Having initially rented The Fiddlers Elbow in Leintwardine, Herefordshire, for three years, Dominic Eusden jumped at the opportunity to purchase the takeaway when it came up for sale in early 2016.
As well as taking on a mortgage for the business, Dominic invested a further £140,000 in a complete refurbishment, which enlarged the footprint of the takeaway, saw a Florigo high efficiency frying range installed, plus brand new prep equipment, signage and shopfront.
Now, rather than losing money as a result of turning customers away, the business is increasing turnover year-on-year due to the extra space and frying capacity as well as additional changes, such as extended opening hours and card payment machines.
As trade has increased, in turn, so has the volume of potatoes being peeled and Dominic quickly noticed problems in the prep room. The interceptor tank on the peeler was filling up that much quicker, requiring emptying more often and interrupting the workflow, while the drains were beginning to smell and back-up, creating more mess than they were eliminating.
Looking for a system to counteract this, Dominic replaced the interceptor tank with a Peel Tech machine, which captures waste from the potato peeler and separates it into waste skin and potato starch for disposal in the bin.
“On first glance, it looked like everything we wanted,” said Dominic. “There would be no mess and it would prevent the peelings from going down the drain.”
With the machine now installed for over a year, Dominic believes it’s been a worthwhile investment, eliminating a multitude of problems. He adds: “We can pretty much do six bags of potatoes before the Peel Tech needs emptying, so we don't have to keep stopping as often when we’re peeling the spuds, which saves us a lot of time, and we’re not worried about it overflowing in the prep room and making a mess.
“When you see the amount of peelings that the Peel Tech catches, it’s no wonder the water boards are cracking down on stopping things like this getting down into the drainage system. It’s not just the peel, but the small micro peel it catches too, it’s quite a lot. And there’s no smell from the drains anymore, which means we’re not spending time cleaning the drains and trying to eliminate the smell to prevent pests. It’s really cut our cleaning time down.”
In addition, Dominic estimates the system is saving the business about 15% on its water bill, explaining: “Because there’s not as much waste going down the drain, we’ve been able to turn the water pressure down so we’re not using as much water. That’s saved us time and money.”
Peel Tech 01592 860865 www.peeltech.co.uk