School Meals - UK - August 2009
With the final deadline for nutritional guidelines set for September 2009, many government ministers would no doubt like to see the end of the school meals debate. However, for operators trying to mix the somewhat opposing concepts of attempting to run a profitable, commercial enterprise whilst meeting demands for social responsibility and welfare issues, the hangover from Jamie Oliver’s campaign is likely to continue for many years.
Although the decline in school meal take-up appears to have halted, the majority of pupils continue to bring packed lunches whilst only one in five parents state that their child regularly has school meals. Consumer research for this report has found that, although parents widely support the changes in school meals in recent years, the industry continues to be dogged by preconceptions of poor value for money and poor quality. This will require a considerable marketing effort on the part of caterers, schools and the government alike in order to ‘rebrand’ the new healthier school meal system.
Pressing concerns for the industry also continue to centre on the issue of funding. Although the government has committed a significant amount of financial investment into the industry, many still regard the market as under-resourced due to previous years of under-investment that have left many schools without the practical kitchens needed to fulfil the new government guidelines for school meal provision.
How are operators persuading children to eat healthier meals?
Are current facilities meeting children’s demands and expectations?
What can operators do to increase revenues as meal take-up declines and costs increase?
How can operators capitalise on changes in legislation?
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