Gourmet Biodiesel – The Next Big Thing at Your Local Restaurant


June 8, 2011

Mark Roberts, CEO Springboard Biodiesel

Mark Roberts, CEO of Springboard Biodiesel

I’m just back from the [other] NRA show, where no guns where needed, but a healthy appetite was demanded. It was Springboard Biodiesel’s first National Restaurant Association conference, and we were impressed. Thousands of restaurant owners and hundreds of companies that sell to those restaurant owners were collected together in a sea of stainless steel equipment, free food samples and innovative restaurant ideas. Springboard Biodiesel was there to inform restaurant owners from all over the world that they had a new and essential restaurant appliance option – the BioPro™ biodiesel processing appliance. Give that restaurants are the world’s primary producer of waste cooking oil, and given that waste cooking oil is an outstanding feedstock to turn into biodiesel, restaurants have the unique ability to produce a valuable fuel commodity from a less valuable (essentially free) waste stream. With the economic metrics of “Gourmet Biodiesel” (our tagline for the show), a biodiesel appliance can substantially enhance a restaurant’s overall profitability and elevate its environmental marketing cache. As such, we argued – politely – every restaurant should consider owning this appliance – “You have your refrigerator, your oven, your dishwasher and your biodiesel appliance, and only one of them writes you a check every time you press start”. The response from the conference was outstanding, as both large (800 unit chains) and small (single restaurant) operators enthusiastically peppered us with questions and comments. All of them recognized the inherent advantage that they had in this waste-to-fuel arena, and given that we’d brought our shiny BioPro™ 190 with us, they had the opportunity to see and touch the appliance and better visualize how it might fit in their specific locale. The restaurant industry is huge. It’s progressive, and it values profitable innovation. We thoroughly enjoyed our first NRA show. We met some impressive restauranteurs and we further strengthened our understanding of how restaurant owners can simply and profitably create biodiesel from their used cooking oil. The restaurant industry is full of innovative entrepreneurs, who recognize an opportunity when its presented. We’re going to like working with these guys.