New beginnings are on the horizon as 2020 starts to come to a close. Your program has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, which unfortunately has resulted in low participation and a loss in revenue. As you head into 2021, consider some new ways to increase your programs reach and find a new normal that works for you.
A great way to promote yourself is by using social media. This goes beyond just using Facebook and Instagram. It’s important to keep up with whatever tools your students and their parents are using.
Before getting on social media, evaluate the following:
- Your Target Audience
- What Platforms to Use
- What to Post About
- Your menus
- Your schedule
- Your staff (with their permission of course)
- Your values
- National Holidays (Whether it be holidays like Labor Day, School Lunch Week, or National Chocolate Day)
- Any feedback you have received
Getting feedback helps you with 2 things: 1) making improvements that people want to see and 2) gives you something to brag about!
Ask those participating in your program, what they would like to see served in the cafeteria, or provide a way for them to rank their favorite menu items so you have an idea as to what can possibly result in more engagement. Use this information to then promote yourself to others! Let your audience know that the Pizza you are serving is so good, it’s actually the top-rated menu item.
UPGRADE YOUR TOOLS
Having the right tools is key to the first two steps and there are a ton of ways to do this. For your social media platforms, use free scheduling tools to organize all your content. Platforms like these offer free versions of their software that let you tackle everything one place and offer you easy to view calendars and post scheduling.
Tools like schoolcafé are perfect for offering polls and getting feedback from both students and parents.
- With features like digital pre-ordering, parents and students can place orders for pick up anywhere (depending on your district’s settings) making it easier for students to receive meals.
- Students can:
- Rate their favorite menu items and see what their peers like.
- Share their favorite menu items straight from the app and let their friends know what they are eating today!
- The district can use the app to send notices to parents about pickup times or locations.
For an added bonus, districts can also use digital menu boards like schoolcafé TV. The vibrant and customizable menus can be displayed on any TV (with a Chromebox) so students can see the menu and any messages or videos your district wants to share.
Want to go the old fashion route? Schoolcafé customers get access to free flyers found in the Amigo tool in PrimeroEdge. These flyers are completely editable so that you can cater them to your district and include any information you would like. Flyers like these can be printed out and sent home with students, emailed to parents, or uploaded to your district site.
Most importantly, find a method that works best for you. Promoting your program goes beyond the cafeteria so think outside the box as much as you can. The PrimeroEdge team is here to help you along the way!