Dwayne Wisniewski, Director of Operations for Sodexo Dining at New Mexico State University, began using the LeanPath system in April of 2012. Since then, he and his team have helped reduce pre-consumer food waste by over 50 percent. We sat down with him to talk about their experience with LeanPath.
What were you most excited about when you learned about the program?
“How simple it is to execute. I’m a strong believer in the “KIS” philosophy—keeping it simple. Those of us that have been in food service a long time know that managing waste is a major way to manage food costs. LeanPath makes weighing waste easy so you can focus on other things. You don’t have to walk around saying ‘scrape that can’ or ‘cut that vegetable closer to the rind’ because the staff starts doing it on their own. They self-correct. The program by inference starts to make those things happen.”
What were your initial goals for the program? Have they been met?
“One of our goals was to bring penny profit awareness to our employees. This program systematizes making food costs. You always weigh things—it’s top of mind. It allows you to build a habit and be proactive instead of reactive. As a result, we have knocked off a percent and half of plate cost. There’s not as much waste because of the consciousness of the staff.”
What has the waste data revealed?
“When I talk to the chef one of the biggest changes he’s seeing is the processing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since we started using the system we’ve seen a big improvement on yields.”
Do you have any tips to share with the LeanPath community?
“Make sure to position the Tracker in a place that staff can’t dump dirty dishes before passing the scale. In our location, it’s on their way to the dish room--they weight it, input the data, then dump it. They would have to make a conscious effort not to do it.”
What is the best part about using the LeanPath System?
“Simplicity. If you make something simple and clean, people will do it.”
Any advice for new managers starting the program?
“Be very diligent in setting up the habit of weighing. Use positive reinforcement like give-aways and contests. It has to come from the top down.”