School cafeterias serve millions of meals to students each day. And as the end of the school year approaches, so does the uneasy task of collecting unpaid student meal balances.
Lunchtime is often considered crunch time for school food service staff - for more reasons than one! Serving meals quickly and efficiently, while also making sure students have time to eat, can be a challenge for many schools. That's why any feature or method that can help speed up your serving lines, even by a few seconds, can be monumental.
One school district in Northern California found that simply using audio messages at their Point of Sale stations helped to increase their line speed and satisfaction among the students.
On Friday, May 3, food service professionals will be celebrating the 7th Annual School Lunch Hero Day. This day provides the perfect opportunity to recognize those individuals who work so diligently throughout the year to serve nutritious and delicious meals to our students. The impressions they make on each child that comes through the cafeteria is remarkable.
That's a great question and likely one that many nutrition programs may not be able to answer. It’s estimated that K-12 schools throw away roughly $1.2 billion dollars worth of food each year! One study found that K-12 schools in Minnesota generated 483,520 lbs. of waste in a given school day and the most prominent category of items filling up the trash cans was food waste.
Your point of sale is the center of your nutrition operation during serving periods. With an average lunch period lasting only 25 minutes, students want to get through the line quickly so they have time to eat and chat with friends.
While there are many adjustments you can make to speed up your serving lines, optimizing your menu boards can also help shave a few precious seconds off the time it takes to enter a transaction.
Here are 8 tips for building menu boards that help make your cashier's job easier and your lines move faster:
How great would it be if you only served foods that your students loved? Not only would it boost participation and sales, but it would also help reduce food waste. Although this is an admirable goal, figuring out what students like can be difficult. This is where cafeteria surveys can help.
The new school year is right around the corner and we're excited to release a whole new set of designs for our 2018-19 school year menu templates! These fun, free, easy-to-use templates are available for you to download now to prep for the new year.
With popular, unique designs that channel the spirit of each month, these menus are sure to catch the eye of your students' parents.
With an estimated 40% of parents between the ages of 38 and 18, millennials are part of an ever growing parent population in K-12 schools. This generation of the early cell phone adopters, now Facebook, Snapchat and tweet constantly, turn to Alexa for daily problem solving, and require Uber as a main source of transportation. With the increasing reliance on convenience-based technology as a part of daily life, here are some ideas to help engage with your parents and promote your meal program in the digital age:
Since the National School Lunch Act was first signed in 1946, a lot has changed in the world of school nutrition. Meal requirements have been defined and redefined, federal cuts and grants have altered the way programs are managed, and of course the advent of technology has completely changed the way your program operates.
Being a part of your students' daily lives - whether in the lunchroom or in the classroom - creates a special and unique bond. What better day to celebrate the friendship and care you provide them than on Valentine's Day?
Below are a few simple ways to get students engaged and show them you love them: