Flexischools’ top 8 tips for a successful school canteen

Get your school canteen organised for the 2023 school year with these top 8 tips from Flexischools!

1.     Be organised and plan ahead

We know how busy it gets when you’re running a school canteen and providing food to hundreds of kids! It’s incredibly important to have strong organisational skills to ensure kids get their food on time.

A few tips:

  • Order ingredients ahead of time.

  • Ensure you have ample time to prepare all the meals. Flexischools grants you the ability to set a cut-off time for orders to ensure you meet the requirements of your schedule.

  • Take note of your busiest days, so you are aware when extra ingredients and additional volunteers are required in the canteen.


2.     Update your canteen menu

The start of the year is the perfect time to update your canteen menu. Removing unpopular items, adding new meals, and adjusting your pricing can help increase your revenue in 2023.

Updated menus are a great way to get parents and kids excited for the new year and inspire them to engage further with your canteen.

The Flexischools platform enables canteen managers to easily update their menu. Canteen managers can quickly add items, change prices, and make items inactive using the Supplier Portal.

3.     Encourage healthy eating

The school canteen is a fantastic place to encourage children to eat healthily. Canteen managers often add extra healthy food options for families to choose from as kids head back to school.

When using Flexischools, canteen managers can apply a traffic light category to each menu item (Green, Amber, Red). The traffic light ratings for each item will be shown on the Flexischools app, so parents can make informed decisions when ordering.

4.     Personalise canteen items

Many children have allergies, intolerances, and special diets. Providing alternative dietary options (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free) allows all parents to order lunch for their children.

With Flexischools, you can allow parents to easily remove ingredients, add ingredients, and include special notes or allergies. This is a fool-proof way to ensure your canteen caters to everyone’s health requirements.

5.     Have reliable suppliers

It can be tricky deciding which supplier to work with to get fresh, high-quality, and reasonably priced ingredients. Some tips when choosing suppliers:

  • Get advice from ASCA who are experts in advising on the best canteen suppliers, and also negotiate lower prices for their members

  • Choose a local distributor that specialises in dealing with school canteens – they have the best range of school products and usually the best service for schools

  • Try to develop long term relationships with distributors and suppliers – that way you will get better service

  • Network with other canteens in your region – ASCA often facilitates these networks

  • Look for specials when you are buying, and factor in the value of loyalty programs


6.     Promote your canteen

The best way to encourage parents to purchase food from your canteen is to post in the school newsletter and via social media channels (e.g., Facebook and Instagram).

A few topics to post about:

  • New menu items

  • Changes in pricing

  • Discounts and deals

  • Special food days

  • Service cut-off times

With Flexischools, you can send instant messages and updates to parents via our Parent Communications feature. This is the easiest way to keep parents updated and encourage them to order from your canteen.

7.     Update your school classes

It is important to update class lists at the start of the year, so each child’s food is allocated to the correct class. With Flexischools, you can quickly add, edit, or delete classes.


8.     Move your school canteen online

If you are not currently using an online ordering system at your school, consider moving your canteen online with Flexischools: Australia’s #1 online ordering app for parents, schools, and suppliers.

Some of the Flexischools benefits include:

  • All-in-one cashless school app: You can move all your school services online, including the canteen, uniform shop, events, fees, and communications. Simple and convenient!

  • Save time: Reduce admin and save time

  • Accredited: AFSL accredited

  • Support: Australian-based support team

  • Trusted: Trusted by over 1,600+ schools

  • Easy for parents to use: 4.8-star App Store rating

  • Reliable: Flexischools has processed 145M+ orders over 15 years

Want to learn more about Flexischools? Click here.


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