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Best Bites program opens for 2024

31 January 2024

The Best Bites program is now open for 2024. Since 2011, this award-winning program has provided businesses with valuable resources to grow, plus participating in the Best Bites program qualifies businesses for a discount of around 20% on their annual food premises registration fees. 

Best of all, the program is absolutely free!

It costs food businesses nothing to take part and gives a whole range of benefits including reduced overheads, improved environmental impact, and a greater connection to your team and the community.

Best Bites also provides consumers with an assurance of safety, sustainability and accessibility – definitely a marketable angle to increase your customer base.

The Best Bites program is built on three areas of excellence: 

  • Access and Inclusion 
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainability

Food businesses that demonstrate excellence in one or more areas also receive a Best Bites door sticker to display in their business.

So how does your business join the program? 

  1. Food premises assessment

Food businesses across the Mornington Peninsula are assessed by a Shire Environmental Health Officer each year. To be eligible for the Best Bites Food program, the business must achieve the following: 

  • Obtain a score of 95% or above in the annual food premises assessment 
  • Safely manage food allergens and provide allergen information to customers on request. 

You will be told at the inspection what your score is and if you are eligible for Best Bites.

  1. Opt in

The Shire’s Business and Industry Support team contact the eligible businesses to see if they want to opt into the program and answer any questions you may have. A member of the Best Bites team will then be in touch to arrange a time for a site visit at your business. 

  1. Site visit

The site visit takes about 30 minutes and is a chance to chat about the ways your business is addressing health and wellbeing, inclusivity and sustainability. A short list of key elements across the three areas of excellence is used to guide the conversation. You will be sent the questions that will be asked in advance, so you have plenty of time to prepare. 

The assessment conversation could include things like how your business recycles cardboard, paper, steel, glass and plastic, provides services and facilities for customers with a disability or delivers healthy options on your menu.

There are 8 questions across each of the three areas of excellence. A minimum or 4 questions must be met in at least one area for the business to be included in the Best Bites program and receive your Best Bites door sticker.

  1. Your business is in the program

Once your site visit is completed, the team process your assessment and email you a copy of your report and a load of great resources to access. When the 2025 annual registrations are processed all businesses in the Best bites program automatically receive the discount. So easy!

To help your business make the most of being in the Best Bites program , the Best Bites team have developed a suite of resources.  These include real-life case studies featuring local businesses using best practice to leverage the benefits of the Best Bites program, and expert presentations on the three areas of the program. 

The award-winning Best Bites program was launched in 2011 and is the only food business award scheme in Australia that promotes food businesses in the areas of food safety, nutrition, access and sustainability. The food businesses that are in the Best Bites program are delivering excellence for their staff, their customers and their community.

We developed this program because our local food industry is so important. They provide food for thousands of residents and visitors every day. In fact, the quality and diversity of our food offerings here on the Peninsula is one of our main attractions for visitors. 

This article originally was published 1 February 2024
Accessibility and Inclusion Best Bites Health and wellbeing Sustainability

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