‘Keeping It Simple’ in Your School Canteen

Canteen staff often tell us that it is difficult and time consuming to develop menus that fit the requirements of their school’s nutrition policy.

Ideas for ‘Keeping It Simple’ in Your School Canteen

1) Minimise suppliers by designing your menu based on quality, easily sourced products and ingredients. For example – a bread supplier, a supplier of a good range of products (like futurefoods), a cash & carry and a fruit & vege supplier.

2) Own your equipment. If you own your freezers and food warmers you will not get caught up in restrictive contracts offered by some suppliers.

3) Keep your menu structured and short. Large menus create large workloads and often mean that it takes longer to prepare, longer to serve and longer to develop. Base your menu on the same structure and each term change out a few of the worst selling or out of season products.

4) Create a shopping list by supplier and display it on the wall with information about how to order, delivery days and payment information. This way if you are away the canteen staff will be able to order.

5) Establish processes. School Canteens that run efficient processes use less staff hours, less space, have less wastage and are more profitable.

Canteen staff often tell us that it is difficult and time consuming to develop menus that fit the requirements of their school’s nutrition policy. This job, that many canteen operators do up to four times a year, can be accomplished more easily by following a few steps and keeping it simple.

1) Work out a core menu including:

  • 4 filled bread items (e.g. sandwich, roll, wrap, BLT, panini)
  • 4 hot food items (e.g. Murphies, pizza, macaroni cheese, baked potato with coleslaw)
  • 3 fruit items (e.g. fruit cup, watermelon wedges, mandarins)
  • 5 healthy snacks (e.g. Moosies, Juicies, mini pikelets, popcorn)
  • 3 drink choices (e.g. Water, milk, Cool Sips Fruit Drink)

Add to the core menu:
– A weekly special … this is where canteen managers can be creative, make themed foods or try a new idea (e.g. mexican bean nachos with salsa and sour cream)
– A weekly/monthly meal deal made up of 3 core menu items (e.g. BLT sandwich, Juicie and watermelon
wedge $4)

2) Each term replace one or two of the least popular choices from each category. This keeps the menu regular, yet interesting.

3) Keep a list of ideas for each category (and add to it) so when it comes to setting the new menu you only have to pick an idea from the list.

Call 0800 148 276, email info@futurefoods.co.nz for more information or speak to your local futurefoods distributor.