Setting up the canteen commission

In a nutshell

This tool helps to organise a working group, called a “canteen commission”, made up of various stakeholders in a public catering facility. The canteen commission is especially important for building bridges between the customers of the canteen, the service provider, and the (public) authority responsible for the catering services. The group meets regularly to discuss initiatives and monitor progress. The commission functions as a contact point for all issues related to the canteen, including awareness-raising about sustainability issues, and can help drive innovative changes to and evaluation of meals and menus. It can also help to increase transparency in decision-making processes by enabling a forum for communication and strategy development. The commission may support extensive sustainability policies through their work.

Necessary Steps

  • Identify the relevant stakeholder groups important for the creation of the canteen commission, and invite potential participants as representatives of their organisations and competences.
  • Together, create a concept for the canteen commission to be shared with the management of the organisation. The concept should aim to answer the following questions:
    • What are the aims for the commission (e.g. improved transparency, more customers, more sustainability, etc.)?
    • What are the tasks at hand; what needs to be done (e.g. communication on canteen matters, changes in the operation, customer survey, educational events, etc.)?
    • Who else does the group need to achieve its goals (e.g. contracting authority, caterer, procurer, customer representative, etc.)?
    • How often and under which circumstances does the canteen commission meet (e.g. twice per year for about 2 hours)?
    • How are the meetings organized (e.g. clarify who chairs the meetings, how decisions are made, how meeting minutes are kept, and who receives the minutes)?
  • Decide on a chair person to lead the canteen commission.
  • Clarify what power(s) the canteen commission’s decisions have; are they only empowered to give recommendations, or can they make implementable decisions?
  • Agree on the communication structures for the canteen commission.

More Issues To Consider

  • The canteen commission is an ideal forum to look for solutions to all kinds of issues arising between customers and the providers of catering services.
  • Minutes from meetings are an important record of what has been agreed upon.
  • Define deadlines for decisions; no reply means agreement.

Further Information

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