b'SCHOOL CATERINGMake your menus more seasonal. Theres a reason forlook after the people you have and encourage new this: changing menus in line with the seasons helps topeople to join you. guarantee freshness at lower prices and supports local growers.How to retain the people you haveConsider whether delivery of food to remote areas ofAfter all the effort that your staff have put in, nows the your estate is necessary. time to watch for burn-out. Review your labour model If your catering is outsourced, work with yourto ensure that it is fit for purpose and has sufficient contractor to assess whether there are benefits toteam members to do the job. Youll need to monitor centralising some production.hours of work and the physical environment. If youre If your catering is inhouse, work with other localoutsourced, its highly likely that your contractor will be schools to assess whether there are benefits tokeen to support this strategy. collaboration. Try to reduce pressure on some roles, so that your team Keep dry/frozen contingency food in your stores, tocan be deployed more efficiently.bridge over price increases and supply shortages.The third (and Brexit) lesson:For example:grow your own staffFrictionless shops. Staff recruitment and retention is the largest crisis facingUse of more modern cooking equipment. the hospitality industry, and the catering departments ofMenu engineering. independent schools are not immune.Centralising of production as long as quality can be maintained.Brexit has reduced our overseas workforce; theRemoval of split shifts.furloughing of staff has seen good people leave theHow to grow new staffsector for better paid jobs with more sociable hours. Theres more to comethere is a significant risk in theReview your training and development. Contact the fact that currently 85% of London chefs were bornlocal training colleges. Take advantage of industry overseas and 50% of UK chefs were born overseas. training, government grants and apprenticeship schemes.Its estimated that 660,000 workers have dropped out ofLook to the future and begin the process of the industry, which employs around 4.49 million people:succession planning.around 10% of the working population. As I write this, I can feel the bursar community looking The current vacancy rate is 10% = 188,000 workers. Ofat the cost of implementation with dread, especially course, high street hospitality is now opening up again:given the pressures on fee income and other costs. so the vacancy rate is going to get worse. However, many of these suggestions are virtually cost-free, and others will rapidly pay for themselves. Industry leaders such as Holroyd Howe and Leiths Cookery School are investing exceptional sums intoThe final lesson taught to us by COVID (and Brexit): training and development to encourage young peoplestanding still is not an option! into the industry. Where desperation is peaking, employers are offering cash bonuses when staff joinCarla McKenzie is the managing director of their team.MYA Consulting. Carla can be contacted on There are only two ways to protect yourself in this crisis:Carla.McKenzie@mya-consulting.co.uk. 26 www.independentinsight.netIwww.iexcellence.co.ukIwww.i25awards.co.uk'