TERMAC: 55 Years and Counting – How Do We Do It?

People are surprised when a commercial business is still running – and still growing – after more than half a century. While there are no hard and fast rules for ensuring longevity, TERMAC, the O’Reilly family business, has lasted long enough to celebrate its 55th anniversary serving commercial kitchens by fostering a personal relationship with its customers and building trust.

At TERMAC, customer service has been the focus since founder Terence O’Reilly Sr. started the business that serves the cleaning and sanitation needs of the food service, hospitality and health care industries. TERMAC has flourished because of its commitment to personal service.

The O’Reilly sons, Terence Jr. and Sean, continue the legacy from the dishwashing service company’s beginnings in 1963 with one van and a pager. Today we run 60 service vehicles and TERMAC has expanded its services to thousands of commercial kitchens in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the surrounding area. Even in the last five years since our 50th anniversary, TERMAC has acquired the metal fabrication company AllPro, and the fire suppression company Universal Fire Protection, adding to its Filter Man and GTO Grease Trap Cleaning companies.

Despite this growth, TERMAC’s intensive “24/7” customer support has been a constant. It’s a necessity in our field because restaurant challenges often occur after regular hours and on weekends. This is when you show who you are.

The company began in northeast Philadelphia and has a satellite location in Wind Gap (Lehigh Valley), Pa. Recently we added facilities in Nutley, Nj. and Laurel, Md. The Nutley, Nj. warehouse, supports TERMAC and Filter Man services and the expansion of GTO Grease Trap Services into New York state. The Laurel, Md. facility, offers Filter Man, GTO Grease Trap Services and Universal Fire Protection services to Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

It’s been a remarkable journey, starting with a vision and understanding the need for quality commercial dish washing machines and cleaning supplies. But there was also a valuable lesson imparted to the next generation: that a business that serves its customers should be synonymous with customer service.

Fire Prevention Week

This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” The intent is to educate how to create a strong fire escape plan for your home or business.

Here are a few key points:

  • Designate two exits from each room in your home or business (can be a door or a window) and draw
    a path from the exit to the outside.
  • Host fire drills with your family or employees twice a year. Be sure to practice different routes.
  • Make sure everyone knows important safety tips during the evacuation, such as closing doors behind you to slow the spread of smoke and flames.
  • Once outside, call 911 for help. Never go back inside a burning building.
  • Ensure everyone knows the evacuation plan and understands the best practices of fire evacuation.

To learn more about fire prevention services, contact Universal Fire Protection at 800-601-4663 or visit us at www.unifirepro.com

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

References: NFPA.org

Follow-up from a health inspection

Here’s what you can do if you are cited during a health inspection:

  • Fix critical violations during the inspection when and if possible (e.g., temperature issues, cross-contamination issues, sanitizing solution, etc.).
  • Review the inspection report and correct all noted deficiencies. Inform your employees of the violations and explain their importance. Determine why each violation occurred so you can try to avoid it in the future.
  • If you don’t understand the violation, ask the health official to explain. Remember to not be confrontational; your health inspector should be your ally.
  • If you disagree with the inspector’s findings, you can appeal the decision later. Typically, this involves calling the health department and talking with the inspector’s supervisor.

To improve sanitation safety in your restaurant, contact a Termac representative today at 1-800-332-4912 or www.termac.com.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

Reference: National Restaurant Association 2017

The Importance of Grease Trap Cleaning

A grease trap is a plumbing device used in any restaurant or food service operation to intercept grease and solids before they enter a drain system. A lot of owners and managers don’t realize how important it is to have the grease trap cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Here are several points about grease trap cleaning that should be considered:

  • A Legal Requirement: Grease trap cleaning is actually a requirement in most municipalities and by the board of health.
  • Good For The Environment: By having your grease trap cleaned regularly, it helps keep the sewer system clean and functional. In addition, professional grease trap cleaners know the best way to legally dispose of the grease waste to be the most beneficial for the environment.
  • When to Clean Your Grease Trap: You can tell when your grease trap needs to be cleaned by simply looking at the amount. If the grease trap is half full of grease or you can smell it, it’s time to be pumped.
  • Never One and Done: The frequency of cleaning depends on the use of the grease trap and the amount of grease that builds up within the trap. Typically, the local municipality will determine the compliance standards and time frame of grease trap cleaning.
  • The Dangers Of Avoiding Grease Trap Cleaning: Without proper grease trap maintenance, your system can be at risk of clogging or overflowing causing other damages to your establishment.
  • It’s Affordable: The investment is worth the peace of mind knowing that your grease trap is compliant and properly working.

If you would like to learn more about how GTO Grease Trap Services can help your business maintain clean, compliant and environmentally conscious grease traps, visit our website at www.gtoservices.biz or call 800-723-1770.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

How Outdoor Dining Boosts A Restaurant’s Bottom Line

Al fresco dining provides a fun, memorable experience for restaurant guests. Outdoor dining spaces not only attract more people to restaurants, but also add more seating. More seating equals more guests and sales, which can boost a restaurant’s bottom line. Research conducted by VSAG, an international restaurant and hospitality consulting firm, found that an outdoor patio area can increase a restaurant’s gross profits by 65 percent.

Keep Design in Mind When Planning Outdoor Spaces

A well designed outdoor area can breathe new life into a restaurant and give it a fresh, updated look. It should seamlessly blend with a restaurant’s brand and interior design. If a restaurant’s interior decor is chic and modern then the outdoor furnishings should reflect and complement that same decor. Just like the interior, an outdoor space should feel warm and welcoming. If a restaurant features unique attractions, face tables toward that breathtaking focal point. This allows guests to soak in the spectacular scenery around them. A beautiful, relaxing outdoor ambiance will keep guests coming back.

How Weather Affects Guests and Their Dining Experience

The last thing a restaurateur wants is for customers to get up and leave because the outdoor dining space is too hot or too cold. Invest in weather resistant umbrellas or large patio coverings/awnings that keep out the sun, heat and rain. To make guests feel extra comfortable, invest in outdoor patio heaters to keep customers warm. To cool off customers during hot months, install gentle water misters in the patio area.

Choose furniture that is resistant to extreme heat and rain/moisture. Make sure the furnishings are easy to clean and maintain. Keep that in mind when purchasing furniture and accessories such as chair cushions, tablecloths, etc. Faded furnishings make an outdoor space look outdated and unappealing which can turn off customers.

Offer Outdoor Happy Hours and Special Events

Use the outdoor space to your sales advantage. To attract more customers to dine outside, offer happy hour drink and appetizer specials just for the patio area. During warm summer months, plan outdoor special events such as wine and food pairings and live musical entertainment. Outdoor spaces not only help boost a restaurant’s bottom line, but also create a fun, unique dining experience that puts a smile on customers’ faces and leaves a positive, lasting impression.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

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 References: RMagazine

The 10 Germiest Places in a Restaurant

While you’re feasting, where are the germs festering?

To get the dirt on dining out, ABC News Consumer Correspondent Elisabeth Leamy went undercover at 10 restaurants in three states. She took swab samples from 10 surfaces you typically come in contact with at a restaurant. Then, Dr. Philip Tierno and his team at the New York University Microbiology Department lab tested the samples.

