Case Studies • Arby's RVA
The Restaurant Company — Raising the Bar on Healthier Food
Even the busiest kitchens can get more from their oil when they use Omega-9 Canola Oil.
As the largest Arby's franchisee in the Richmond, Va. area, The Restaurant Company (TRC) is constantly in pursuit of the best ways to offer healthier menu items at its 19 area restaurants. In fact, the company often leads the way in product development and testing for the franchisor, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Since TRC operates five of the top 10 highest-grossing Arby's restaurants in the nation, they are constantly looking for products and processes that meet the needs of their guests but still deliver strong bottom line results. So, when TRC switched to a trans fat free cooking oil in 2005 — years before most restaurant companies — it wasn't long before the franchisor and other franchisees followed suit.
Never one to stop innovating or improving, TRC continued to look for new ways to raise the bar on healthier food. When TRC Founder Richard Ripp heard about Omega-9 Canola Oil, the restaurants were quickly signed up for a test.
With the switch to Omega-9 Oils, fry life at the restaurants was extended to 10 to 12 days, leading to a significant savings in both product life and in labor. Coupled with the health benefits for guests and the "health halo" for the restaurants, leadership noted "it's a huge win-win for everyone."
Initially, there was concern that restaurant guests might notice a difference after the switch to Omega-9 Canola Oil. While some guests did notice, restaurant leadership quickly learned that there was nothing to be concerned about after all. The majority of customers did not notice a difference, but those who did asked what had been done to the fries because they tasted better — "more like real potatoes."
TRC conducts extensive research and testing before any changes are made to ingredients or the menu. However, after a 10-day test with Omega-9 Canola Oil in two of their restaurants, it became clear that this was a necessary change for their guests and for their business. Less than three months after the test was completed, the company had successfully converted each of its 19 stores. Mr. Ripp and other TRC leaders knew their guests would benefit from their choice of Omega-9 Canola Oil, which not only has zero trans fat, but also is the lowest in saturated fat among commercially available oils and uniquely high in "heart-healthy" monounsaturated fat. Based on the amount of cooking oil TRC uses annually, by converting to Omega-9 Canola Oil, Arby’s guests consumed 15,000 fewer pounds of saturated fat in the first year.
Each year, TRC uses frying oil to prepare more than 4 million pounds of waffle and curly fries, 156,000 orders of fried chicken, 119,000 orders of chicken fingers and thousands more orders of additional fried menu items. With that high volume, the company knew it could not sacrifice performance when making the switch — and it didn’t have to. Restaurant chefs and operators quickly realized what other Omega-9 Canola Oil users already know: Even the busiest kitchens can get more from their oil when they use Omega-9 Canola Oil.
Before Omega-9 Oils, the restaurants changed frying oil on average every seven days. With the switch to Omega-9 Oils, fry life at the restaurants was extended to 10 to 12 days, leading to a significant savings in both product life and in labor. Coupled with the health benefits for guests and the “health halo” for the restaurants, leadership noted "it’s a huge win-win for everyone."