Most school administrators handling a canteen's budget have multiple goals in play, and it can easily feel as if all of those goals are at war with each other. There is a budget to keep in mind, and it isn't nearly as much as we would often like it to be. Aside from the financial side of things is the health side of things. The topic of child obesity is a global one, and many people are holding schools partially accountable for the rising rate of childhood obesity. When combined with the need to stay within a smaller budget than desired, things can get pretty tricky. The time has come for school canteen food to be the best of both worlds -- affordable and healthy at the same time. That said, is it really possible?
Through the use of external canteen supply companies, the answer is definitely yes. They have come together to really make sure that you can get the type of food that your school needs. The pricing will be based on how many meals that you actually need to serve on average. So with schools that might have a shrinking population, you're not going to have to pay the same amount as an incredibly large school. This is pricing the way it should be, and it helps schools save big money.
From there, you will need to have qualified and dedicated canteen professionals serving the food. If you don't already have a trained staff on hand to do this, you can get this through the company as well. The goal here is to provide a well rounded solution for schools of all sizes.
Can there still be profit to the school while healthy meals are being served? Absolutely. These days children want variety when they go to school, and parents want to know that healthy options will be served to the children. Gone are the days of nothing but junk food. More students are reaching for salad and actually enjoying it. There's nothing wrong with a little "junk" in moderation, but if we're trying to collectively address the obesity problem, we need to make sure that we're doing everything possible to take care of it and not simply paying lip service to the issues.
If you're stuck in terms of making an actual decision, give yourself time to research. The most established canteen service company will have an online presence where you can look up more information. For example, do they go into greater detail about their nutrition strategy? If they don't, then you definitely want to make sure that they're thinking about this better than before. If you can't do that, then it may be best to move on to another company that gives you the details that you're looking for.
Do you need a fully outsourced solution, or just the food to be delivered to the staff that you already have? This is another concern that will need to be addressed up front.
Having menus that you can send back to the parents as proof that your school is turning in a new direction is definitely a good idea. Consider all of these points before having your school make a final decision and the dream of affordable, healthy food won't be just a dream -- you will have turned it into a total reality!
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