Student Welfare: 8 Institutional Catering Tips for Schools
Humans need to eat three times daily to function normally and preserve their health. But, how about the people who have no money to buy their food, like the students. Schools, of course, are responsible for feeding their students, especially during lunch break, when almost all of the pupils are at school. It wouldn’t be practical to provide them daily by ordering food online because it takes a lot of preparation. The best way to solve this problem is to have institutional catering.
Institutional catering is feeding people who can’t support themselves. Aside from younger students, it can also help elderly home shelters, hospitals, colleges, and universities. Now, if you own an institution, here are some tips for feeding everyone with institutional or industrial catering services.
Institutional Catering Tips for Schools
Since you’re feeding students, you need to be more careful with the health and sanitation issues of institutional catering. It’s risky to feed them dirty foods as it can stir a problem among all parents. For sure, they would get worried about their children’s well-being. If you’re just starting to cater for a school, continue reading the article to ensure everyone gets a fair share of food.
1) Catering Style: Buffet, Tray or Plated
When looking for an institutional caterer, you must choose a catering style, whether buffet, tray or plate. If you’re focusing on the school environment, it’s better to have the tray-style because you can choose what to feed the students and have more control over food potions.
Buffets are suitable for restaurants and corporate meetings where people can choose their foods. While the plated catering style is applicable for formal events because the guests remain seated, and the servers will bring the food to the table. Regardless of the catering style, you must ensure that the people get a fair share of food.
2) Prepare Your Signature Dish
Children have different tastes in food. They are not like professionals who have complicated preferences for food. So, prepare a signature dish that most students will love. For instance, catering to younger students ages 8 to 12, you can make the food look fun and colourful. This way, they can feel encouraged to eat the food with their classmates.
On the other hand, if you’re an institutional caterer for older students like university or colleges, you can offer more options as people develop their likes and dislikes at that age. Another example is the elderly house. It’s better to ensure you have food appropriate for senior citizens to avoid risking their health.
3) Make Dishes In Advance
It would be best if you feed the students daily, and it’s your responsibility to give everyone a fair share of the dish. Make the dishes in advance, perhaps a day before or hours before the lunch break. This way, you can also count if you lack meals for students. When you look for pantry management services, ask them if they can help the school prepare food in advance.
However, don’t give the students cold food; the solution is to reheat the food to keep them freshly cooked. The students will surely enjoy the food and be thankful for your services.
4) Prioritise Sanitation and Hygiene
The students’ health should be your top priority, so consider the sanitation and hygiene of your utensils, including the spoon, fork, and plate. With this, you can ensure that no one will get sick and will continue to support your institutional catering services.
To observe proper hygiene, wash the plates and utensils thoroughly for a better cleaning routine. Another thing to consider is the COVID pandemic. Since students may come back face to face, it’s better to teach your staff how to prevent the spread of the virus. The canteen catering services should adhere to the guidelines for safer health.
5) Ask Students and Parents for Feedback
To improve your services, you can also ask for feedback from students and parents about what you need to improve. Listen to their comments because it can give you an idea of what areas you need to improv
- Food Presentation
- Food Taste
- Staff Performance
All of these are essential in your institutional and industrial catering services. This way, you can get an idea about the areas you need to upgrade. If, for instance, you get more feedback regarding the staff performance, you can advise your employees to smile more or look more approachable to the students.
For students, you can reach out to them by giving them survey questionnaires to learn more about the things to improve as an institutional caterer.
6) Achieve a Real Dining Experience
Eating at school doesn’t mean you have to rush the students. Make it an authentic dining experience by giving the school good customer service. Tell your staff about how to be more approachable and listen to students’ needs whenever they need to request extra tissue or another spoon and fork.
Since you’re offering institutional catering services, you also need to be mindful that the people you’re serving are still dependent on their parents. So, avoid charging them with unnecessary fees as it can be unethical.
7) Get to Know the Needs of Students
You can also interview the students as an in-house institutional caterer to know their particular needs. Some may have an allergy to seafood, or perhaps others are lactose intolerant. That’s why. It’s helpful to get to know more about the students through interviews. Or maybe, invite their parents and ask about their children’s medical conditions. This way, you can customise their needs and make your institutional or industrial catering servicesmore applicable to the needs of each student. Through this, you’ll also avoid risking the students’ health and keep everyone safe.
8) Try to Dispose or Donate the Leftovers
Sometimes the students will not be able to finish the food. Maybe, they don’t feel good, or sometimes they are not in the mood to eat. With the leftover food, you can either dispose of it or donate it if the food is still clean and left untouched. You can give them to other homeless people or offer them to the staff worker.
If you’re looking for an institutional caterer, you can partner with Pro*3 Catering, an expert in food serving. You can also visit their website to learn more about pantry management services.
Hi, I’m Rana Madanat and I blog at ranasrecipe.com. My passion for food began very early in my life. And after managing a cafe, a granola business and helping other food businesses scale up, I found my true calling in creating wonderful recipes so that everyone can enjoy cooking as much as I do!