Mobile kitchens are a viable solution for a range of challenges faced by noncommercial foodservice operators. Here’s four ways foodservice providers in the K-12 segment can put mobile kitchens to use in their operations, and some suggestions for menu items in each.
1. Summer meal programs
Mobile kitchens allow operators to go where the students are, and in the summer that could be public parks or other recreation areas. For school districts that provide lunches for students year-round, mobile kitchens can bring those meals to wherever the students are gathering.
Consider dishes that can be eaten on the go, such as chicken fingers or chunks, for kids who are engaged in outdoor summertime activities. Items such as Tyson®Mega Minis®, aNAE (No Antibiotics Ever) chicken chunk product made with whole grain breading, provide on-trend flavors and a winning nutrition profile.
2. Accommodating enrollment fluctuations
Many of the legacy kitchens in K-12 facilities were not designed for the levels of student enrollment they are currently serving. Mobile kitchens can offer a way to add cooking capacity without expanding those existing facilities.
Mobile kitchens offer a flexible solution that can be used to offer the same meals that are offered in the main kitchen. Or, consider setting up the mobile kitchen with easy-to-prepare items such as new individually wrapped sandwiches from Tyson®, including the Grilled Chicken Patty with Teriyaki Sauce Mini Twin and the Grilled Chicken Patty with Hot Pepper Cheese Mini Twin.
3. Providing after-hours meals
Some school districts have found that it can be challenging to provide breakfast before classes start to all the students who want it. For those situations, using mobile kitchens to offer breakfast after classes start can provide a solution. Consider a mobile kitchen offering simple fare such as biscuits with chicken or sausage for those students who arrive too late for the traditional breakfast mealtime and still want a grab-and-go meal to start the day.
Similarly, mobile kitchens can offer operators a way to provide dinners for students participating in after-school activities. Those activities could be taking place on the school grounds, or students could be participating in after-school programs at local community centers. Consider any Tyson® chicken dinner entrées to meet such needs. These can include international items such as new Wei Café® Chicken Chunks, a breaded NAE chicken made with whole muscle dark meat chicken and a sweet and sour sauce, or a more traditional fare with on-trend flavor such as Tyson® NAE Whole Grain Breaded Hot ‘N Spicy Chicken Drumsticks.
4. Cooking and nutrition classes
Mobile kitchens have increasingly been deployed to not only provide meals for students, but as part of a curriculum around culinary and nutritional education. Consider ordering uncooked chicken products and showing students how to prepare them while teaching them about food safety, cooking techniques and creating well-balanced, nutritious meals.
Operators should consider these and other potential opportunities to leverage the versatility and flexibility of mobile kitchens. Tyson® offers a range of products to help make these auxiliary kitchens successful. Learn more at https://www.tysonfoodservice.com/your-channel/k-12.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.