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Eight-year-old Sarah rides quietly in the back seat on the way to school while her Mom is texting and driving. Multiple emotions flood through Sarah as they pull up to be dropped off at school.
She wonders what or if her Mom will say anything to her as she gets out of the car, or will she just stay focused on the text chat she is having? Will, the kids make fun of her today because of her size, her outfit, or her hair? What will her teacher say when she hands in her homework? Yet, the emotion that brings a smile across her face is the thought of seeing Ms Patricia and Mr. Jared at breakfast.
Across America there are children similar to Sarah who struggle with their family, friends, and school experiences, and yet look forward to seeing their very own Lunch Gal and Guy.
The Ms Patricia’s and Mr. Jared’s of the school restaurant and café’s are serving because their passion for students. Most begin their service with a goal of spending quality time with their own children. Then, something happened to them, all the kids at school became their children too.
Every Ms Patricia and Mr. Jared have a unique special connection with some students over the rest. One of the reasons is they see with in the Sarah’s that they serve, themselves. They see and re-experience their past, and want to be the person for Sarah that they never had. I think this is why the Mr. Jared’s and Ms Patricia’s return year after year to serve in their school restaurant or café, is to be available for their children.
As Sarah stands in line for her breakfast, she is not looking at the menu board; she is looking for her lunch gal or guy. Because they are more important to her than what’s going to be given to her to eat. As she gets closer to the front of the line, she anticipates when Ms Patricia will look at her and they will see each other. And, for the first time all morning someone will look at her eyes and see the real Sarah and call her by her name.
Lunch Gals and Guys serve nutritious great tasting food every day that enhance the lives of students, yet the greatest thing on the menu is what they give to their students from their heart. They serve food and change lives.
The best thing about our school Restaurants and Cafes are the Ms Patricia’s and Mr. Jared’s.
Call or Text me at 916.708.8103
The vast majority of students standing in the line at school cafe’s and restaurants are there for a different reason than nutrition. They are there because they are after three things. Number one reason is they are hungry, followed by seeing and connecting with their friends, and some are there because they get to talk with their lunch gals or guys who serve them everyday.
They want something that taste good and satisfies their hunger. Yes, some of them the nutritional value is of interest to them, yet most it is just that it taste good and fills their tummies. The connection they get with their friends and the servers in the café and restaurant enhance the food they are served.
The wise school café and restaurant leader that markets the taste and satisfaction of the food along with the connections made with their friends as well as their lunch gals and guys will see growth in numbers.
Apple®, Chrysler®, Pandora® and many other companies market the feeling people receive rather than the technology behind their product. They have recognized that the majority of their current and potential customer purchase based on feelings rather than knowledge.
Students attending 20 and 25 high school reunions when surveyed about whom they remember of high school regularly call out three people. They remember their coach, followed by the mean teacher, and then their lunch gal or guy.
There is something special about those who serve food in the school café or restaurant? It is above and beyond words, it is a feeling they give to their students.
I suggest that we rethink our marketing practices and begin to highlight the connections made at the school café and restaurant as the primary reason to eat with us. Once they are with us we can teach and market the nutrition and its importance in the quality of our lives.
Here is a thought to check and see if what I am suggesting has merit. Create a time once a week or once a month where students can have lunch with their Lunch Gal or Guy.
You can call it “Lunch with Your Lunch Gal or Guy”. Have the students sign up to be randomly chosen. Designate an area in the area while they eat and decorate it with a tablecloth, balloons, or flowers (make it look special). Randomly choose the day before and announce the winners for this week or month. The Lunch Gal or Guy who is eating with the students will eat the same food they are. While eating they can take one of the items and discuss the nutritional value of the food product, where it is produced, how it aids their bodies for health, and any other beneficial information.
When you begin to follow-up on the “Lunch with Your Lunch Gal or Guy” project, you will discover that because they got to know the person serving them, they retained and retold what they learned about what they are eating.
When there is anything I can do to serve you and your team of servers, just ask.
Call or Text me at 916.708.8103
Through out America the most amazing people are serving students great tasting nutritious food. In some cases the facilities are still up to date for the 1960’s. Upgrading the facilities is a long and perilous process, sometimes years in the planning and implanting.
What can we do in the mean time to make the environment more appealing for our customers? Though our primary task is providing great tasting nutritious food for students, food may not be the greatest reason they come to us.
The Lunch Gals and Guys who serve and interact with Students, Staff, and Parents are our greatest feature. As we continue to focus on upgrading our program we need to place the same level of emphasis on enhancing our school nutrition servants.
As our Lunch Gals and Guys gain greater confidence in themselves and their ability to communicate to their customers (Students, Staff, and Parents) the over mission of school nutrition is accomplished with greater effectiveness.
Equipping the Campus Café or Restaurant with a staff that understands how to serve great tasting nutritious food and connect with customers is the best marketing available. Here are three things that will increase customer service and cost nothing to implement.
1st Look at our customers while they are in front of us. Look (even for a split second) at their eyes.
2nd Smile at those we are serving
3rd Call them by their name as much as possible
Those that serve our students, staff, and parents in Campus Cafés and Restaurants are our most important resource in increasing customer allegiance.
I am Matt, and I am your friend
Call or Text me at 916.708.8103