So what’s the dirtiest? Here are the top 10 germiest places in a restaurant, in descending order:

10. Salad bar tongs

9. Ketchup bottles

8. Bathroom faucets

7. Bathroom door knobs

6. Rims of glasses

5. Tables

4. Salt and pepper shakers

3. Lemon wedges

2. Menus

1. Seats

Protect your customers, establishment and reputation! Contact Termac Corporation today for help on the cleaning and sanitation of your food operation at 800-332-4912 • www.termac.com

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
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 References: abcnewsradioonline.com

Does great customer service really get you customer loyalty?

In this article, we look at the relationship between great customer service and customer loyalty.

The Millennial Customer

The driving force in today’s economy is the Millennial customer. This refers to those born between 1980-2000.

Not only are they trendsetters, but their spending power is enormous. They are largely responsible for many of the trends we see today when it concerns customer service and customer loyalty because their needs trickle out to the rest of the world.

Millennials influence the buying decisions of those older and younger than them. This means that your restaurant must meet the demands of the Millennial generation and that means a friendlier, customer-service oriented experience at your restaurant.

You can count your Millennial diners as loyal customers if you treat them the way they expect to be treated. They are quite likely to become brand ambassadors for your restaurant if they value your customer service.

The Personalized Experience

Millennial customers, and those who share their outlook, want an authentic, personalized experience at your restaurant.

They want to dine in a place that feels like home, but they also want a sense of adventure that they can’t actually get at home. You can meet their needs by providing an interesting and delicious menu that is served by courteous, friendly staff members.

Today’s customer wants something memorable, exciting and new when dining out. Provide them with an experience they won’t forget, and again, you’ll have their loyalty.

The Caring Restaurant

Your customer service extends to your values as a brand.

If you want to earn customer loyalty, your customer service must match your restaurant’s values.

For example, if your customers value organic, locally-sourced or sustainably produced food, provide it to them. They’ll see this as an extension of your customer service as it pertains to your community as a whole.

This is just one more nod back to the Millennial generation that makes an effort to frequent businesses that support things they care about.

The Social Arena

When we talk about customer service and your restaurant, you’re probably thinking about the service your customers receive from your wait staff. This is no longer the only area for you to provide exceptional customer service.

Social media is the norm for many people these days, and they often make their purchasing decisions online. What’s this mean for your restaurant? It means it pays to establish a strong social media network, one where you respond to and engage your customers.

If you receive negative comments, respond promptly and with kindness and empathy. If you receive positive comments, thank your customers.

Today’s consumer decides much of their customer loyalty online. They decide where to dine based on the opinions of others.

So, while your in-restaurant customer service experience is vital, so is your social media customer service. Both can serve to either boost or deplete your customers’ loyalty. Does great customer service really get you customer loyalty?

Building Great Customer Service

Here are a few steps to providing great customer service that really gets you customer loyalty:

  1. Build relationships. This speaks to the personalized experience. Train your staff on an ongoing basis so they know how to build relationships with your customers and provide exceptional service. Hire an astute social media manager who can do the same online.
  2. Provide the experience. Set your restaurant apart from the competition by always going a step above and beyond. Not only should you meet expectations, but you should exceed them every time a customer has an interaction with your restaurant and your staff.
  3. Treat your staff well. Your team is the front-line, and they are the ones responsible for providing great customer service. Treat your team well, and they’ll do the same for you. Happy employees are good employees.
  4. Pay attention to feedback. When your customers talk, it’s your job to listen and respond well. Negative or positive, if your customers take the time to reach out, you should do likewise. Use any negative comments to change things in your restaurant. Negative feedback can be a positive learning experience.

Invest in your restaurant customer service, and you’re investing in customer loyalty. It’s always easier to keep a customer than acquire a new one, so concentrating on customer service boosts your customer loyalty.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

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References: Restaurantengine.com 12/16

Neighborhood pubs like Memphis Taproom are recycling more than beer bottles

Oil Change by Matt Bevilacqua

For many people, excess cooking oil is something to pour down the drain after preparing a meal. But at Leigh Maida’s restaurants, all that greasy liquid has another destination: gas tanks, where it will power cars rather than block sewer pipes.

“You have to do something with the used oil,” says Maida, one of the owners behind a quintet of well-regarded Philadelphia eateries. “That it’s possible to give it to anyone who will do something with it seems [like] a lucky break to me.”

The chefs at each of her restaurants—Memphis Taproom, Strangelove’s, Local 44, Clarkville and Coeur—gather their used cooking oil in 55-gallon drums, which they place outside a few times a week. Then trucks bearing the name Waste Oil Recyclers pick it up, after which it will, eventually, become fuel.

“Our cooking oil gets processed and then basically sold to a biodiesel refinery,” explains Brendan Steer, director of sales and co-owner at Waste Oil Recyclers.The Modena, Pennsylvania-based company started in 2006 with “a credit card and a van,” Steer says. Today, its fleet of 12 trucks operates from Atlantic City to Harrisburg and from Baltimore to Scranton. (The company also seeks to expand to Southern Delaware and east to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.) Waste Oil Recyclers customers include restaurants, universities, hospitals and most of the stadiums in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. “Really, anyone who fries food,” says Brenda McNeil, director of marketing.

The use of biofuel goes back to ancient times, and vegetable oil has taken turns powering streetlamps in the 1700s and diesel engines in the 1920s, according to the 2013 book “Biofuel Crops: Production, Physiology and Genetics.” Petroleum became king in the mid-20th century, but the volatility of the global crude oil market has led countries to turn back to biofuel over the last dozen years.

Nationally, the practice has grown in an explosive way. According to a January report from the market research firm IBISWorld, cooking oil recycling is a $2 billion a year industry with almost 400 businesses employing more than 4,000 people in the U.S. The market grew by 5.8 percent annually between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue growing through the end of the decade—thanks in no small part to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard program, which requires a certain share of transportation fuel sold in the country to be renewable.

A handful of massive companies, such as Darling International and Baker Commodities, dominate the industry. But Steer says that Waste Oil Recyclers cornered the Southeastern Pennsylvania market precisely because it maintained a local scope.

“We were a smaller, more nimble company that focused on service and hammered home our promise of the oil being recycled into domestically produced renewable fuels,” he says.

For Maida, who became a customer in 2008, getting in on the trend seemed like a no-brainer. “We almost never have to think about the oil being taken away,” she says. “It’s a pretty easy way to be green.”

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
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Preparing Your Restaurant for the Holiday Season

termac-12-2

For restaurants, the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year. Here are a few suggestions to help make this festive time easier and more profitable.

  • Prepare Your Staff. Make sure your staff is equipped and trained for the expected fast flow of traffic coming into your restaurant. Hire early to avoid gaps in personnel or consider employing temporary help such as college students looking for seasonal work.
  • Check your inventory of supplies and kitchen equipment. To keep your restaurant running smoothly and worry-free, make sure you can accommodate potential crowds and your equipment is reliable to handle the work-load.
  • Introduce special menu items. A holiday is an opportunity to have fun with your menu. Your restaurant can create specialty menu items or a limited-time holiday offering to draw in regular and new customers.
  • Gift Cards are a very popular holiday gift. Through gift cards, you are providing your customers the opportunity to share the gift of a good meal and the recipient can use it whenever he or she wants.

