Back to Normal: How to Serve Meals This School Year

After years of alternative methods of providing meals, school foodservice is finally getting back to normal again. While supply chain issues and labor continue to present challenges, the school foodservice professionals we spoke to at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference were optimistic about the future and excited to return to normalcy. Use these Cambro products beloved by school foodservice professionals to get back on track. 

  1. Trays

For years, many schools had tray lines that stood empty. Finally, it’s time to wipe off the cobwebs and get ready to move students through the line again. Over the last 2 years, trays haven’t been a top concern, but now they are a returning necessity. If you have Camtrays, they just need to be run through the dishwasher before they are ready for service. However, if your trays were looking a little worse for wear pre-pandemic, now is the time to equip your operation with fresh, high-quality trays that will last decades.

  • Camtrays®: As Cambro’s very first product, the Camtray is dependable, easy to clean and able to be personalized to support school spirit.
  • School Compartment Trays: Rather than wasting money on disposable trays and contributing more trash to our landfills, School Compartment Trays are an economical and durable solution for lunch service in elementary schools.
  • Meal Delivery Trays: Bento boxes are a popular offering at many high schools, but many are packaged in disposable containers. When Sabrina Bilski, Director of Nutrition Services at Valders Area School District in Valders, Wis., purchased 300 Meal Delivery Trays, she was able to save 17,200 of disposable containers from being thrown away.
  1. Salad Bars

Displaying fruits and vegetables in a salad bar is much more appetizing than a package of carrots thrown in a paper bag. We eat with our eyes, and kids are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when they are presented in an appetizing way. Lisa Kendall, Director of Food Nutrition Services at Thompson School District in Loveland, Colo., implemented salad bars to offer fruit salad, bean salad and fresh vegetables to eat alone or make a garden salad.

“We [saw] interest peak among kids. Kids that had salad bars in elementary expect to see it in middle school or high school too. We’ve seen that kids that are introduced to fruits and vegetables early are more likely to keep this eating habit when they are older,” said Kendall.

  1. Ultimate #10 Can Rack

Got cans? Get your kitchen ready for a new school year by upgrading your can storage. Storing cans on shelving is a poor use of space, discourages FIFO and can potentially cause injuries to employees. While metal can racks are an improvement, they have significant drawbacks. Jason Keegan, Culinary Operation Director at School Nutrition Plus, used traditional load-from-the-back metal can racks, but over time, he noticed sharp edges developed and the rack started to bend out of place, causing cans to have trouble moving down. Plus, cleaning was extremely difficult and arduous.

The Ultimate #10 Can Rack doesn’t require valuable shelving space, won’t dent, bend or break, maintains FIFO and provides leverage for employees to easily removal of cans, reducing the risk of injury. Plus, it’s easy to clean!

“We take apart the whole rack, run it through the dish machine and put it together. It’s easy to pull out the cans, set aside and drop them back in on the clean rack,” said Keegan.

  1. Cambro Vending Cart

The new Cambro Vending Cart made its debut a few months after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Silvia, Resident District Manager at Whitsons Culinary Group in Lexington, Mass., needed something mobile and appealing to serve breakfast and lunch safely at one of their high schools. Silva purchased Cambro Vending Carts to be stationed at central meeting areas and quickly learned they were invaluable for their breakfast service.

“My breakfast skyrocketed. I was lucky if I did 100 breakfasts at any point maximum. When we came back full, we were upwards to like 300 or 400 breakfasts,” said Silvia.

The Cambro Vending Cart can be used for Grab-N-Go breakfast or lunch, beverage service, snacks between classes and as a concession stand during sporting events. Engineered for both indoor and outdoor service, the Cambro Vending Cart is built from ultra-durable polyethylene material that resists dents, rust, and cracks.

                Make your vision become a reality! Click here to design your ideal Cambro Vending Cart.

For a limited time, receive free personalization on Cambro Vending Carts when you buy two or more!

Contact your local Cambro sales rep to learn how these products and more can make an impact at your schools.


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