You’ve got full lines, you’ve got full tables, you’ve got full waitlists and full kitchen orders: the last thing you want is a full grease trap. Between the risks of wastewater backing up (a combined sewer overflow ends your business fast) and the fines that can be leveled at you for having a non-functional grease trap, it’s important to have a plan. In this blog, we’re going to look at how to better track the risky seasons for your business, know what to look for, and how to schedule out grease trap maintenance to avoid any issues.
When is Your Restaurant’s Busy Season?
Many factors contribute to your business’s busy season. Some businesses peak during events over the winter holidays or summer festivals, and others slowly trend up during tourist or college season. It’s important to track when your kitchens are running hot, especially with seasonal changes. Does your summer menu contain more oily and fried foods than winter? Focus on these changes when it comes to tracking your busy season, and make sure to track what’s going into your grease trap at the same time.
What is Going into Your Grease Trap?
As mentioned above, it’s important to know what’s going into your grease trap, and what best practices you can perform in the kitchen to reduce the rate at which your grease trap fills. There are four primary sources: fat, oil, grease, and solids – or FOGS.
- Restaurant Fat: Fat comes from animal tissue. If you’ve got a lot of meat processing in your kitchen, make sure the scraps go into the trash, not the sink where they can melt under hot water.
- Restaurant Oil: Deep frying contributes a ton of oil to your wastewater, especially if you use washable flatware and plates to serve it. Some restaurants mitigate this by serving in paper-lined baskets or using disposable alternatives.
- Restaurant Grease: Grease is a catch-all term for oils, fats, solids or other materials, and can generally be separated into yellow and brown grease. Using the same measures outlined in the other FOGS categories also works here.
- Restaurant Solids: The best way to avoid filling your grease trap with solids is to make sure they don’t make it into the wastewater in the first place. Make sure your dishwashers scrap down plates before washing, and to avoid overusing the garbage disposal. You can also think about installing a solids interceptor on your grease trap.
Learn more about measures to take in our blog, Is Your Grease Trap Ready for Your Restaurant’s Peak Season?
Planning Out Grease Trap Maintenance and Servicing
It’s important to talk to your grease trap contractor about proper maintenance and servicing and work with them to work out the proper plan for regular maintenance. The two major factors are making sure your grease trap is the proper size for your restaurant: if it’s filling too quickly, it might be time to upgrade. Second, learn how to gauge the 1/4 rule; once your grease trap is filled to one quarter or more, it’s no longer functioning properly. Use these two metrics to get a service scheduled worked up for all seasons, especially your busy one.
Proper grease trap maintenance and regularly scheduled cleanings can keep you going strong even in your peak seasons. If you’re looking for grease trap service in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area, we hope to hear from you at Food Grease Trappers. We’re veterans of the grease trap world, from quick and reliable servicing to helping to get the right grease trap for your needs. Contact us today or fill out one of our free consultation forms online.