To assist you with the cleaning and sanitation of your restaurant during every season, contact a Termac representative today at 1-800-332-4912 or www.termac.com.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
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References:  Funfoodthailand.com

What to do when a health inspector visits

Don’t panic when an inspector arrives. Think of the visit as a learning opportunity that will benefit your operation by making it as safe as possible. To make the inspection a positive experience, follow these guideline:

  • health-inspectionsAsk to see the inspector’s credentials. In some cases, people have tried to pass themselves off as health officials. If you’re unsure of the person’s credentials, call the local health department or the inspector’s supervisor for verification. Ask whether the purpose of the visit is a regular inspection or due to a customer complaint. Train your employees to check identification before allowing anyone to enter the back of your operation.
  • Don’t refuse an inspection. In doing so, the health inspector likely will obtain an inspection warrant which allows him/her to inspect your establishment without your consent.
  • Tag along with the inspector and take notes of any violations he/she finds. This gives you the chance to correct simple problems on the spot and the health inspector will note your willingness to fix problems. Be prepared to provide any information or records that the inspector needs and truthfully answer the inspector’s questions.
  • Refrain from offering any food or any other item that can be misconstrued as an attempt to influence the inspector’s findings.
  • Sign the inspector’s report after the inspection. Signing doesn’t mean that you agree to the findings, it only means that you received a copy of the report.
  • Ask the inspector to explain his/her findings to your staff, or share the inspection results with your employees and offer suggestions on areas that need improvement.

Now that the inspection is over, consider appropriate follow-up and be prepared for the next one.
To assist you with the cleaning and sanitation of your restaurant, contact a Termac representative
today at 1-800-332-4912 or www.termac.com.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
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References: National Restaurant Association 2016.

Which dish machine is right for you?

dishwasher1Picking the right dish machine will make a big difference in how efficiently your kitchen is run.The amount of dishes to be washed will be the major factor in determining the type of dish machine you’ll need. There are four basic types that are typically used in food service operations. Here’s a quick overview of what is available on the market.

1. Undercounter Dish Machines

These are the best choice for snack bars, coffee shops or smaller restaurants using limited china, glasses or flatware.

Features:

  • Doesn’t take up much space.
  • Easy to install and allows counter space on top.
  • Most affordable type of commercial dish machine.

Consider:

  • Only washes a limited number of dishes per hour due to slightly longer wash cycle.

dishwasher2. Glasswasher Dish Machines

If you need clean glassware without the wait, this commercial dish machine is the ideal solution for bars and tight spaces.

Features:

  • Can wash thin and special glasses without damage.
  • Can wash many other types of dishes as well.
  • Cleans glassware quickly.
  • Available in undercounter styles.

Consider:

  • Not as useful for kitchens that regularly need to clean large pots and pans.

3. Door-Type Dish Machines

Designed to be fast and efficient, the door-type dish machine is the most common choice for busy commercial kitchens.

Features:

  • High capacity.
  • Easy to use.
  • Cleans fast.

Consider:

  •  Takes up more space than undercounter models.

4. Conveyor Dish Machines

Regularly used in cafeterias, universities, hotels and hospitals, the conveyor dish machine offers high capacity and quick cleaning of large quantities of dishes.

Features:

  • Powerful cleaning.
  • Can handle large quantities.
  • Cleans fast.

Consider:

  • Tends to be more expensive.
  • Uses more energy and water.
  • Takes up a lot of space and ranges in size from 44 inches to 10 feet.

In addition to the size and style of the dish machine, there are other factors to consider such as cost, speed, temperature, electrical requirements, energy and water use.

Contact a Termac Representative today at 1-800-332-4912 or www.termac.com to assist you in making sure the dish machine you select makes the most sense for your kitchen.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.
 
 
References: Restaurant Hospitality and Compact Appliances.

Shield Your Kitchen From The Top Four Fire Threats

kitchen-fire

Fires in eating and drinking establishments in the U.S. cause injuries, deaths and millions of dollars of property damage every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Recognize National Fire Prevention month by making fire prevention strategies top of mind for kitchen managers and chefs.

Avoid these top four threats we often see in the field:

#1: Irregular (or Lack of) Cleaning

Cleaning commercial kitchen equipment every day can be a tedious process, but it is critical to fire prevention. Exhaust ducts will collect grease, which can affect the ventilation of the kitchen hood and cause a fire.

When first installing the equipment, schedule additional preventative maintenance every six month, then increase or decrease maintenance based on equipment usage.

#2: Out of Sight, out of Mind

Because gas lines are almost always located out of sight, behind kitchen equipment, problems often go unnoticed until gas is leaking into the air. Avoid the problem by regularly moving kitchen equipment away from the wall to properly inspect and clean lines. Look for grease and food buildup, which deteriorate the lines.

Wall outlets and circuit breaker panels are also usually out of sight lines and need to be checked regularly. A good time to check outlets, which are susceptible to moisture and corrosion, is when kitchen equipment is already pulled out for a gas line check.

Circuit breaker panels should remain free of  obstruction by three to five feet. Typically located at the rear of the restaurant, they frequently become blocked by trash receptacles, products or other debris.

#3: Creating Carbon

Kitchen teams need to understand how to  properly dispose of grease buildup when cleaning flattop stoves or the inside of an oven. Grease that is scraped away into a tray or not cleaned immediately can harden into a carbon buildup that acts like charcoal, which can easily start a fire.

Oil in deep-vat-fryers, which becomes dirty from overuse, can also build up in the form of carbon. Prevent this by filtering the oil daily.

In the event of a fire due to oven spills, turn  off the oven and close the doors to suffocate the flames. Once cool, clean the oven thoroughly and properly dispose of the charred food.

#4 A Food Jam

We are often called to assist kitchen crews with conveyor toasters. Don’t make the common mistake of continuing t use the toaster without removing the jammed food, which is clearly a target for fires. Instead, unplug the device, let it cool and then remove the item. Never try to remove a food item while the equipment is still connected to the power source.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable by neglecting fire threats. Maintain regular checkpoints and keep the above four factors front and center in your fire prevention plan.

For more information, contact Universal Fire Protection at 1.800.601.4663 and we’ll design a fire safety solution for your restaurant!

Content by Greg Meleney
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies • October 2016

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

Tips and Tricks to Recruiting in the Restaurant Industry

hospitality

Whether you’re looking for a hostess, server or executive chef, here are a few tips to help you find the best candidates for your restaurant.

Start looking for an employee before you get desperate.
Recruit employees consistently promising them a great job and work atmosphere. By waiting until you need an employee, you may not be as selective in your hiring as you should be.

Ask your best employees for help.
Many servers and chefs know of other great people out there who would be a terrific fit for your restaurant.

Get your customers involved.
Consider placing a short survey on the table asking customers if they are interested in a position or know someone who might want to be a part of your team.

Visit local culinary schools and get to know the students.
Getting involved in your community is a great way to help the recruitment process. Offer to mentor a culinary student who would be willing to intern at your restaurant.

Let your vendors and other business contacts know you’re looking.
They most likely work with other restaurants in the area and may know of someone looking for employment.

Hire a recruiting service.
Use a recruiting service specifically designed for the restaurant industry. By doing so, you can find the best fit for both you and your prospective employee.

Content provided by the Recruiting Blog.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

Prevent Grease Fires and Keep Your Kitchen Safe

greasefires

A restaurant kitchen fire can risk lives, lead to lost revenues and ruin a business. Here are a few tips that restaurant owners can take to prevent a fire from occurring and avoiding disaster.

