Many K-12 students will transition back to full-time, in-person instruction this fall, following the 16-month pandemic period. Aramark is making sure students and families welcome the return to school dining not only confident in the safety and care they will receive but also with excitement for new menu items, breakfast options, and grab and go features.
“Aramark is more than a food-service provider,” said Barbara Flanagan, president and chief executive of Aramark K-12 Education. “It starts with providing good-tasting, well-prepared food. But it goes beyond that commitment to health and wellness is in our DNA.”
One response to this commitment was the expansion of Aramark’s collaboration with the American Heart Association to develop a robust platform of at-home recipes, nutritional education, and engagement for its K-12 community.
Another response is a renewed focus on breakfast. Aramark’s culinary team are developing new breakfast recipes and finding new products to match with student food and beverage desires. Additionally, Breakfast in the Classroom, Mobile Cart Grab and Go and Mobile Cart Pick “Your Own,” Breakfast After the Bell, and morning and afternoon pickup options are all initiatives launching this year to ensure that students have opportunity to start their days with a healthy and delicious meal.
“When students are healthy and well-nourished, they’re ready to learn,” says Christine Meinhardt, K-12 director for menu and product development. “Foods that are kid-friendly and nutrient-rich aren’t mutually exclusive.”
Additionally, Aramark surveys students annually to gain insight to food preferences and satisfaction. Students say they want quick, fresh, high-quality food and authentic global flavor profiles. They also prioritize grab-and-go options that allow for variety, efficiency, and convenience.