Facility managers have many priorities that require their daily attention, and grease management can be easily overlooked. Restaurant and food service managers naturally focus on improving their customer experiences, controlling costs, and working hard to ensure that their facility continues to operate efficiently without any unnecessary interruptions of service.
With such overwhelming responsibilities, grease trap management and choosing the right grease control device can seem less important than other priorities. But a facility managers’ goals for their facility are impacted by their choices in grease control.
Facility managers are increasingly being held accountable for grease effluent control and regulatory compliance. Lack of compliance can mean costly fines, facility shut downs, and damage to the corporate brand and reputation.
Questions regarding compliance can distract the owner or facility manager from delivering a great customer experience. In the worst-case scenario, it becomes a nightmare. Complicating this is the corporate pressure to strengthen the restaurant’s brand, enhance the customer experience, manage costs and deliver profit goals. Doing what is best can take a back seat to doing what is necessary at any given time.
Facility managers can be caught in the middle of corporate financial management, engineering design and construction teams, regulatory and stewardship teams, purchasing, human resources, restaurant management, operations and outside regulatory agencies. In the case of grease control, some organizations have driven the process to the lowest common denominator to buy what is cheapest to keep them in compliance. Companies that take a long-term approach can satisfy the brand manager’s initiatives, while becoming good stewards of the community, the environment, and their bottom line.
Plumbing and building codes simply require an approved grease capture device to be installed. But just because a device follows the local code does not mean that the facility is in environmental compliance for wastewater discharge or can operate trouble-free. Regulators and grease inspectors manage sewer use with environmental ordinances. They are becoming very aggressive in monitoring grease effluent and enforcing grease control standards. A food service establishment must operate in a way that does not disrupt the safe operation of the sewer system and the treatment plan.
Meeting plumbing codes does not mean that your restaurant is in environmental compliance. When sizing grease interceptors to ensure compliance, work with your supplier and local regulator who can verify the grease interceptor is sized to accept the peak flow from each grease-discharging fixture.
Spending the “bare minimum” on your grease traps to stay compliant with local regulations will ultimately hurt you in the long-run, and severely impact your bottom line. Finding the right long-term solution for your grease traps will save you money, time, and hassles today and in the future.