A Year in the Life of our New Canteen…

As we wrap up our first year in the new canteen, we would like to share with you some of the changes that have occured during the year, progress that we have made with sustainability efforts and what we can look forward to when we return in August.

As many of you know, we changed our canteen concept this year and  Epicure was brought in to be our service provider. In addition to serving healthy, well-balanced meals and maintaining the highest standards of food hygiene, they were tasked with helping to reduce single use plastic, and catering to our many on-campus School events.

Epicure is keen to be responsive to community feedback and in order to ensure unfiltered user-opinion is being heard we have introduced an in-canteen satisfaction app, encouraging students to rate their experience daily. As the use of the app develops, the data will be used in conjunction with sales and food-waste data to improve menus and customer service training.

In addition we have met with the parent community, student councils and the School Community Organisation (SCO) to both gather feedback and gauge progress on Epicure’s initiatives. There have been regular updates at the Head of School Community Meetings throughout the year and today we summarise a year of canteen development.

A very popular initiative has been Epicure’s commitment to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at UNIS Hanoi; No food was served in single use plastic containers, food waste was reduced from last year and 90% of the food was sourced locally with traceability (which can have cost implications).

In addition, with the input from students and community members, we saw several positive changes in the canteen menus and serving options over the course of the year. In response to feedback, the Cafe increased both its snack and ‘quick lunch’ options, serving times during breaks have been significantly reduced, ES students are now given a set meal to help ensure they have a balanced lunch, ‘Fun Food Days’ were added to the menu for popular favourites, sauces are served separately and the salad bar options have grown both in terms of serving choices and with additional side-orders of  protein offered.

Not only did Epicure cater 270 events during the 2018-2019 school year but we also saw an increase of 2,387 hot meals and salads sold from the 17-18 year as of May 27th. This year, the canteen was available on Saturdays during Saturday Soccer and for select campus events on the weekends, such as last week’s STEAMFest.

We are sharing this information to keep you up-to-date and also to share that more changes will be implemented at the start of the new school year. We believe we have laid a great foundation to build from but we will work to continue to enhance the canteen. Next year, we plan to roll out the following changes:

  1. Further increase in selection and rotation of items available in the Cafe
  2. Salad bar available to Grades 4 and 5
  3. A student advisory committee will assist with food ratings, menu selections, tastings and general feedback
  4. A separate meal (in addition to the fixed hot meal) option will be added during the Middle School and High School  lunch
  5. And improved and more dynamic Canteen website page to keep the community up to date

We value your feedback. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Andy Bird, Epicure Director at andy@epicure.co.th.

You are also welcome to speak to me regarding the canteen dfo@unishanoi.org.

Epicure will kick off the 2019-20 school year by catering the Back to School BBQ. We look forward to seeing many of you back next year as we continue to grow and enhance our canteen.

Misty Shipley
Director of Finance and Operations

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