Bletchley Park Primary School (WA)
Robyn Sydoruk, canteen supervisor
Bletchley Way Cafe - offering delicious and nutritious food to our school community. We have one full time supervisor, two paid assistants and usually one volunteer each day. Only one of the assistants works every day.
Over the past few years we have worked hard to make big changes to our menu. Gone are chicken nuggets and hotdogs for lunch and we no longer buy in mass produced frozen meals. Instead, we make it all fresh in the canteen. Menu items include, mac & cheese, butter chicken, pasta bolognese, soups, fried rice and more!
To do this we manage our time carefully, if only one person is needed to serve the other is whipping up a batch of one of our meals which we make in batches and freeze. We rotate food production each day and this is done in-between other food preparation and usually after morning recess. We make these meals in small batches which we freeze. One day a week we offer food that is bought in, as less food preparation is required, we can maximise this time for cooking our meals for other days. The extra work is definitely worth the extra profit, not to mention the nutritional benefits to the students.
We recently had our recipes assessed by the nutrition team at WASCA and it was wonderful to have them confirmed GREEN. Good news like this is advertised on our canteen Facebook page and in our school newsletter. Promoting and advertising our canteen with photos and information on what we are up to creates interest and awareness. We have created an impressive photo board in front of our canteen featuring the foods on our menu. This again creates excitement as to what's on offer and having a visual display is a great sales tool.
School community links
Recently the canteen, along with our school chaplain, initiated a non-profit service within our school named 'Love in Lunches'. We offer a free lunch once a week to children whose family have been recognised as needing a temporary helping hand. Whilst we prepare and supply the food for 'Love In Lunches' the cost is funded by Southern River Presbyterian Church. Although we do not generate profit on this, it is another way we stay connected and provide a service to our school and the community.
Take home message
- Advertise, promote and share – ‘sharing is caring’.
- Manage your time - good time management is essential. If you work smarter not harder you can still maintain a positive happy work environment.
- Use your initiative and act on your ideas.
Case study reproduced with permission from WA School Canteens Assocation.