We’ve had a flurry of you getting in touch with us recently about where to start on renewing your school’s food contract. From some of your emails, it seems like for some of you, the prospect is about as appealing as a root canal.
But whether you’re in a local-authority-wide contract serving lots and lots of schools, or your own individual contract with a private caterer, don’t forget: this your chance to think big and go shopping. You might be really happy with your service (in which case, great), but it’s always worth sitting down with a blank piece of paper and reminding yourself of what you want your school food service to deliver.
That’s not just the practical stuff like how many children need to be served, what sorts of menus you want to offer and any benchmarks you want to focus on, but also where food fits in with life at your school. How do you want your pupils to think about food? Do you have a sense of their priorities for a good lunchtime? What else is important for eating well at your school, over and above good food? What do you want to do differently? What should stay the same? Is there anything new you want to try?
Put the time in now to create a really clear brief for your service and you’ll thank yourself later. It’s so easy to get hung up on things that haven’t worked this time. And they’re definitely important: a great starting point is knowing what you definitely don’t want in your new contract. But don’t forget to wave the magic wand and get creative, too: design the service you’d want if there were no barriers. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
It might feel like it’s going to be a painful process – but we can make sure that you don’t feel a thing.
Jeremy leads our team of experts who support schools with all aspects of catering.