxes) of oil they have to order and eventually dispose of. A foodservice operator using 1 million pounds of oil annually can package and dispose of 14,000 fewer JIBs by switching to Omega-9 Canola Oil.
Even at the agricultural level, canola is the ideal choice for sustainability. Canola is a good rotational crop as it helps protect plant diversity and soil health and requires relatively little water to grow compared to traditional field crops. Additionally, comprised of 44 percent oil, canola seeds provide a high level of oil for the resources it takes to produce.
Focusing on sustainability and reducing waste not only helps restauranteurs drive down costs, but it also attracts the attention of consumers. According to a 2016 survey by the International Food Information Council, seven in 10 consumers say it is important food is produced in a sustainable way, and 41 percent say sustainability impacts their food buying decisions. Additionally, Nielsen revealed that products with sustainable farming claims saw an average sales growth of 11.4 percent in 2016.
Omega-9 Canola Oil can help restaurants achieve their sustainability goals by improving efficiency. Want to learn more about how Omega-9 Oils can help your business’ bottom line? Check out our opportunity cost calculator and see what you could save in your own operation.