The Need for Efficiency: How a Major Fast Food Chain Benefited From a Smoother Process

friendly fast food employee

Food and beverage equipment manufactures consistently face the need for efficiency. Manufactures are challenged to derive better solutions to existing processes – with the goal of streamlined procedures. Workers in the food and beverage industry expect to use easily operable and maintainable equipment, allowing them to perform their own jobs efficiently.


Consider the fast food chains. Time is an enormous factor for every order placed. If processes, procedures, or equipment are inefficient or flawed, orders – and dollars – are easily lost. According to American Express, nearly a third of Americans will consider switching companies with a single poor experience.


“Excellent customer experience,” one customer engagement platform states, “is the foundation of any strong and successful restaurant. It’s what sets you apart from the plethora of competitors and what drives loyalty with your customers. Especially in a restaurant setting, going above and beyond in delivering a superior customer experience can really differentiate you. In most cases, a customer goes to a restaurant with convenience and indulgence in mind… Therefore, your restaurant should be organizing operations and conducting service with the customer and convenience in mind.”


Restaurants, especially fast food chains, understand the importance of customer service and efficient operations. Equipment manufacturers must step up their game if they want to compete in this market.


What Are the Primary Challenges?


To thoroughly explore the challenges of creating streamlined solutions, we will examine a case study featuring an equipment manufacturer, specializing in frozen beverage equipment for a major fast food chain.


Frozen beverages, including smoothies, are available in a wide variety of flavors at a plethora of fast food restaurants. Most chains prepare over one hundred frozen beverages every day. Workers are required to produce and supply beverages quickly. Thus, the equipment being used must be simple and efficient.  


In this case, the process for making smoothies was extremely inefficient. The equipment manufacturer faced the need to reevaluate the existing procedure.


What Is the Existing Problem?


The process accentuated the problem. Ingredients for the frozen beverage were combined into a plastic pitcher, used for blending. The final product was poured into a serving cup. After each individual frozen beverage was made, the pitcher would be manually, carefully rinsed with water to prevent cross-contamination. Once the individual pitcher was cleaned, the process began again. The cycle continued across many locations for hours on end.


The described process may sound simple. However, manually cleaning the pitcher took more time than the process required. In certain cases, the sink was not located near the frozen beverage equipment. Additional time spent walking away from the station, to the sink, and back aggravated the pertinent issue.


An efficient solution was required.


The Solution


The equipment manufacturer was contacted by the major fast food chain with a request for review and revision. Could the manufacturer explore the current process and provide an efficient solution?


The equipment manufacturer quickly understood that a specialized cleaning device was needed to rinse the pitcher. The manufacturer turned to Lechler, a company specializing in tank cleaning products. Lechler proposed a solution: a low-cost, small cleaning device with no involved maintenance.


The proposed solution is Lechler’s PVDF Micro Whirly, a compact, free-spinning nozzle that provides powerful cleaning despite its size. Furthermore, the nozzle requires no maintenance and meets the proposed price range.


PVDF Micro Whirly


The Micro Whirly is made entirely from PVDF, designed to work in a corrosive environment. It is absolutely suitable to contact food and apply foam. The PVDF nozzle can also be utilized for cleaning equipment. The entire piece is created for efficiency – at an extraordinary price.

  • The Micro Whirly can withstand a max temperature of 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The nozzle’s filtration system consists of a line strainer with a mesh size of 0.3 mm/50 mesh.
  • Recommended operating pressure is 30 psi. Operation above the recommended operating pressure has negative effects on the cleaning, resulting in premature wear.
  • After installation, the nozzle can operate in every direction possible. Of course, the nozzle is installed with a specific radius for cleaning fast food chain pitchers.
  • The slide ball bearing is also made of PVDF.
  • The PVDF Micro Whirly is not suitable for operation with compressed air or any other gas.


Free-Spinning Nozzles


What is the significance of the nozzle being free spinning? Free-spinning nozzles are driven by the employed cleaning fluid. The fluid turns the spray head utilizing specially position nozzles. With rapid reparation, the dirt is loosened and washed off intended surfaces. Free-spinning nozzles are best utilized for small to medium soil cleaning.


The free-spinning Micro Whirly needed to be adapted slightly for rinsing the pitcher. Engineers designed an activation stand with the nozzle, used for cleaning frozen beverage equipment.


The Results


How does the beverage creation process look now, with the updated solution? Workers place ingredients in the pitcher, blend the smoothie, and pour the finished drink into a cup. The pitcher is then placed upside down on the custom-designed stand, activating the nozzles and spraying in a 180-degree pattern. The upward spray cleans the base of the pitcher. The remaining water cascades down the sides. A clean pitcher can be assured every time this automated cleaning process is utilized. Lechler’s custom solution guarantees a complete and timely process.


Lechler: Engineering Your Spray Solution


At Lechler, we are more than just nozzle manufactures. We are dedicated to providing custom engineered, innovative spray solutions for a plethora of industries, from chemical to food and beverage. Our products focus on the optimum solution for your specific application, including – but not limited to – tank & equipment cleaning, coating, descaling, desulphurization, gas cooling, mist elimination, pickling, and roll cooling.


When it comes to precision nozzles and nozzle systems, we have over 140 years of engineering experience. Our experts understand spray technology like no one else – and we want to partner with you. We want to provide the optimal solution for your specific application.


Get in touch with us today to begin a conversation!