Cleanliness

The majority of kitchen fires begin when flammable cooking materials, such as oil and grease ignite. Regular cleaning of exhaust hoods, filters and ventilation systems of grease buildup and debris can reduce the risk of fire.

Equipment

Every commercial kitchen must have fire extinguishers that are tested, maintained and easily accessible. In addition, a fire-suppression system should be installed to automatically dispense chemicals to stop the fire.

Training

Make fire safety a regular part of your training process. From evacuation procedures to storing flammable materials, awareness is the first step of prevention.

For more information, contact Universal Fire Protection at 1.800.601.4663 and we’ll design a fire safety solution for your restaurant!

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

The Importance of Restaurant Sanitation

termac-kitchen

Good sanitation is one of the most important priorities in a commercial kitchen. It’s more than just wiping down the tables, chairs and counters. It’s making certain that your staff is trained in cross-contamination prevention and performing a wide range of cleaning duties on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly schedules.

Consider this:

  • A clean commercial kitchen reduces harmful bacteria. Most food-related illnesses are the result of unsanitary food handling practices. Having just one case of food poisoning linked to your restaurant is enough to destroy your reputation.
  • It’s the law. The state has strict guidelines set on the sanitation of eating places. On average, a health inspector can visit a restaurant twice a year to make sure local safety regulations are implemented and to check hygiene levels.
  • All restaurant personnel should be trained in cleaning. From regularly washing their hands to knowing which cleaning products to use for surfaces, floors and equipment, the focus is on customer and staff safety.
  • Every commercial kitchen should have a cleaning checklist and schedule. Timelines may vary, but it will help ensure that every utensil is sterilized and the grease trap drained.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

For more information, contact Termac Corporation at 1-800-332-4912 and we’ll create a customized cleaning solution for your restaurant!

A word to the “Whys” from the Filter Man

termac

Why are clean grease filters so important?

Grease filters are the first line of defense in preventing fires in a commercial kitchen. They are required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and enforced by local fire personnel. Regulations demand that the grease filters be kept clean and in safe working condition. The frequency of a cleaning and maintenance schedule depends on the volume of the cooking establishment.

Why should I work with the Filter Man?

For more than 25 years, the Filter Man has offered affordable product and service options to clean and maintain your grease filters while keeping your investment, staff and customers safe.
In addition,

  • No more grease down your drains from cleaning filters
  • Lower Facility Exposure
  • Lessen Fire Hazards
  • Lower Amount of Grease in Ductwork
  • Filters Always Look New
  • Lower Operation Cost
  • Increase Profitability
  • Less EPA Exposure
  • Less Carbon Build-Up

Your business will also benefit from the services of the Filter Man’s sister company, Universal Fire Protection.

Why do I need a full safety program?

Universal Fire Protection specializes in restaurant fire protection offering a number of customized solutions for preventing and suppressing kitchen fires.

Termac Corporation is a family-owned business serving the hospitality industry for more than 50 years with its cleaning and sanitation products. To meet the needs of this evolving market, it established a system of service and developed The FilterMan, GTO Grease Trap Services, Universal Fire Protection and AllPro Metal Fabrication.

Clean soap dispensers are good for business

It should come as no surprise that restaurant patrons, industrial employees, and students all may view a restroom experience as an overall indicator of a facility’s level of
excellence.

Results from an independent telephone survey conducted on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) show that shiny floors, tidy toilets, clean countertops, sparkling sinks, and gleaming mirrors give American adults feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

Consider then the feelings evoked upon experiencing a restroom visit where the floor is littered with used paper towels, the toilets need cleaning, the countertops are spotted with water and leaking soap, sinks are grimy, and mirrors are streaked.

In fact, according to SCA Tissue North America’s survey, there is a significant impact of restroom conditions and the customer experience and their powerful potential to provide
a competitive edge to restaurants. Eighty-eight percent of those polled believe that the condition of a restaurant restroom reflects the overall cleanliness throughout the
restaurant, including the kitchen. An unclean restroom may result in 29 percent of patrons not returning to the restaurant. However, of that 29 percent, half of them would tell family and friends about the negative experience.

In an era where people are increasingly conscious of combating germs by proper handwashing, the cleanliness of a restroom directly influences the amount of time spent in the facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SDA recommend washing with soap and warm water at least 15 to 20 seconds. In their 2008 survey, the SDA found that 26 percent of respondents washed for 15 seconds or less. A clean restroom evokes confidence in its patrons that surfaces are germ-free, and thus, they are more comfortable spending more time to properly wash their hands. Washing hands properly is the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others, according to the CDC.

People go to great lengths to avoid contacting germ-laden surfaces in public restrooms— flushing toilets with their feet, pushing doors open with their shoulders, dispensing towels
with their elbows, etc. Obviously, the innovation of touchfree technology solves many points of contact with germy surfaces.

The focus of this article, however, is to concentrate upon the soap dispenser and its impact with the patron. As half of the necessary elements required to properly wash
hands, soap must always be made available. Well-placed, wall-mounted dispensers, with an easy loading refill, makes keeping product “on hand” (pun intended) easier for housekeeping personnel.

The dispenser should be regularly inspected by the housekeeping staff not only for the level of product remaining, but also to assure that the unit is in proper working order.
Has product accumulated on the outer cover (shroud) of the dispenser? Has the cover been damaged? Cracks or other damage could cause improper alignment with the back plate mounted to the wall and thus, misalign inner components of the unit, causing soap to drip, leak, and clog.

Keeping the product uncontaminated inside the dispenser is important for the health of restroom visitors. Hygienic, sealed systems offer the best protection from external contaminates.

Germs are everywhere and hands provide the perfect transport vehicle to spread illness and possible infection. Sealed dispensing systems ensure there is no contact with a potentially germ-ridden surface. Research has shown that bulk-filled soap systems that have exposure to outside elements can become contaminated and are potential breeding grounds for a host of bacteria. Bacteria then collect inside the dispenser and flows with the soap right onto unsuspecting hands.

A sealed dispensing system ensures a safe, clean, hygienic system with each refill. If the refill is a collapsible bag filled with product, consumers are assured that the bags are immediately sealed against potential contamination. Each bag comes with its own clean, fresh pump, virtually replacing the system each and every time housekeeping refills the dispenser. The same is true for soft plastic bottles fitted with individual pumps. The soap is filled in clean manufacturing conditions as specified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the bottle sealed, and cases are packed.

Most consumers are unaware that the FDA regulates cosmetic products, including hand cleaners, with very specific standards. A sealed dispensing system assures that the soap maintains the strict specifications mandated by the FDA.

Broken, empty, or soiled soap dispensers contribute greatly to the overall appearance of a public restroom. In SCA Tissue North America’s recent survey previously mentioned in this article, a dispenser with insufficient product would prevent a customer’s return visit to a restaurant 28 percent of the time.

In a survey by the Opinion Research Corporation on school restroom cleanliness, unclean facilities result in 20 percent of middle and high school students avoiding school restrooms due to dirty conditions. Soap dispensers are often empty in schools due to a lack of funding, or dispensers have been removed from lavatories by acts of vandalism. If you think a student not washing their hands is not a big deal, review this statement by the School Network for Absentee Prevention (SNAP): Nearly 22 MILLION school days are missed each year
due to the common cold! When one considers the financial impact of millions of sick days, the argument by school administrators that soap is too expensive to supply to students (and staff!) is quickly negated.

