Although many students are now returning fully to in-person learning, lunchrooms and processes for operating your School Nutrition program are going to continue to evolve in terms of both safety and convenience.
Over the past year, students and parents have gotten used to some of the conveniences of digital processes, both at school and in other areas of life.
Now that they’ve experienced digital convenience, they want, and even expect, more of it. After all, it’s often quicker, more efficient, and, most importantly, safer.
Here are some ways you can provide a convenient digital School Nutrition experience to your school’s students and parents.
Digital menus aren’t just safe, since no one is physically touching the menus and passing them out, they’re also incredibly efficient for everyone.
On the program’s side, the obvious benefit is that digital school lunch menus enable you to be flexible. If you need to make a change, you can make it instantly. The change will update everywhere all at once.
For students and parents, digital school lunch menus provide a number of advantages over hardcopy paper menus:
- Easier Access to Information – Good digital menu solutions allow parents and students to stay informed conveniently. Examples include the ability to search multiple menus across schools, receive real-time updates, and more.
- Access to More Information – Paper menus have limited space, but there’s really no capacity limit on digital menus. For example, you can provide parents and students with a ton of detailed nutritional information, which they’ll appreciate.
- Opportunities to Engage – Some digital school lunch menu options even enable interaction, which boosts engagement and participation. Imagine if students could rate meals, for example. That empowers them to have a voice in your program, while also giving you insight that can help you make more popular decisions (in turn generating more sales).
Once students and parents have digital school lunch menus, the next step to consider is how they can act on this information. For this phase, think beyond the traditional lunch-line ordering.
Instead of trying to guess food quantities, and then scrambling to make more of one item while another goes partially to waste, what if you knew what everyone wanted ahead of time?
Enabling pre-ordering would let you do just that: decrease waste and increase excitement. When people know what they’ll be eating in advance, it gives them time to look forward to it (and makes them less likely to pack a lunch).
Plus, with so many uncertainties in the world, students will appreciate knowing what to expect ahead of time.
Even with all this talk of digital, it’s still important not to overlook the necessary physical space: the cafeteria. That physical piece of the process isn’t going anywhere. Students still need a place where they can come to eat. They still have to walk down the hallways of your school from class to class to lunchroom.
But you can make some digital modifications to these physical spaces.
Like the menus, it’s helpful if you can update your signage everywhere, all at once, with one click of a button. Digital signage lets you do that.
Digital signs aren’t just easier to change, though. They’re also easier to create. Short of enlisting the help of the school art teacher, it’s hard to make paper signs look as sharp as digital signs. Not only are paper signs prone to ripping and smudging, they’re also usually pretty plain. Digital signage systems, on the other hand, make it easy to add colors, logos, imagery, and more.
While attractive signage may seem like a less-important element of school lunch, remember: these are the sorts of details that students and parents have come to expect.
The only question is: are you going to serve your customers what they want?
Interested in a platform that makes it easy to provide all of these digital School Nutrition experiences?
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