School Cafeteria Prep: Maximizing Summer Break

School Cafeteria Prep: Maximizing Summer Break

9th Aug 2022

While students around the country are reveling in summer vacation, school cafeteria prep is underway as schools are tasked with making improvements to their kitchen and dining areas, servicing and replacing equipment, and restocking supplies.

Summer break is an excellent time for schools to look at what is working and what improvements can be made in their cafeterias. First, take a look at the data on things like food waste, how long it takes students to move through the checkout line, seating capacity, menu performance, and more.

If you don't have data on these things, put a plan into place to ensure you are better informed next year! Without concrete data, your staff will be able to offer insight into these things.

Once you've compiled available data and have made a plan for what things you'd like to address, call a meeting with your staff so that you can collectively talk about what is working and what isn't.

To dive a little deeper, consider sending out a survey via email to parents and students asking about their experiences with your cafeteria.

Things to ask about are:

  • Food selection
  • Food quality and temperature
  • Wait times
  • Seating
  • Staff

Once you've been able to pinpoint some pain points in your process, you'll be able to work on solutions.

Perhaps you realize students in your high school cafeteria often cannot finish their lunches because standing in line takes up so much of their lunch break.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that students have no less than 20 minutes to eat once they've gotten their food and are seated.

If this is the case, it's time to review things like how many lines and registers you have available, the output of your equipment, and your staff's ability to serve items quickly.

Once you know what issues should be addressed, you'll be able to work with your staff to optimize your space and equipment, which will increase their efficiency.

After you've spent some time figuring out how to make your cafeteria run more smoothly, it's time to do some deep cleaning and take note of the condition of your cafeteria equipment.

All equipment (and the surfaces around them) should be thoroughly cleaned. This means moving your equipment to clean underneath and behind it! If your staff has noted any issues with any pieces of equipment, now is a great time to have someone come out to do some tune-ups.

While looking at your school cafeteria's efficiency, you might realize your equipment is not keeping up with demand. It may be time to invest in new items like combi ovens, larger ware-washing equipment, and coolers. Perhaps investing in specialty items like tortilla makers, pizza ovens, and blenders would help you churn out a higher volume of popular menu items faster.

If you're not sure how you can improve your current situation, reach out to us! Our customer service representatives can provide solutions that help you increase your efficiency without blowing your budget.

We’ve got the cafeteria equipment and supplies you need to get ready for the new school year.

In addition to tending to your equipment, sort through all of your supplies to see what needs to be replaced before the first day of school. Your supplies can take a beating with everyday, heavy use. Go through all of your cabinets and drawers to check your items, and while you're there, get organized!

An organized kitchen is an efficient one, so take advantage of summer break to get everything organized and train your staff on how to keep the kitchen that way once students return in the fall.

Finally, if you are surprised by the state of any of your equipment or supplies, it's time to develop protocols that will allow your staff to communicate their needs when it comes to the kitchen effectively.

Culitrade is here to help you with your school cafeteria prep to ensure your kitchen is in tip-top shape before your students return in the fall.

Check out these categories to find the cafeteria equipment you need to increase efficiency in your kitchen:

Heat lamps

A heat lamp is a great way to keep food items warm and ensure food is served at the correct temperature. Additionally, it can help you save time and money by preventing food from going to waste.

Cafeteria trays

Cafeteria trays can help to increase the efficiency of your kitchen by ensuring that food is served at the correct temperature. Additionally, it can help you save time and money by preventing food from going to waste.

Signage

An organized kitchen is an efficient one, and signage can help to keep your kitchen organized. By having designated areas for particular items, your staff can quickly and easily find the supplies they need without wasting time searching through cabinets and drawers. Additionally, signage can help to remind staff of proper food handling procedures, which can help to prevent food borne illness.

Food storage

Food storage is important for two main reasons. First, it ensures that food is not stored in an environment that could lead to contamination. Second, it ensures that food is stored in a way that allows for easy access and prevents food from going to waste.

An organized kitchen is an efficient kitchen, and proper food storage can help to keep your kitchen organized. By having designated areas for particular items, your staff can quickly and easily find the supplies they need without wasting time searching through cabinets and drawers. Additionally, signage can help to remind staff of proper food handling procedures, which can help to prevent food borne illness.

Melamine dinnerware

Durable and able to withstand a lot of usages, melamine dinnerware is a wonderful method to increase the efficiency of your facility. It's also dishwasher safe, so it can assist to save time on cleaning.

Refrigeration

A well-organized kitchen is a more efficient cooking area, and proper refrigeration can help keep your kitchen neat. Staff may quickly and easily locate the materials they require without losing time looking through cupboards and drawers by having designated areas for particular things. Signs can also assist to remind workers of food handling guidelines, which may aid in the reduction of food borne illness.

Commercial Ovens

Commercial ovens are necessary for two main reasons. First, they can help to increase the speed at which food is prepared, which can lead to increased efficiency in the kitchen. Second, commercial ovens are often larger than traditional ovens, which can help to prepare large quantities of food at once. This can help to reduce the amount of time that your staff spends preparing food and help to prevent food from going to waste.

Salad bar equipment and accessories

Salad bar equipment and accessories can help to increase the efficiency of your kitchen by ensuring that food is served at the correct temperature. Additionally, it can help you save time and money by preventing food from going to waste.