Tips and tricks for getting more requests

The food you collect from a business must be shared with people who request it via the OLIO app and within the specified safe sharing time frame. To help you to boost the number of requests you get for your listings and ensure you’re able to distribute the food in time, we’ve gathered some useful tips and tricks:

Pre-listings 📣
  • Post a pre-listing earlier in the day to let local users know you'll be collecting. Pre-listings must be posted against your ‘personal’ listings, and not against your ‘collection slot’.
  • Here’s an example of a good pre-listing:


Sensible collections 🛍
  • Only collect what you can safely store and distribute to your local neighbours. It’s okay to leave some food behind at the store if you feel like you cannot collect this safely, but please report this to OLIO via volunteer@olioex.com if this happens on a regular basis.

Attractive listings 😋
  • Ensure your listings are as attractive  as possible! Use a nice photograph (or stock image if we’ve provided this) and add a clear title and description.
  • Be sure to accurately select the right “list for” time in accordance with the use-by date of the item.

Flexible pickups 🕐
  • Offer as much flexibility as possible on the pickup times but never share food past the safe sharing window (refer to our sharing food safely section)

Flyers 📬
  • Order Food Waste Hero flyers from the Volunteer Hub and distribute within your local community to encourage them to download OLIO and give it a go

Local community groups 👨👧👦
  • Post on local community groups, such as on Facebook and Nextdoor, to let your community know about your collections and encourage them to download the OLIO app. You can do this straight from the app by tapping the ‘share’ button whilst viewing a listing.
  • Here’s a sample post you can use, just copy and paste this and fill in the gaps:

Hi neighbours!

I just wanted to let you know I collect unsold surplus food from [...name of business...], every [...collection day...] and I share this food for free within the local community!

I list the food on the OLIO app which is like Gumtree, but for food. I do this because I believe good food should be eaten, not binned.

To get some, all you need to do is download the app (for free) and request it. You can check out OLIO’s site at olioex.com if you haven’t already read about them in the Guardian, Sunday Times, or on the BBC.

Hope to meet you soon,

Your local Food Waste Hero.

Local charities and organisations 👥
  • Reach out to local charities and organisations (e.g. food banks) to let them know about OLIO and your collections. They still must request the food via the OLIO app so we have traceability, but they are more than welcome to create an OLIO account to do so.

What if I still have food left over?

If you’re still struggling to get requests, please email volunteer@olioex.com so we can give you extra support.

In the meantime, it’s extremely important that you are not sharing food on OLIO past its safe sharing time frame. Please read our section on sharing food safely for more information.

Where possible, consider reaching out to local farms who may be able to use the food that can no longer be consumed by humans for animal feed. Otherwise, please try to compost the food.