Small frozen yogurt dessert shop

One of the least glamorous aspects of designing your desert shop has to do with waste. Grease traps are an additional expense that most dessert shop owners are trying to avoid. So is there any way to bypass the need for installing one in your small store? The short answer is YES! In some instances, adding a grease trap in small dessert shops can be avoided by staying away from some menu items that will trigger the need for one.

Generally, every restaurant, coffee shop or dessert shop that generates greasy water is required to install a grease trap. The latter is a necessary tool that regulates the amount of grease that is released by food-related businesses into the city system. This helps minimize the clogging of the sewage system. Therefore, restaurants must adhere by the requirements of their local Wastewater Treatment Agency before starting to design their plumbing system.

We have already tried to answer the question “Does my small food-related business need a grease trap?” and talked about the types of grease traps you may need to install as appropriate to your business. Below, we go into a little more depth and talk about what menu items trigger the need for a grease trap, and what foods or  drinks you should NOT offer in your dessert shop if your purpose is to avoid installing one.

Espresso / coffee with milk

Man making an espresso topped with cream

Selling coffee alone does not require a grease trap. However, things change if you are planning to use real milk in the drinks before you sell them. Milk and cream contain a high amount of grease, which can create a problem for the plumbing. Additionally, certain types of coffee such as cappuccinos and lattes can be particularly greasy.

Even espresso triggers the need for a grease trap. However, just eliminating these items does not mean that you are in the clear. It depends on what other foods you serve or cook in your store. 

Your own ice-cream or gelato made in the house

Different flavors of ice-crem displayed in containers in dessert shop

Reselling ice-cream from another company (typically brought into your store in containers) does not trigger the need for a grease trap. However, making your own ice-cream on location does. This is because the process involves dairy-based products such as cream, butter and milk that contain fat.

Crepes made in the house

Dessert of crepes with chocolate and strawberry

Making crepes is a process that requires the use of butter or oil in order to cook the batter. The batter itself contains fatty eggs and milk. In addition, toppings such as whipped cream add to the need for a grease trap in order to keep the kitchen free of clogs, allow for proper drainage and prevent blockages further downstream in the sewage system.

Waffles, bubble waffles or similar items

Waffle on a plate, served with milk-based topping

Serving waffles (with ingredients including butter, milk and eggs) requires a restaurant to have a grease trap. The same goes with similar items such as bubble waffles, the fun and increasingly popular Hong Kong dessert that comes with an impressive number of fillings and toppings. Even though grease is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of waffles, the sheer number of items cooked or baked in a restaurant, as well as the necessary operations such as dish washing make a grease trap essential.

Your own cookies, muffins or other pastries baked in the house

Display of pastries that need the installation of a grease trap in small dessert shops if baked on location

If you do baking, cooking or frying in your store, you will end up generating grease. Baking your own cookies, muffins or other pastries on location requires you to install a grease trap in order to collect the fat from the oils in the dough or batter, and from any butter, margarine or shortening used in the recipes.

Any milkshakes or milk products

Milkshake presented in a glass jar whose cleaning generates the need for a grease trap

Any product that uses milk as an ingredient triggers the need for a grease trap in small dessert shops. This includes milkshakes, which leave behind a fatty residue when being prepared or served.

Boba tea made from real milk

Bubble tea in a cup served in small dessert shops

The Taiwaneses beverage that took the world by storm is still going strong. A mix of tea and milk or fruits, to which chewy tapioca pearls are added, bubble tea allows for an endless number of flavors and bubble types. It comes in two varieties: drinks made with or without milk. Boba tea store owners often get creative with their beverages and go beyond traditional recipes, creating mixes based on frozen yogurt or ice-cream, or freakshakes that brink customers to their door.

If you own a bubble tea store and use real milk in creating your recipe, you need to install a grease trap. Non-milk drinks do not require one.

A surprising exception

Free-fat frozen yogurt that does not require installing a grease trap in small dessert shops

You may be surprised to learn that frozen yogurt shops are not required to install a grease trap in most counties in California. This is because frozen yogurt is fat-free. Generally, if you can avoid ingredients that consist of fat, you can avoid the need for a grease trap in small dessert shops and can redirect your budget to other interior design projects.

Scoop of frozen yogurt with toppings

Grease Trap Installed in Small Restaurant

A Grease Trap Being Installed outside of a Dessert Shop

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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