Garett DiStefano, Director of Residential Dining at University of Massachusetts Amherst, joined the UMass team in 2010 and became Director of Residential Dining in 2011. He oversees the four all-you-can-eat residential dining commons, bakeshop and nutrition program at one of the largest college dining programs in the country, with more than 16,000 students on meal plans and over 40,000 daily meals served. He and his team implemented the LeanPath System in January of 2012, installing Trackers in its two largest dining commons to track and prevent food waste.
Why did you decide to implement the LeanPath System?
“We were looking for a system that would help us better pinpoint waste. The LeanPath System allows us to monitor pre-production and production waste. It was an excellent system to keep on top of accountability and training.”
How have you used your LeanPath data to drive down waste?
“The good thing about having trackers in two very busy dining commons is we can compare. When we see variances, we drill down further. We also look at the peaks and valleys of customer demand to time our production and meals better.”
How have you been able to contain rising food costs?
“Last year commodity prices increased, in some cases as much as 8%. Through the use of the LeanPath System, I’ve seen a marked reduction in food costing. Worcester Dining Common’s food costs decreased 1% year-over-year. It’s because of the LeanPath System and our awareness of what’s going on that we’ve been able to decrease it.”
How has the staff responded to the program?
“When you buy into the system and show them it’s a good tool to have, you’ll find that people are willing and receptive. The system allows us to show staff when they’re moving in the right direction and doing the right things. The hard work of individual team members is visible—week over week they see a graph of reduced waste. Moreover a simple “great job” from a manager goes a long way.”
“The best part about the LeanPath System is it allows us to work within our mission at UMass—to feed our students in the most sustainable, environmentally-conscious way.”
For more about University of Massachusetts' success with LeanPath Food Waste Tracking Systems, read their case study by clicking below.