Q. I am too busy why should I apply?
A.The aim of the award is not to create more work for you but to help streamline the processes within your business. We are there to support good business practices whilst helping you achieve the required standard on the award. Many businesses have found that we have helped them reduce costs and bring in processes which improve efficiency and help maintain a good, uniform product.
Q. How will it affect my business?
A. This is largely up to your and your staff. We will give you all the help you need to get you on track to achieving the award but it requires some work and motivation on your part to be successful. Successful HBA premises have noticed that people are finding it easier to eat healthier and the new recipes have been well received. They have also been busier. Businesses have also found that they have been able to control waste and therefore reduce the financial loss from throwing food away. The training has also been well received with businesses finding it easier to control food hygiene and demonstrate that they are running their businesses effectively and safely.
Q. What would I have to do or change within my business/premises to achieve the award?
A. This would greatly depend on how close your business is, currently, to the Awards' criteria. e.g. condition of premises/facilities, food management system(SFBB) or other and of course the amount of salt, saturated fat and sugar in the meals produced. After initial consultation and appraisal completion, an officer will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit the premises. On this visit, the adviser will conduct a short visit of the premises and then begin detailing possible improvements and providing advice and support with regards to meeting the required criteria for the Award. Again the amount of work or "changes" required could differ greatly between premises dependant on the current status of the business.
Q. Will it cost me any money?
A. No, the award is free. We provide free advice and support throughout the process, we also provide free training if required in ‘Safer Food, Better Business’ (food hygiene management system), basic food hygiene, nutrition and any bespoke training that we feel may be beneficial to your business. The only cost to you would be the time your staff spend training.You will also benefit from HBA marketing campaigns such as the website and leafleting. We also analyse and provide advice on your recipes for free.
Q. How long will the process take?
A. The process varies according to how healthy your business currently is. Most businesses typically take between 4 – 8 weeks to achieve the award. However, we are happy to work with you for as long as it takes.
Q. We are only a small business, can we still apply?
A. Yes, the award is open to all sizes of business.
Q. We are a large company with a number of outlets, can we apply?
A. Yes. To make it easier we can deal with your application in a way that suits your business. If your different sites offer the same menu we can deal with several venues at once, or if you just want one venue to apply we can work with a local manager.
Q. When I am working towards achieving the award, what support is there?
A. You will be able to speak to an advisor who will visit to provide practical support and information. Support will also be available over the phone, by email and on the website. You will receive an information pack containing detailed information and advice We will also supply you with promotional resources.
Q. How do I know if my recipes are healthy?
A. We will provide free nutritional analysis. If the recipes fulfil the Healthier Choices criteria of no more than 2 amber and 2 green on the FSA traffic light system then they can be labelled up ‘Healthier Choices’. If they marginally miss out then we will work with you to tweak the recipes. If you do not have any recipes that are healthy then we can also work with you to formulate a new dish which fits in with your current food style and utilises your existing kitchen equipment.
Q. How does the HBA team analyse recipes?
A. All we need from you is the recipe written down and we can analyse them quite easily. We then input the weights and type of ingredient into a nutritional analysis program and it calculates the nutritional values and produces an easy to read report. With some dishes we send them to a lab for full analysis.
Q. How does the nutritional analysis program work?
A. It has a large amount of nutritional information inputted in it, almost all everyday ingredients from onions through to reduced fat mayonnaise. This information is sourced from McCance Widdowson food tables and then brought together in one database. From there we input weights, ingredients and cooking methods to get the nutritional contribution from each ingredient.
Q. My customers like my current recipes, how does the HBA team manage to make sure the recipes stay tasty and my customers still enjoy them?
A. The main objective of the HBA is not to change or alter recipes in a detrimental way simply working to offer healthier alternatives. If your best selling dish happens to be a steak pie then we would simply work on a different product and your steak pie would remain exactly the same. It is up to you to say which product you would like to be considered as healthy options.
Q. How do I tell my customers about the award?
A. The Healthy Business Award team have a marketing plan in place to let the general public know about the Healthy Business Award and Healthier choices. This plan covers leafleting, posters, the website, weight loss clubs and NHS and Wigan Council healthier lifestyle initiatives.
Q. I am a fish and chip takeaway and deep fat fry my core products, can I still achieve HBA recognition?
A. Yes, we have developed the award in a way which focuses on healthier food production and preservation of oil quality in order to reduce the overall fat and saturated fat content of food. It also incorporates initiatives such as salt shakers with smaller holes and the inclusion of mushy peas in meal deals. If it is not practical in your business to develop healthier choice recipes then we will work to develop a ‘Best Practice’ which will enable you to make an impact on your customer base whilst offering an excellent quality product.
Q. I am struggling to source healthier condiments can the HBA team help?
A. If your current supplier/wholesaler cannot supply healthier alternatives which we have recommended we can work with them on your behalf to procure the right products.
Q. How long does the award last?
A. Each award is valid for two years. After two years you will be able to apply again.
Q. Once an award is achieved how do you know the award terms and conditions are being upheld?
A. The credibility of the award is vital. We will carry out unannounced visits and take samples of healthier choices. We monitor customer feedback and will investigate any complaints brought to our attention.