Hotel and cruise ship guests--like the majority of all consumers--expect brands to practice sustainability. When those sustainability practices include food waste prevention, it opens the opportunity to discuss the issue with guests, to get them involved in the effort and to bring well-deserved attention to your brand's good work. Talking about food waste can be the new talking-about-towel-reuse initiative!
To help guide efforts, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently published 5 tips for talking about food waste in its Toolkit For Communicating Food Waste To Guests.
#1 Most people know that wasting food isn’t great, but don’t know the specifics.
• Some guests notice food waste, especially at buffets, and are curious about what happens to it.
• “Don’t waste food” has been drilled into our heads since childhood.
Do offer concrete stats about food waste.
Do Not talk in mushy euphemisms and generalities.
#2 Many instinctively connect food waste with food scarcity.
• “Saving food for hungry people” is a more common association than environmental issues and climate change.
• Most guests are aware of “climate change” in general and believe people should do what they can to positively impact the situation.
Do frame food waste as a problem for the planet.
Do Not use guilt or shame as a motivator.
#3 Sustainability is expected, especially within certain segments.
• People are vocal to friends and family about the importance of sustainability and increasingly expect “green” from brands they choose.
• Social media and news feeds are spotlighting the problem of plastic waste, and the harm it can do to wildlife and our planet.
Do educate your staff with talking points about your company’s response to food waste.
Do Not politicize the issue and alienate segments.
#4 Guests desire an ample and unlimited food experience.
• Hotel and especially cruise guests are ready to kick back, unwind, and let go of the worries of everyday life; they don’t like any suggestion that they should limit their enjoyment.
• They’re driven to discover and test things that aren’t part of their every day options.
Do encourage people to enjoy all they want. Reassure them they are not being constrained.
Do Not make them feel limited or forced.
#5 Guests appreciated being made aware of the problem and the simple actions they can take.
• Most were shocked to learn about the magnitude of the food waste problem.
• Simple messages about being mindful to not overfill their plates were direct and effective.
Do emphasize that they’re a part of a larger collective.
Do Not overcomplicate communications.
The WWF’s new toolkit includes other insights as well as turnkey campaigns for talking about food waste. Find our more here.
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