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10 Things To Do Before Christmas

We all want to start thinking about winding down for the Christmas holidays, but give yourself some peace of mind over the break by getting a few things done now so you hit the ground running in 2022.

Here’s our top 10 tips:

1. Volunteers

Where would we be without our wonderful volunteers?

If you haven’t already started your recruitment program for 2022 it’s time to get planning as terms 4 and 1 are ideal times to recruit volunteers from the new families who are joining your school community. So make the most of any opportunities that come up to connect with them. You could attend and hand out a flyer at parent information sessions and prep orientation events or ask the school to include the flyer in school book packs, just to name a few.

Check out our great volunteer resources here.

2. Set goals for 2022

Set goals for 2022 and have them endorsed by the parent body or school. Include both financial and service goals, e.g. amount of net profit, pricing structure to be used, changes in the type of food to be served, and staffing and volunteer levels. This will give you information to report against throughout 2022 and is a great tool to have if your managing body request ongoing information.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our sample Tuckshop Goals and Objectives information sheet.

3. Stock control

We don’t need to tell you the importance of stock control, but it’s often overlooked and may impact on how the tuckshop’s performance for 2021 is recorded. Run stock levels down and make sure your stocktake is costed and included in the tuckshop figures.

Check out our Operations Resources for sample stocktake record sheets, tally sheets, wasteage logs and much more.

4. Prepare a budget for 2022

Prepare a budget for 2022. You will need a complete years’ worth of financial data so you have an accurate starting point. Don’t forget to include contingencies for equipment and training. This will be useful for measuring the tuckshop’s performance throughout the year.

Check out our Finance Resources for more tips and information.

If you are a QAST member and need additional assistance with your finances, we offer a free financial consultancy service. Get in touch!

5. Review suppliers and pricing

Review your suppliers and check your pricing, both what you pay for stock and what you are selling it for. Check your invoices so you can see what increases occurred and anticipate this for next year by building this into your pricing structure. Also do some spot checking of prices for key product lines, e.g. free flow chicken meat, ham and bottled water with competitor suppliers to check you are on a good deal and being looked after by your current suppliers.

Don’t forget DET has a Standing Offer Arrangement that includes a number of suppliers.

6. Plan your 2022 Menu

Research and plan your Term 1, 2022 menu. The menu controls the heart and soul of a tuckshop operation – it’s all about the food! When planning your new menu try brainstorming with some of your students and volunteers. Another great source of inspiration is other schools’ tuckshop menus, so check out our sample menus and our Facebook page to see what other schools are doing.

It is important to also consider your capacity for making items on site, the nutritional needs of students and how to create interest in the menu through marketing activities.

Ensure you cost the menu effectively to ensure financial goals can be met.

7. Equipment maintenance

Carry out a maintenance check of all equipment, including safety tag testing. Make sure your cleaning schedule is reviewed and updated and that a thorough clean is carried out on the entire facility and all equipment. This includes fridges, freezer, ovens, counter tops, storage room and roller shutters. This is also a good time to book in any pest control required to occur over the holidays.

8. Get organised early

Get organised early and hit the ground running in 2022. This is the time to place your back to school orders for delivery week one of the school term. There is nothing worse than having those niggling thoughts in your last week of holidays about what you have to do before school starts back.

9. Forward plan

Get a head start and plan for events occurring in 2022. Take into consideration QAST training courses,  grant opportunities and funding rounds; opportunities to hold theme days (e.g. major sporting events, Easter, and celebrations held in your area), school events such as sport and swimming carnivals and book week, Recipe of the Year and Tuckshop Day celebrations.

10. Celebrate!

Recognise the efforts of everyone that has contributed throughout the year by having a get together. This could be as simple as a gathering in the local park after school to include families or a more formal celebratory meal at a local restaurant. Whatever you choose, ensure you make the event as inclusive as possible so that all staff and volunteers have the opportunity to attend. Remember to check current COVID restrictions.

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