by Emily Butler & Cally Ip

5 top tips to get back to school ready

5 top tips to get back to school ready
The summer holidays have flown by! With going back to school just around the corner, we wanted to put together our top five tips to get back to school ready. From preparation to communication, these tips will help you kick start this new academic year.


1. Preparation is key!
2. Expect the unexpected…
3. Think cost saving
4. Communication is the way to go
5. Make it an occasion!


1) Preparation is key

Preparation is key when starting the new term. From preparing your food offering to organising your kitchen, it is important that everything is in the best order it can be. This will help create a seamless transition back into the new school year and ensure that you are being as efficient as possible when the exciting rush begins all over again.

As it is a new term, it is also a great opportunity to re-evaluate your food offering and prepare your menus in advance. As the students enter a new year, some may not have yet tried the school’s canteen offering. This brings a great new opportunity to showcase some inspiring dishes to not only create a great atmosphere in your canteen, but to also engage with students to help increase your food uptake.

You can experiment with fun new ways of serving up your meals like a burrito bar, or perhaps create a brand new ‘Frankenstein’ dish that will get your students talking – fusion is a huge trend this year! To help you get prepared, we also have our three week menu cycle. You can view this here.


2) Expect the unexpected

With the current climate, it is important that you always expect the unexpected. With food shortages impacting us all, it is crucial that your menu is adaptable and that you can be flexible with your offering.

Although you can’t plan for staff shortages or sickness, you should also have a clear plan in place in case it occurs. This way, it will have minimal impact on your student’s’ meal times, and overall provide a more efficient working environment. If you need further support on navigating the current climate, see here.


3) Think cost saving

Budgets will be stretched more than ever this academic year. With this in mind, it is important that cost saving is at the forefront of your mind as you begin the new term. Simple tricks, tips and swaps can make a significant impact on your costings.

For example, when you arrive into the kitchen, think about your energy usage and if you have to turn on all the appliances first thing. To help you further navigate cost saving, we are developing a Schools cost saving guide. Launching in September, this will be filled with lots of ideas to help stretch ingredients further and make your budget more flexible.


4) Communication is the way to go!

Think of new ways to help communicate your offering and news. By letting parents know what is on the menu, it can increase school meal uptake and can help land your concepts to the right audiences.

It is worth having a meeting with the teams to ensure you are utilising existing comms to get your message out there! Opening a line of communication with parents is also a great way to gain feedback, ask questions and even ask them what they would like to see on the menu in the future! By being more open with this it will also help ensure that all the parents have a positive perception of school meals.


5) Make it an occasion

As we enter a brand new School year, it is important to add excitement where possible. Why not make it an occasion? All the students will be looking forward to being reunited with friends, be in new classrooms and meet new members of their class.

To help create joyful mealtimes, why not open your canteen with a bold new theme! By decorating the canteen and aligning your menu with the decorations, you will see an uplift in excitement from them all. Not only this, it will show off your skills to the students to then in turn, grow your meal uptake numbers.

To help you develop a theme, we have put together an array of theme day inspiration guides! They’re are filled with tips, posters, activity suggestions, and most importantly recipe inspiration. You can view all our guides here.


We wish you a great start to the new academic year and hope that these tips help get you get back to school ready for September. For more support, please do get in touch with your account manager – we are here to help you navigate the new year and support you through any challenges.

View further support for your school here.

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