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RESTAURANT OWNER HEATS EATERIES WITH RECYCLED CORN OIL

 ATLANTA, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Tony Mugnolo, the owner of 12 Arby's franchise restaurants in Rochester, N.Y., can thank his lucky french fries for the low-cost, environmentally sensitive way he now keeps his patrons warm in winter.
 The used corn oil from his fryers led him to create a heating system which could revolutionize the future of restaurant system design.
 In 1991, Mugnolo not only found himself facing rising fuel costs, but also the added charge of paying someone to cart away his used cooking oil. "In the past, a commodities company paid me to take away my oil. About two years ago, they began to charge me for this service. I decided to explore alternatives that would be less expensive as well as environmentally sound."
 Thanks to the ingenuity of this franchisee and the technical knowledge of his mechanical contractor, Mugnolo's search for a cost- effective, environmentally sensitive heating method turned up an interesting solution -- a furnace that heats by using old corn oil. Two of Mugnolo's Arby's restaurants currently use this system. Vinny Arena, Mugnolo's mechanical contractor, located a boiler that would allow them to burn the leftover corn oil mixed with air. The mixture fuels the furnace -- providing not only heat during the winter, but also hot water year-round.
 The system has been heating one restaurant for a year, and the second restaurant was recently outfitted. Approximately 2,100 gallons of used corn oil has fueled the first restaurant's furnace over the past year, reducing Mugnolo's heating bill to zero, a $2,500 annual savings. He estimates that the savings will pay for the initial cost of the furnace in less than three years.
 "Arby's is taking a serious look at Tony's innovative system," said Tom Smith, national director of design and construction for the international roast beef sandwich chain. "It is impressive not only because of its cost efficiency, but also because it is effective recycling. The corn oil burns cleaner than traditional heating fuels, so it is friendlier to the environment. In fact, we're now exploring the possibility of allowing other interested franchisees the ability to test the system in their restaurants."
 Mugnolo is now in the midst of his second winter with corn oil- heated restaurants. His uncommon solution to an everyday business challenge has encouraged him to implement this system at his other restaurants.
 Thanks to one entrepreneur whose ingenuity paid off, people shouldn't be surprised to be warmed by a corn oil-heated furnace the next time they walk into their neighborhood fast food restaurant.
 Arby's is the world's largest roast beef sandwich chain, with approximately 2,600 restaurants in the United States, Canada, Asia, the Middle East, Mexico and the Caribbean. Arby's recently announced plans to develop 50 restaurants in the United Kingdom. In 1992, the company reached a record $1.5 billion in sales. Founded in 1964 with 20 employees, Arby's today has 75,000 employees worldwide and commitments for a total of 3,150 restaurants. Headquartered in Miami, Arby's is ranked as an industry leader in areas such as technology, product development, nutritional and consumer information, and community service.
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Debbie Diamond, Lynn Sokler or Caroline Duffy of Manning, Selvage & Lee, 404-875-1444, for Arby's, or Mark Stine of Arby's, 305-866-1904/


CO: Arby's Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

BN-RA -- AT005 -- 8974 01/26/93 10:03 EST
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Date:Jan 26, 1993
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