To summarize, what benefits will come out of facilities offering a more sanitary restroom experience that includes, among other housekeeping necessities, a filled, well-maintained,
and hygienic hand soap dispenser? Favorable reviews can be expected from their patrons, which may result in increased business. Happier employees who equate cleanliness with a company’s respect for their well-being can be expected. More efficient handwashing can be expected, which will lead to less absenteeism due to illness. All this from creating a pleasant handwashing experience in a restroom? Yes!

Cheers to Beer!

Microbreweries or craft breweries continue to give big beer brands a run for their money. In fact, many craft breweries, such as Minnesota-based Surly, have their own restaurants and other culinary outlets.

Craft beer continues to boom. Production volume of craft beer in 2014 was up 18 percent, and the number of craft breweries has increased by almost 700 since mid-2014, according to a report from the Brewers Association, an organization of craft brewers.

While the overall beer industry grew slightly at 0.4 percent in 2014, craft beer maintained its double-digit growth trend of now five consecutive years, up 14 percent in 2014, according to Technomic’s 2015 BeerTAB report.

Imported beer continues to rise in popularity, too. This category continues to outpace the industry, and was expected to generate 15 percent of total industry volume in 2015, up 2.1 share points from 2010, according to Technomic.

“Younger consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are engaging with all three adult beverage categories, putting beer in competition with spirits and wine for consumer occasions and impacting per capita consumption,” explains Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic. “And while younger consumers are willing
to explore, they also seek value for their dollar. Presenting relevant, differentiated products with appealing flavor profiles and unique attributes is crucial to garnering consumer attention and prompting purchase, whether on- or off-premise.”

 Brewpubs on the Rise

  • 3,800 — The number of brewpubs in the United States, compared to more than 37,000 neighborhood bars and taverns and more than 3,400 sports bars in the U.S.
  • 64 — The percent of brewpubs that have been in business for 5 or more years
  • 32 — The percent of brewpubs that have been in business for 2 to 5 years
  • New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Ohio —  the states with the most brewpubs in the U.S.

(Source: CHD Expert)

Women and Beer

Brewery and bar designers take note: women currently account for 25 percent of beer consumption in the U.S., and women between the ages of 21 and 30 drink more beer than women in other age groups, according to Drink Focus. The first professional-level brewing class at Siebel Institute of Technology’s World Brewing Academy in Chicago has about 20 percent female students, according to 2015 enrollment figures.

Craft Beer Glassware

Choose the glassware for craft beers wisely, as the shape and size of the glass impacts each beer differently, including the level of CO2 in the brew and its foamy head. Further, presenting the brew in the right glass helps lend credibility to beer programs and can enhance the customer’s experience.

  • Goblets — Belgian-style brews and stouts
  • Footed beer glass — European ales and lagers
  • Traditional pint glasses — domestic IPAS and ales
  • Giant or tall glasses — Pilsners
  • Tulip glasses — Scottish ales
  • Hard Cider glass and taster — craft ciders and flights
  • Wheat beer glass — domestic and imported wheat and rye beers and Hefeweizen

Article from Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine – http://www.fesmag.com/features/foodservice-news/13236-cheers-to-beer

How to train your back-of-house staff and turn them into customer-experience superheroes

By Jason Rykken, Director of Account Management, Restaurant Technologies (FastCasual.com)

Psst! There’s a secret you need to hear about your restaurant staff. Little did you know customer-experience superheroes are in your back of house. It’s true: Back-of-house employees are key to creating a customer experience that keeps diners coming back. Everything they do impacts everything your customers experience in the front of house. What is the key to unlock their customer-experience superpowers? Training.

Training is critical these days, especially in light of changing demographics among your labor force  and customer base. Expectations are rising among customers and employees, while the labor pool is shrinking. Restaurant design is changing, too, with open kitchens exposing equipment and employees to the customer.

Have no fear, though. Five simple training tips are here.

1. Throw out the book. (Think face-to-face or video instead.)

Rules and guidelines are essential to any employee training, and, ultimately, your training guidelines need to be in writing.

However, training has a stronger, more-lasting impact with your staff when it’s face to face. After all, the customer experience is an experience – comprised of tastes, sights, sounds, a smile, a greeting – not just words on a page. Face-to-face training is especially helpful for your back-of-house staff, who work behind the scenes and often don’t see the customer experience firsthand. They need to understand how their actions impact the front-of-house customer experience. Leverage your vendors to facilitate a training session since they know their products and equipment the best. In addition, visual demonstrations provide clarity for employees of all experience levels. In fact, 83 percent of human learning is visual.

Yet, if time or budget won’t allow for hands-on training, video is the second most-effective training method. Video offers the flexibility to accommodate different work schedules and reach staff across multiple locations. It’s also a great tool for on-boarding follow-ups and continuing education.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate with everyone.

Whether taking an order at the point of sale or prepping the line for the lunch rush, all of your employees play a leading role in making a good impression on customers.

Your back-of-house staff needs to hear how they’re making a difference in the front-of-house experience. Customer feedback can be very helpful if it’s shared with everyone, including back-of-house staff, so improvements can be made across all fronts; and all employees can be trained and empowered to solve problems.

It’s important to eliminate any front-of-house/back-of-house communication divide. Train back-of-house employees the same as your front-of-house staff. By getting everyone on the same page and behind the same mission, you’ll give all your employees a sense of cohesion and involvement that’s key to driving a better customer experience.

3. Win over your employees, and they’ll win over your customers.

When customers take that first bite of their orders is the tipping point. Either the food is going to live up to expectations, or it’s going to leave a bad taste in their mouths.

Let your back-of-house staff know how important their food-prep role is to the recipe for your restaurant’s success. Conduct in-depth training sessions on food prep and safety to ensure your customers receive the best quality from you. Recognize your employees when their actions result in immediate acknowledgment by customers.

Moreover, as you build your training program, be sure to keep it interesting, fun and interactive. Showcase your food-prep superstars. While they’re not on the front lines of customer service, engaged and motivated back-of-house employees go a long way toward keeping happy, returning customers.

4.  Without a well-thought back-of-house setup, training is a waste of time.  

Even if your front of house is running perfectly, the customer experience will fall short if your back-of-house operation is not up to standard. As open kitchen design grows in popularity, more customers have a view into how and where their food is being prepared. Your staff needs to know how to keep the back of house clean and safe, even during the busiest times.

Additionally, don’t rely on training to offset a complicated back-of-house procedure. Equipment such as high-efficiency dishwashers, disposals, automated oil management systems and trash compactors can help streamline complicated and unsafe tasks. In turn, high-quality equipment can help raise employee morale by making hard work a little easier. By equipping your back-of-house staff with the right kitchen tools and training, they’re more likely to keep operations shipshape.

5. Good timing leads to better training.

Timing can make all the difference in your training. Ideally, you want to conduct training when an improvement is being rolled out, say, when a new piece of equipment is installed. Such planning lets employees apply what they’ve learned firsthand. Training right before an equipment rollout is never ideal. Without seeing a new process in action, a manager won’t understand how it impacts everything else. Admittedly, scheduling can be a challenge. That’s where the value of training videos comes in, particularly when face to face is a challenge.

Additionally, think of training in terms of continuous improvement. Conduct follow-up training. Put a process in place, with checks and balances, to ensure your staff is complying with procedures. Understand that how-tos, standard-operating guidelines, visuals and tactical “ABC” lists can transfer learning from one person to another, and keep training top of mind.

