12 Tips for Getting Your Dining Staff on Board with Local Food

Riley Neugebauer, Farm & Sea to Campus Project Manager

12 Tips for Getting Your Dining Staff on Board with Local Food

If you are interested in learning more about how you can engage your staff in using local foods, check out this list of ideas generated by the participants at our Local Foods for Small Campuses event at Unity College in June 2016: 

  1. Give assigned tasks to sous chefs, which can include local foods as a priority or focus
  2. Have individual staff team up with the head chef or dining director for the day to learn about local foods and have the chance to be more engaged in the process
  3. Incentivize the extra work that can come with local foods through teaching staff new skills - help them take ownership of the process and your quality standards
  4. Invest in good equipment that can make a big difference and can make work more efficient
  5. Have events that are fun and creative, and ask your staff to help plan them
  6. Create an internal Google page for the team where everyone can provide input, share feedback, share photos, etc.
  7. Designate your hourly employees as ambassadors to your guests - they are the staff who interface with your guests the most, so empower them to carry the message about sustainability and local to your customers
  8. Take photos of your team and share it - have pride in your team and your work
  9. Have your dining staff help out in the campus garden or at a local farm for a day
  10. Have farmers come in and do show & tell with your staff
  11. Offer field trips to farms, food hubs, processors, etc. for your employees
  12. Provide a paid day of cooking and culinary skills classes for your staff

Do you have more tips to add to this list? Let us know! Email campus@farmtoinstitution.org.