Jason’s Deli is a family-owned restaurant chain of more than 260 delis in 30 states. The Texas-based chain is best known for its fresh, wholesome, healthy food. One of its Virginia locations, though, had a problem.
A Falls Church, Virginia, store was having problems that had nothing to do with the quality of its food. A steel lid covering the access point for its exterior, buried grease interceptor had to be replaced several times. And if the company didn’t fix the problem permanently, this costly annoyance could become even more costly.
A steel grease interceptor had been installed in 2008. The original lid that covered the access to the trap had been damaged and then replaced. The replacement lids, however, weren’t traffic rated. When trucks drove over them they were dented. The protruding metal edges also created a hazard for snow plows clearing the parking lot. Each time the lid was damaged, a new one had to be purchased.
Not only was the damage-prone lid expensive, it created a potential liability for the company. Though it hadn’t yet happened, if a vehicle had been damaged by the lid, the restaurant chain might have faced financial liability.
Something had to be done.
The first thing the restaurant company tried was replacing the lid with a sturdier, more robust traffic-rated lid that wouldn’t be damaged if a heavy truck drove over it. But because of the space occupied by the steel grease interceptor, a lid with appropriate reinforcements simply didn’t fit.
The steel interceptor had to be replaced so a traffic-rated lid could be installed flush with the pavement. But the company wanted to minimize the time required to remove the old grease trap, excavate and install a new interceptor. Donald Newman, the company’s Director of Facilities, had learned about Thermaco Inc. and its innovative grease interceptors at an industry conference.
With input from Thermaco, Jason’s Deli soon discovered that a TZ-400 would provide grease capacity equal to the old steel interceptor. Importantly, though, it would take up a smaller volume and would fit into the existing hole without extensive additional excavation. Plus, the Trapzilla’s One-Pour system meant the installation would go much faster. With installation, the total cost was competitive with a traditional concrete interceptor.
“A big thing for us is installation time. The quicker we can get in and out, the better,” said Chris Johnson, a facilities manager who oversaw the Falls Church project. “It’s so much faster to get it up and running with a Trapzilla.”
The Thermaco team also was able to help smooth the approval process with local regulators. As Johnson needed information, Thermaco was able to very quickly provide specifications and other technical details.
“The one thing that really stood out to me was the communication with Thermaco,” Johnson said. “Any question [municipal officials] had, I had an answer for it. Sometimes that means more than dollars.”
Whether it’s fixing a problem at an existing store, or choosing an interceptor for a new location, Jason’s Deli doesn’t want to worry about having to replace or repair something anytime soon.
“We’re looking for the longest-lasting product that we can possibly find,” Johnson says.
Since the TZ-400 and the new traffic-rated lid were installed in late 2015, the Falls Church location is back to focusing on serving its customers. The chain is also considering Trapzilla at other locations as it goes through its store development process.