Yes, customer expectations are rising. However, with the right training, your back-of-house employees can help you exceed them with super-prep powers that make your entire restaurant a hero in your customers’ eyes.

http://www.fastcasual.com/articles/5-tips-to-turn-boh-staff-into-customer-experience-superheroes/#.VsTDt4bg6kw.linkedin

4 Ways You Can Save on Your Restaurant Equipment Repairs

Majority of the repairs I do are for fast food chains but this content is valuable for any type of restaurant.

1. Communication

I believe we can all agree for any relationship to succeed communication is key. Relaying messages on repairs is critical. For some reason in my experience it’s like playing telephone. You hear one thing but once you reach the last person it’s a different story. I’ve worked on the wrong machine, I’ve driven to the wrong location, I’ve gone to locations where staff have figured out the problem but didn’t tell me. When an issue occurs have your manager explain the situation as if they were being interrogated by detectives solving a murder case. I take this very seriously and you should too. It’s my time and your money. A manager should never call for service and only say “the machine is not working”. Always have them give more information. For example: the machine is not heating up, there’s no power, I heard a loud pop and now it’s off, etc. I highly recommend to always provide your tech the location with the issue, the equipment, and a detailed description of the issue or of what happened. Remember, communication is key.

2. Repair Technicians

Don’t be afraid to ask your technician for some advice. We may have a better solution to your problem. Always ask your tech “what can we do on our end to prevent this from happening again?”. A tech should only give you procedures that are safe to do so. Be a leader, don’t keep what you have learned to yourself. Pass the information on to your team.

3. Store Manager

I am aware that your managers priority is detailed on sales and overseeing the staff. Knowledge of the equipments should be a requirement. About 75% of service calls I get are caused by end user mistakes. Your restaurant shouldn’t receive a hefty invoice with the scope of work description saying “the computer was off. All I did was press the ON button”. Trust me, I am guilty of this. Have your lead manager take a training course on the equipments. Anything learned should be shared amongst staff. I would also recommend saving this critical data for future reference. This will create a better sense of knowledge of the equipment and leadership. Your managers will now understand the procedures to take before contacting a technician.

4. Equipment Maintenance

Create a cleaning guide for each equipment on sight. This should be a mandatory procedure. This cleaning process will extend the life span of your equipment and assure your products quality. Please hold your staff accountable. I say please because as a technician one thing I dislike is having to drive miles and miles constantly for something that could of been prevented.

It would mean the world to me if you share this information.

By Henry Tejada on January 26, 2016

4 ways you can save on your restaurant equipment repairs.

Termac Employee Appreciation Night

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, the Lehigh Valley Division of Termac Corporation celebrated an Employee Appreciation Night with Phantoms Hockey at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. All had a great time with food, beverages and a Phantoms win!

 

 

 

 

 

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Good hand hygiene requires a plan

Termac Corporation carries a full fine of hand hygiene products. Contact a Termac representative today to discuss a hand hygiene program that’s right for your business.

 
 
From preparation to plate to the patron’s mouth, numerous sets of hands may touch the food in a restaurant setting. But if those hands aren’t clean, your customers are at risk for foodborne illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans (or 48 million people) becomes sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. The spread of germs from the hands of food workers to food is a common cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants. According to the CDC, it accounts for 89 percent of outbreaks in which food was contaminated by food workers.

In addition to their effect on an individual’s health, foodborne illnesses also have an economic impact on a business. An individual operation might experience thousands of dollars in lost revenue, lawsuits or fines, a damaged reputation or even closure. For example, a restaurant in Hawaii was fined $11,000 in 2014 for conditions known to cause foodborne illnesses, including intentionally removing its food safety placard. Food establishment inspections may not only influence the food safety rating shown on placards but also leave traces on reports being available online to the public for years to come.

Appropriate hand-washing practices can reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Employee personal hygiene, with an emphasis on hand washing, is a prominent focus of regulations. However, low compliance and increased risk can occur due to:

• unclear and nonprescriptive guidelines

• the multitude of product choices

• cultural diversity among employees

• competing priorities

• utilization of temporary workers

To meet the daily hand hygiene challenge of foodborne illness prevention, restaurants should adopt a skin care regimen.

Begin with a code of conduct

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code states that employees must wash their hands and exposed arms in the following situations:

• Immediately before working in food preparation where exposed food, clean equipment and utensils or unwrapped single-service or single-use articles are present.

• After touching bare human body parts other than clean hands or arms.

• After using toilet facilities.

• After caring for or handling any service or aquatic animals.

• After coughing, sneezing, using a handkerchief or tissue, using tobacco, eating or drinking.

• After handling soiled equipment or utensils.

• During food preparation to prevent cross-contamination when changing tasks.

• When switching from working with raw to ready-to-eat food.

• Before donning gloves for working with food.

• After any activity that contaminates the hands.

About the soap: It should be dye-free, fragrance-free and mild to the skin. Foam soaps can help save water and improve hand-washing compliance. Using NSF-certified soaps helps to comply with the requirements for soaps used in food handling establishments. Standard hand soaps fall in category E1, while antibacterial hand soaps fall in category E2. In many cases an E1-rated hand cleanser will be sufficient, but an E2-rated antibacterial hand wash can be recommended when handling sensitive foodstuffs such as poultry and seafood.

Article from Restaurant Hospitality

 

Philadelphia Restaurant Inspections to be Public ASAP

important
Earlier this month, the City Health Department announced it will publicly post Philadelphia restaurant inspection reports within 24 to 72 hours of inspection.

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Products and Deodorizers are Going Green

In the old days choices were limited. Nowadays, there exists a plethora of choices when deciding which odor control products to use for septic tank, grease trap servicing, or the portable toilet business. This month we talked with a few contractors to see which products they use, and how they use them.

“When we started GTO we wanted to be different” says Mike Lozano, senior manager at Grease Traps Only, out of Philadelphia, Pa, Mike explains, “We wanted the experience to be as easy as possible on the customer because, let’s face it, having your grease trap cleaned is not usually fun.” Now when servicing grease traps, which creates foul odors, it is crucial to keep the smell down because, for one thing, 90 percent of grease traps are located in commercial kitchens, and kitchens are connected to eating establishments. There is nothing worse than eating your meal and then getting a whiff of something foul in the air, coming from the kitchen of all places.

Lozano says that “when internal grease traps are serviced, one of the biggest complaints has always been the odor. To make this easier on the customer we decided to spray a deodorizer before, during and after the trap is being serviced. The product we use is highly concentrated so we just put a few ounces in a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water. We spray it liberally, and all of our customers are mostly very pleased with the aroma.” “Many have liked it so much that they actually asked us if they could buy it from us. Also, in servicing the trap, in order to do a thorough job, we will also use a sanitizer degreaser to help break down anything in the trap, and then we will suck it up into our truck. Making sure we do a thorough job.” “There are the internal traps, and then there are the external grease traps.” Mike tells us that, “another thing we do while were servicing outside traps is we will use porto paks. They are small fragrance packs that are generally used for porta johns, but we use them in outside grease traps again to keep the smell at bay, and it seems to help do just that.”

