Step 1: Support exchange between organisations that are involved in the provision of public meals by establishing a “committee”.
- Enter into a quick exchange with all those involved in catering (food providers, executing agency, facility management etc.) in order to find a solution together on how good catering can be continued under the given circumstances.
- Form a "committee" and meet regularly to exchange information on the crisis.
- Document your meetings to ensure that the results are not lost.
- Review the results at the next committee meeting because the conditions or preferences can change between meetings.
Step 2: As a provider of public meals, establish an open and transparent communication with all those concerned, such as residents or relatives (e.g., in facilities for the elderly), parents (in day-care centres/schools), diners (e.g., in cafeterias, canteens).
- Be aware that all those affected are initially uncertain about what will happen to the catering during the crisis.
- Identify your target audience for crisis communication
- This uncertainty is taken away by prompt communication of the results of the committee meetings.
- Possible communication channels could be: notice board (on- or offline), letter, homepage, newsletter, intranet, mail.
Depending on the crisis there are different solutions. For example, setting up a to-go offer is not always the best solution.
More Issues To Consider
- Ideally, such a "food/catering committee" is already firmly established in the facility before the crisis, which regularly exchanges information on the topic of "catering".
- Keep in mind that, in some situations, it make take some time and effort to organise the committee and, in other situations the committee is easily and quickly formed.
- The frequency of meetings is very individual depending on the institution: experience shows that food committees without "crisis mode" meet once a month to once a year. In case of a crisis, a regular and timely exchange is indispensable.
- Consider also the tool “Setting up the canteen commission” as a guide for the setup of the committee.