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Five Tips for Cafeteria Managers

1. Meet with the principal and/or assistant principal before the school year begins to understand each other’s priorities and to foster open lines of communications open. Share any concerns that you have and create a plan for regular follow up.

2. Keep lines of communication open with the office staff and the school nurse. Parents will sometimes contact them with questions or concerns before they approach you. At my school, the office staff and nurse help me work with parents to address issues. Together we make a great team!

3. At the beginning of the school year, I write a note introducing myself to the parents and families. This letter can be sent home with the students and also be posted on the school's website, with the approval of the principal (remember #1). I let the parents know my name, my phone number, breakfast & lunch prices, and any other relevant information. I encourage them to call me if they have any questions.

4. If your school has a PTA/ PTO, get to know the president. When they need help with something from the cafeteria, you will be the go-to person and it is nice if you have already established a relationship. If your school has something going on after hours, i.e. dance, talent night, etc., volunteer some of your time. Go to the orientations and open houses. Make yourself visible and available for any questions.

5. Keep in mind, that students are your customers. Fostering a good relationship with them helps your operation move smoothly. And, it is helpful if you have to communicate with his or her parent down the road.

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