Does your school canteen and menu form part of your marketing mix in setting your school apart from others in the area? The canteen menu at Northern Beaches Christian School has raised the benchmark among schools and the news was picked up by several media outlets including TV and radio. See  > “No more devon and tomato sauce sandwiches! High school CANTEEN menu featuring turmeric lattes, smashed avo on artisan bread and vegan salted caramel”  The gourmet menu includes “artisian fruit loaf, tapioca pudding, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, 'Nonnas meatballs', deli sandwiches on sourdough, as well as turmeric and chai lattes.”

Several years ago I consulted for an Adventist School. They offered a vegetarian canteen menu in keeping with their beliefs. This menu raised an interesting and unexpected cultural challenge. Having a vegetarian menu was proving attractive to the local, and growing, Hindu community. The positive word of mouth among the Hindu community about the school – and its canteen menu – meant growing numbers of this one local ethnic group were being attracted to the school rather than a wider multicultural cross section of the changing community.

What does your canteen say about your school? Are there unexpected opportunities to use it as part of your proactive marketing?