Pizzutillo’s Pizza Restaurant has been in business for more than 3 decades. The independent, single-location business does well for itself with 20 employees, a 100-person seating capacity and a promising delivery service. Its owner, Larry Pizzutillo, started the operation as a young man in a close-knit community and believes in the model for success he’s used since day one.
“Like any successful restaurant, our core philosophy is based on the three cornerstones of foodservice business: quality product, timely service and fair pricing,” says Pizzutillo.
Recently, Pizzutillo became aware of inefficiencies that worked against the restaurant’s philosophy and held the restaurant back from significant savings. The kitchen’s industrial fryers, responsible for a quarter of all sales, were sub-optimal and its technologies were outdated.
In early 2010, Pizzutillo was approached by an independent equipment distributor, who had overheard his frustrations and wanted to share a proposed solution for his fryer issues. “They actually took my then-current fryer model information to research what it was costing to run in oil and energy usage, then gave me a complete cost analysis spreadsheet explaining how their open fryer would pay for itself and produce a better product.”
The ENERGY STAR® open gas fryers were installed weeks later. “After realizing it would keep our product consistent all the time and considering ROI, it was a no-brainer,” says Pizzutillo. He describes the new equipment as intuitive and easy to operate. According to Pizzutillo, his staff is filtering vats in fewer than 4 minutes — while continuing to fry in other vats — and no longer has to monitor oil levels due to the new fryer’s automatic top-off system. “Now, filtering is so quick and painless it’s easy to do even in the middle of a rush.”
Since integrating its new fryer equipment at the beginning of 2010, Pizzutillo’s Pizza Restaurant has seen 40% savings in both gas and oil. Averaging $225 in savings per month, Pizzutillo forecasts annual savings to be at $2,700 — possibly more — as oil prices continue to rise.
Says Pizzutillo: “Looking ahead at the ever increasing oil and energy costs, every forward-thinking restaurant owner should consider something like this. I finally have a fryer on which I can depend.”
— Rob Connelly is president of Henny Penny, an Eaton, Ohio-based manufacturer of foodservice equipment.