The requirements for the daily lunch service at schools are high. Food should be healthy and fresh, appealing to the pupils and above all cost-effective. For school restaurants and caterers changing nutritional standards and staying within a tight budget is no mean feat. Nevertheless, there are strategies to achieve this balance and serve a common denominator.
In order for kids and youngsters to appreciate and happily eat certain dishes, one aspect is vital: the quality of the dishes has to be right. During purchasing already, the foundation for attractive dishes can be laid. Locally sourced products are more sustainable and usually fresher thanks to shorter transport routes. They can quickly be processed without a drop in quality due to long storage. Fresh herbs are more and more often grown in school gardens.
For vegetables, an appetising colour and tasteful results are vital. Modern cooking systems, such as the RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter, feature a gentle cooking process ensuring that dishes are cooked precisely and always as desired.
“The intelligent cooking programme monitors the cooking cabinet climate, makes adjustments if necessary and thus prepares broccoli, for example, precisely to the minute”, says Thomas Hofer, managing director at RATIONAL Kitchen & Catering Equipment Trading FZCO.
“The consistency and colour of vegetables can be achieved perfectly and vitamins retained.” Even breaded dishes, such as chicken escalopes, are produced more healthily and with a better taste in the SelfCookingCenter. “Dishes that used to be prepared in a deep-fat fryer, are now produced with up to 95% less fat, but just as crispy as before,” he explains.
“Modern kitchen technology is easy on the kitchen budget,” adds Hofer. Thanks to the quick preparing made possible by the SelfCookingCenter, if needed, additional amounts can be produced without delay. This reduces food wastage since overproduction is avoided and leftovers don’t have to be disposed of expensively.
The optimum cooking process keeps shrinking of the meat to a minimum thus reducing the amount of raw good needed. When it comes to staff, the kitchen also benefits from modern technology. The SelfCookingCenter performs the cooking processes independently. It doesn’t require monitoring and can easily be operated by anyone. This saves time that can be used for other tasks.
Healthy, high-quality dishes can be produced at a low cost using carefully considered and modern kitchen systems. If speed is of the essence at break time, technology assists where it’s needed most: by preparing large amounts at top quality and through efficient production. If modern technology is used right, it ultimately leads to more sustainable purchasing, the reduction of food waste and generally a more positive ecological footprint.