I love the sport of baseball and I love playing golf. You are probably saying what in the world does this have to do with school foodservice? Hold on a second and let me explain.
I’ve played baseball since I was 5 years old. One of my favorite players was Ken Griffey Jr., and Tony Gwynn. Both players had beautiful swings and played with passion. Tony took his game to another level by filming each “at bat” then going back and analyzing it so he could perfect his craft.
He would work with his hitting coach to make sure he was performing to his full potential. His hitting coach helped him reach his potential. The result? The Hall of Fame.
Then there is myself and my “so-called” love of golf. Love, right? Yet I have not dedicated time to get a coach to help me improve my game. Sometimes I’m lucky if I even practice once per month.
Typically, I simply go out and play and I am disappointed by the results. What I should do is hire a coach. But it is not a priority for me until I play and experience dismal results. As you can see, Tony’s result for working with a coach got him into the Hall of Fame. While Kern, not having a coach, has gotten me into the “Hall of SHAME”.
When I work with clients, they often tell me, “we have great products and services for our customers”. But for some reason, there’s a disconnect, and students are not buying those same products.
I proceed to give them some data that I will also share with you. “80% of companies feel they are providing a great product and service. 8% of their customers feel that those same companies are providing a great product or service”. Now that is a classic case of “perception is NOT reality”. I understand students give you input during focus groups but we have to drill down a little further.
Here are some coaching tips:
- First, make sure the environment you conduct the focus group in will yield the correct information. Students may not give you honest and reliable information if the manger is there and they feel their responses will hurt the manager’s feelings.
- Second, when you conduct the focus group bring and use sample food items and let students create some items while you are with them. For example, if you have a chicken sandwich, bring some diverse cheese options and toppings. Also let them try various condiments and practice combining classics to create fresh concepts.
- Third, have students promote the products in the school. Our customers want to hear from their peers so let them get on the morning announcements and talk about breakfast and lunch in a creative way. They will make it exciting and help you increase participation.
As a coach, these are some ways that we can assist you to increase participation. You are probably saying this is a lot and my plate is already full. I get it. I have been there and done that. You have to acquire help.
There’s no other way to say it. If you want to take your program to another level…you have to seek outside resources. The majority of companies outsource their marketing efforts and work together with those companies to execute those strategies. I (personally) have received business coaching to make sure that I am at the top of my game. If you are tired of putting those marketing projects on the back burner, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your neighboring district that’s doing a great job within their schools.
I can ensure you that you won’t regret investing in yourself and getting some type of assistance. Start somewhere, even if it is something as small as one promotion a year. Michael Jordan had a coach and has won multiple championships. Even Taylor Swift has a vocal coach. Are you ready for a coach? Come on; let’s get in the game!