Current challenges for restaurants – A Q&A with Felix Amrhein, CEO of VITO Fryfilter, the US subsidiary of the leading European manufacturer of high-efficient frying oil filtration systems, VITO AG.
The German based manufacturer of the VITO line is the leader in frying oil filtration in Europe and is the only manufacturer of the patented in tank filtration systems worldwide.
Q: What is in your opinion the most important thing to do for a business operator?
A: Looking into the future every business owner and restaurant operator should be considering keepingtheir expenses at a minimum, not only to increase profits, but to be able to sustain more difficult times.
Pre-pandemic, our customers were looking into ways to decrease costs where possible – staffing, updating to efficient equipment and lowering food cost were only a few things everyone was looking into. The pandemic surprised the world, so there was not enough time for operators to do all necessary changes to cut expenses. Whenever we talked with potential clients a typical phrase we heard was “ I will look into it”. Especially when operations are doing well and profits are good, they do need see a need to improve something. When running a business, you have to be on top of everything and even if you are doing good, there are always ways to get better or become more efficient making your business future proof. Now more than ever, changes need to be made to assure a low running cost of the restaurant, QSR store or food production center.
Q: But where do you get the capital to make the necessary changes to guarantee low operational cost?
A: Money is tight right now, more than ever. Upgrading means initial investment which is not necessarily something a restaurant operator wants to do right now but getting equipment which has a fast return on investment and the best saves you money right away should be the first point on your must purchase list. Currently vendors, especially in the food sector looking for new customers, upgrading existing customers to new equipment or introduce new products especially designed to help customers achieve what they need: save money. Therefore, many vendors offer flexible payment plans, run promotions and offer financing options.
Q: How does the VITO oil filter system & testers perform in regard to a return on investment?
A: Let’s make a very easy calculation: Our average customer owns 2 deep fryers with 50lbs each and changes the oil two times a week. They need 200lbs of oil just in one week and with the savings of up to 50% VITO offers he would save 100lbs on oil that means depending on oil they use between $70.00-$120.00 savings per week. Less oil changes also means less labor involved to clean the fryers, lower delivery and disposal fees. This leads to a return on investments well below one year – You actually pay the unit just in savings, so it is a no brainer to get one of our patented oil filter systems.
Q: Are there any additional aspects restaurant operators should consider doing to succeed?
A: What is really hurting the restaurants right now are the capacity limitations on one hand, on the other the reduced amount of people actually going out for lunch or dinner. A 2019 survey showed that almost 60% of people dine out/order in 2-3 times a week and 16% stated to do the same 4-7 times a week. Now with Covid-19 and the financial hardships many have to endure those numbers decreased alarmingly. This means going out becomes more of an event again and guests will decide more carefully where to go. Offering better quality food than others and having a sustainable corporate identity are also a few new aspects customers look into when choosing a restaurant. When eating out a lot, an average rated restaurant was fine but given the limited money and time customers spend in restaurants ‘average’ is not enough to get the much needed business.
Q: Any last notes?
A: If your company is still in search for lowering oil expenses and the involved labor and maintenance costs, improve the food quality and reduce the carbon footprint and therefore increase your companies image give us a call. We at VITO offer filtration systems and digital oil testing devices for every fryer set up and even offer custom made, free return on investment calculations for your business. Restaurants are not only a place to eat – behind every business are hardworking people, a livelihood for many, a dream of the business owner, special memories we made their as guests. They define our region, cities and towns and that’s why they are more than worth helping and saving. So if you can, go
out and support our local restaurants, they are worth saving.