Schools around the country are wrapping up their academic years in a way nobody could have expected. Remote learning. Virtual graduation ceremonies. Drive-by diploma pickups. School administrators and staff have gone above and beyond in helping students feel some sort of normalcy in otherwise uncertain times. Additionally, foodservice directors, dietitians and cafeteria staff have also been doing their part, working tirelessly to ensure kids have daily access to healthy, safe and delicious meals. We owe all of these dedicated professionals a round of applause.
But, what now? What is going to happen to lunch programs once schools potentially resume in the fall? Uncertainty looms over all of us in this industry as we start to piece together what a “new normal” might look like for school foodservice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines, but without clear direction from districts and/or local health departments, foodservice directors are being forced to create their own service plans -- from scratch -- for how their entire operation will run once schools reopen.
But, here is some promising (and uplifting) news: Foodservice professionals are coming together like never before, to address this challenge head on. In a recent call spearheaded by a member of the Facebook group, Tips for School Meals That Rock, foodservice professionals from across the nation were strategizing and offering up creative ideas, tips and information, all in the spirit of just wanting to support one another during this time. It was humbling to listen to, and clear to me that this is an incredibly resilient group, committed to not only ensuring that no child goes hungry, but also making foodservice positive, healthy and safe once kids potentially come back in the fall.
In the past several years, we have dedicated our business to helping foodservice directors improve the customer experience in schools. Yet, as we approach whatever the “new normal” may look like (and there will be many variations!), our new Contactless Order Ahead solution can help ensure not only a great experience for students, parents, teachers and foodservice staff, but also their health and safety.
While the future may seem daunting, we have conceived of a few potential service models at all levels that include Contactless Order Ahead. These are just a few ideas, as we know there will be no one-size-fits-all scenario, but hopefully these can help spark inspiration in the planning stages:
As an industry, we have a huge opportunity to come together to share ideas, lift one another up, innovate and overall, succeed in our collective pursuit in providing the best for our K-12 students. And as always, Nutrislice is here to help along this journey.
What’s one thing you are planning to do differently in the fall? Please share in the comments section of this post.
And head over here to learn more about Contactless Order Ahead.