Members: Lindsay Blackburn, Celine Desaedeleer, Tina Gobel, Livia Spinolo, Dema Tabbalat
Meeting: Tuesday 21st November, 2017 – LB, CD, LS and ACS Cobham Catering Manager Chris Owen (“CO”): To understand challenges, communicate questions
Lunch and Observation: Monday 4th December, 2017 – LB, CD, TG, LS: To monitor queues, behaviour, observe, taste menu
Meeting and Observation: Friday 16th February, 2018 – LB, CD, LS and CO: To observe, discuss changes and moving forward
The aim of this group was to
The group formed to look into the cafeteria following continued concerns and questions from parents and students in feedback documents. Topics raised in parent feedback included length of queues, quality of food, portion sizes, menu choices, and sources of food. These questions came from all school divisions and can be found in the feedback documents which are posted online in the PSO area of the website.
We had two meetings with Chris Owen, as well as a lunch and observation session. The notes from each meeting are included as Appendices 1, 2 and 3 at the end of this report.
The Cafeteria serves breakfast to 150* boarding staff and students. It provides a mid morning snack at 9.45am to 500* High School students. It serves lunch to 1,500* people. It provides a mid afternoon snack to boarders, and an evening meal to 150* boarding students and staff.
The weekly menu is the same across the three ACS campuses and is compiled in conjunction with Chris Ingram, ACS Catering Director (manages catering for all three schools) and the three campus head chefs, (Chris Owen at ACS). The overall menu changes every eight weeks, it is rotated weekly, and the same weeks are repeated twice in the eight week cycle. The food meets high nutritional standards, is balanced with the correct amount of added salt, and sugar and is ethically sourced as detailed below. The vast majority of the food is homemade on site from scratch. Everything is traceable back to the farm and the original animal via barcodes. It complies to all best practice and current health and safety guidelines. The cafeteria’s guideline is to run the the Catering business for zero profit (ie cafeteria revenues cover the running costs).
(* numbers are approximate)
In summary we are satisfied that Chris Owen and his team are working hard to provide our students with the best mealtime experience at school that they can. The improvements to the kitchen and serving area that are planned for the summer holidays (details below) will provide more space, increase the flow and reduce the queueing times for diners. The new Lower School dining hall recently opened has improved the lunch experience significantly for lower school students. We have a list of recommendations at the end of this report.
These are our findings:
Food and Quality
Queuing time and logistics in the Food Court
CO and the committee would prefer if less takeaway boxes were used (particularly in the winter when students don’t want to eat outside), even though these are compostable. The takeaway boxes do not fit an entire food serving in, and do not allow for salad and vegetables, so students that take these boxes are missing out on a full portion/meal and missing out on the healthier portions of the meal.
Signage and Menu Information
Longer Term Actions