“We having been using all natural, eco-friendly products in our septic tank and portable toilet business since the beginning” says Kristeen Neher, co-owner with her husband Russ of Russ’s Septic Service from New Hartford, CT. “We use an all-natural type convenient eco-pack for our portable toilet tanks. The packs are so convenient, and easy to use. You just drop the packet into the holding tanks and it does all of the rest.” “We like the fact that the these pack-pods are fully bio-degradable, using natural enzymes that act as both wonderful tank deodorizers as well as very effective waste digesters all in one” Kristeen said.

We don’t even like to use the word “chemical” in our business, it seems to us a dirty word. The reason being, we do not recommend any products that claim to help maintain the present system. Our thought process has always been that Mother Nature made the process slow for a reason and when using harsh, old-school, products, you run a chance of lessening the life of your fields due to larger material in the fields and making the fields work harder. We recommend scented air filters for the roof vents for septic smells in the yard, and our Outhouse products are all natural and fully bio-degradable. We do not use anything else but products made like Nature intended it to be.

Everyone seems to be talking about environmental issues, eco-friendly liquid waste companies, “green” products, etc. In fact, every aspect of servicing septic tanks and portable toilets has the potential to be considered “green” technology. Some companies build their portable units using recycled plastics. Recycling is a big step towards eco-friendly practices. However, eco-friendliness does not stop at the portable toilet structure and components. To be fully green, portable toilet rental companies could also take heed of the kinds of products and deodorizers that are being used. To be fully committed, to go “green all the way,” companies can take advantage of deodorizers free of formaldehyde and alcohol and that are nontoxic. Also, they can make sure that the cleansers and solvents they use that biodegradable and nontoxic, and avoid Aerosols, Butyl, and Glycol. Finally, they can make use of recycled paper products that are chlorine free like Russ’s Septic does. In addition, both the paper products and the water used in flushable stalls can be conserved through dispensing systems. Finally, gray water from sinks can even be treated and recycled at a certified waste treatment center.

When talking to Mr. Walter Jamie Conner, founder and owner of Waterloo Washrooms, a very promising and well-organized upstart business, specializing in mobile, luxury restroom services whose home base is in Tampa, Florida, we really get a sense of the depth of commitment to eco-friendliness that Kristeen Neher was expressing. The eco-friendly approach to the liquid waste industry is really motivated not by being fad or anything of the sort. It really comes from the heart. As Conner explains, “my wife and I lead a very active and health conscious lifestyle. Years ago we realized how much of today’s food and household products contain harmful chemicals. We don’t believe this is how food was meant to be consumed and we made the decision for our family to eat all natural, organic, pesticide free, antibiotic free, and farm raised foods. Our lifestyle change brought awareness to how many other products around our home contain harmful chemicals that are used on a daily basis. This new societal awareness has created a huge market for all-natural household cleaning products making them much easier to find. It also it is very important to us that our business is a reflection of our beliefs, which is why we’ve chosen to clean our trailers and treat the waste tanks with all natural products that are friendly and non-harmful to the environment.”
Along with using products and deodorizers in portable toilets, they also have to be stocked with toilet paper, and Kristeen of Russ’s Septic has found a creative and interesting way to contribute to environmental issues, give back to their local community and participate in a creative and fun way to donate to developing-world problems. They have grave difficulties receiving fresh water, which has become a real problem for poor communities all over the developing world. “After each service job we hand out a roll of toilet paper sponsored by Who Gives a Crap, from Crowdfunded Toilet Paper Company,” explains Kristeen, continuing “that donates 50% of all profits from the sale of their toilet paper rolls to improve sanitation in third-world countries.” The Who Give a Crap website explains “Who Gives a Crap‘s simple proposal offers a superior consumable product that pretty much all of us have to stock up on, and the potential for consumers to support a thoroughly worthwhile cause while doing so. The donated funds will go to WaterAid, a non-profit organization with a mission to bring clean water and sanitation to the world’s poorest countries.” “It’s an amazing triple win-win situation” Kristeen tells us, going on, “we generate good will in our community and bring awareness to the dire state of sanitation and fresh water around many parts of the world, while actually helping poor and desperate people who live in such terrible conditions.”

Which products do you use?

Story by Mark Joseph Manion

RESOURCES:
www.russssepticservice.com
www.gtoservices.biz

http://www.waterloowashrooms.com

Featured in American Liquid Waste

http://www.americanliquidwaste.com/2015/11/main_articles/products-and-deodorizers-are-going-%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D/

Grease Trap Cleaning

From the moment a GTO Grease Trap technician arrives at your business, you’ll receive professional, fast and efficient service. He’ll remove and clean all baffles, pump, clean and sanitize the trap, flow test, reseal and cap.

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GTO Grease Traps Services was featured in American Liquid Waste Magazine

One of our companies, GTO Grease Traps Services, was featured in the September 2015 issue of American Liquid Waste Magazine

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Save your local economy . . . three stores at a time.

Saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.

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Termac Corporation Attended Fundraising Event for Eli Kulp

On Thursday, July 16, staff from Termac Corporation attended a fundraising event at Fork Restaurant for Eli Kulp, one of the city’s most promising and celebrated chefs , who was paralyzed in the May 12 crash of Amtrak Train 188.  (more…)

Congratulations to three generations of the Mink family

From our family to yours, congratulations to three generations of the Mink family and to all of your future successes.

(more…)

Grease Hauling and the Liquid Waste Industry

There are a few good reasons why contractors in the liquid waste industry should consider adding grease handling and hauling to their portfolio of services that they can offer to customers. For one thing, because it is specialized, not everyone gets involved with it and so there is less competition, and less competition leads to higher profit margins as most grease haulers will tell you. Plus, what could be considered “barriers” for entering into the grease trap servicing business, i.e., that most grease hauling is regulated due to the specifics of disposing of the waste, could actually result in financial gain because the higher the barriers, the more profit to be made for the contractors that do haul grease and do abide by local and state regulations. As Mike Lozano, part owner of GTO Grease Trap Services puts it: “There are basically three ‘barriers’ to entering the grease trap, grease hauling business. One, is to make sure you use the right equipment, second, make sure you have the right people who can deal with the dirt, odor and toughness of the work and, three, make sure you have all the right permits and certifications.” Mike’s company GTO, some refer to the acronym as “grease traps only,” is a company that only services grease traps, and he tells me that “a positive aspect of the grease-trap servicing business is that the work is steady, and not so much effected by shifts in the economy or changing weather and seasonal conditions.” No matter what the state of the economy, people will still eat in restaurants, even though they may choose to dine at a fast-food establishment rather than a two-star restaurant in tighter economic times. Kids, teens and adults attend school and universities no matter what, prisoners still get three meals a day regardless of the weather or the state of the economy, and hospitals operate 24/7/365. Because cooking equals grease, commercial or industrial kitchens are the kinds of institutions that grease haulers generally service. Let’s take a closer look at the grease hauling business.

What is FOG?

Every day restaurants, schools, universities, prison mess-halls, hospital kitchens, and other food processing establishments produce tons of fat, oil, and grease, called FOG in the wastewater industry, that all needs to be collected, stored, disposed of, or recycled into reusable product. In addition to cooking oils, fats, and grease, FOG bearing materials also include lard, butter, shortening, margarine, tallow, a form of rendered beef or veal fat, as well as the water used to wash kitchen equipment and floors. Because of its organic nature, FOG is not your ordinary waste product. FOG stirs up a lot of discussion and even controversy in the halls of municipal and state legislatures, in newspapers, as well as in lobbying efforts of various environmental protection agencies and groups. That’s because FOG poses a potentially dangerous threat to safe and clean waterways and reservoirs.

