Reducing food waste requires planning, training and ongoing communication to help staff adjust and change habits that may be routine.
- Involve all your staff. For example, if you work in hospitality involve the manager/supervisor, head chef, kitchen staff and front-of-house staff. If you work in retail involve the manager/supervisor, purchasing staff, loading dock staff, shelf packers, customer service assistants and cleaners.
- Appoint a leader or 'champion' to take ownership of your food waste reduction plan. This person can monitor how the plan is working and be a point of contact for questions. If your business is large enough create a support team – this can help to maintain the plan through downtimes, staff leave or staff turnover.
- Prepare a communication plan outlining how you are going to coordinate the changes and build motivation over the longer term. Work out how you are going to promote the program, e.g. using posters or talks, and inviting feedback.
- Provide training sessions on avoiding food waste. Training could be provided as a stand-alone program or linked to occupational health and safety training. Ensure staff are trained in food handling and safety. Provide encouragement and support for training courses to update skills.
- Include food waste avoidance in staff inductions.
- Update staff on progress and celebrate achievements. You can do this at staff meetings or by holding short briefings before or after service.
- Encourage staff to reduce food waste at home as well as at work.