Municipal Monitoring and Prevention of FOG-Clogging

Many municipalities have become actively involved in preventing FOG from entering public sewer systems because studies have demonstrated that major sewer blockages are usually caused mainly by an accumulation of FOG, roots and other debris, or their mixing and combining. FOG, when cooled, hardens, and the blockages it causes can seriously reduce the capacity in the sewer lines, which can result in sewage spillage onto local streets and/or private property. In other words, FOG has the potential to become a major public health and safety issue, and the responsibility for FOG prevention and remediation requires the combined efforts of Food Service Establishments (FSEs), municipal governments, public works programs, and the contractors and waste management firms that are hired to do the work of grease trap servicing, emptying, hauling and disposing of the FOG.
For example, the city of Taunton, MA has a designated “FOG Implementation and Enforcement Agent” named Kevin Duquette. After conducting much research on FOG-Clogging and its control and prevention Mr. Duquette tells me that he instituted the program in 2009 as part of “consent orders from the State” to look into the problem and create a FOG-Busting, awareness, education, and prevention program. “What is interesting about our program,” says Mr. Duquette, is that it “brings together seemingly independent organizations such as the local Sewer Commissioner’s Office, the local Plumbing Inspector Office, and the State Board of Health.” Each entity regulates a different component of the complex systems of water and sewage flow. As Mr. Duquette explains, “while the Sewage Commissioner monitors the sewage system as a whole, the Plumbing Inspector’s job is to monitor the installation of grease traps, at the same time as the Board of Health is concerned with the overall well-being of citizens as well as general maintenance of the systems.” “It is the Public Health Board that actually visits each establishment twice a year” explains Mr. Duquette, “and so they have the most hands-on experience with what is going on at the FSE level.”

Contract Haulers of FOG

Mike Lorenzo and Sean O’Reilly, owners of GTO Grease Trap Services, have carved out a nice niche business, servicing exclusively grease traps. “We service mostly internal grease traps” says Mike, “and that way we build a more personalized connection with our customers.” Mike continues, “we found that it’s the kind of work most people won’t do, or care to do, and we have made a successful business from it.” GTO, with its 5 pumper trucks, can be seen at any number of restaurants and at almost any kind of “institution” such as “hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities. You name it. If it serves food and produces FOG, we service it” says Mike. The company services the entire Delaware Valley (PA, NJ, and DE).
GTO’s fleet of service vehicles include 4 2012 F550s with cab and chassis, each carrying a 1,200 gallon aluminum tank outfitted with Masport Vacuum/Pressure pumps that are equipped with “heavy duty bearing and end thrust protection, which prevents the rotor from coming into contact with the end covers during operation.” For their largest jobs they employ a 2012 International 7600 truck with an all-aluminum tank that has a 4,000 gallon capacity. Mike says that “standard at most jobs is 238 ft. of industrial hosing that easily stretches from the trucks to most internal grease traps.”

As part of their grease trap collecting machinery, GTO also keeps on hand a Condé Provac Industrial Pump, “which is ideal for jobs where the trap is located in a difficult area that the large trucks can’t access” says Mike. GTO chooses to use the Condé Provac unit because “it’s ideal for grease trap pumping, easy to maneuver in hard-to-get places, extremely quiet, and pumps an incredible 120 gallons per minute.” “It even have a built-in exhaust deodorizer that keeps foul odors at a minimum” a seemingly small feature that Mike and his crew found is much appreciated by their customers. “We strive to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ when it comes to servicing grease traps” Mike wants us to know. A typical service includes: “opening the trap, pumping, cleaning, and sanitizing the trap, then resealing it and finally flow testing it to assure all blockages have been successfully removed.” Website testimonials give evidence to the level of professional services that GTO provides. “It was a pleasant experience having my grease trap cleaned by GTO. The service techs were professional, quick and took care of everything. GTO is far above the company I previously used,” say a Richboro, PA Restaurant Owner.

FOG Waste Solutions

One way contractors can get actively involved in grease trap servicing and grease hauling, and be assured that the customers they deal with are following all of the required, and ever-changing, rules and regulations, is to partner-up with a company like SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide. “SLM sources and manages a variety of competitively priced facilities and waste management service operations” says Rebecca Clauser, Vice-President and Director of Marketing at SLM. “With our national network of over 12,000 licensed and insured vendors in the waste, recycling, grease traps and cooking oil disposal business” explains Clauser, “we can easily design and manage a comprehensive program that meets the individual needs of clients and we can put them in touch with one of our grease trap servicing and grease-hauling contractors.” Ms. Clauser goes on to say that “waste reduction programs, or diversion programs, are becoming more popular as the practice of being sustainable is catching on. Many cities and counties are making it mandatory for all businesses within their locality to have a waste reduction program in place if they are not already doing so. Not having an active program could even mean fines and penalties.”

SLM is a committed company that offers a complete FOG collection and remediation solution to what could lead to potential health problems or flooding problems if the piping systems are full of FOG. Rebecca Clauser wants us to know that SLM “delivers a structured problem-solving approach to trash/recycling, grease trap pumping/jetting, plumbing associated with grease traps, cooking oil removal” and many other waste management services. SLM is “constantly researching FOG problems, solutions, and the ever-changing set of rules and regulations for FOD hauling and handling” so that “practical actions are taken at each of our client’s locations where savings are guaranteed.” Ms. Clauser provides this overview of SLM’s “FOG Program”:

  • SLM has developed a Best Management Practices Program to stop Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) from getting into the sewer system.
  • Our program provides accurate and up to date data on how to properly dispose of FOG all while keeping our clients in compliance.
  • The aim of the program is to stop fats, oils, and grease from getting into wastewater treatment plants and municipal sanitary sewer systems.
  • By not having a program in place, commercial kitchens could incur emergency plumbing calls, backups, blockages, line jettings, odors, and closed establishments, which is costly!
  • There is the likelihood for governing authorities to impose fines or renovation consequences which will affect the bottom line.

FOG is Everyone’s Responsibility

As we have seen, FOG is a huge problem confronting any town or city with a municipal sewer system and water treatment program. The liquid waste industry has an important role to play in the FOG problem and its solutions. It’s only in the last decade or so that FOG has been a major focus and so both the laws and regulations for handling and hauling it, as well as the technologies being invented for dealing with it, are always being altered as well as evolving. Companies like GTO do admit that it is difficult to find proper dumping sites but that is also changing as more municipalities become aware of how to deal with FOG.

Some fascinating technologies are developing where the hauling and collection of FOG could, in itself, become profitable. For example, there are companies that will buy the “brown grease” collected from grease traps and recycle it into “bio-diesel.” Bio-diesel is a renewable source of energy that can play a part in helping to decrease human dependence on non-renewable and non-sustainable petroleum energy sources. Through a series of chemical reactions FOG, or its derivative, “brown grease”, is essentially transformed into a non-toxic, biodegradable, and renewable energy source. Bio-diesel is registered as a fuel and a fuel additive with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and it even meets clean diesel standards. Plus, it is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act.

Story by Mark Joseph Manion

RESOURCES:
www.masportpump.com

http://tauntonfogprogram.com

www.gtoservices.biz
www.slmwaste.com

As seen in American Liquid Waste Magazine

http://www.americanliquidwaste.com/2015/06/main_articles/grease-hauling-and-the-liquid-waste-industry/


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