What types of club will you run?
Below are three basic breakfast club formats. These ideas can be mixed and matched to best suit your circumstances.
Each of the club types below includes characteristics, tips and ideas, issues to consider and benefits.
Tea and Toast model
Style: Basic breakfast bar set up where access to catering and cooking equipment is limited and/or impossible. Often in a classroom, library or ‘games’ room. A makeshift food preparation area is arranged offering a simple breakfast meal such as cereal, fruit and juice and/or hot drink. Sometimes hot toast can also be offered.
Suitable for: Venues without kitchen facilities, small groups or targeted provision
Advantages: Low running and upkeep costs, intimate and sociable, few staff needed, flexible location, not reliant on catering services
Constraints: Limits menu options, can only cater for limited numbers, staff take on multiple preparation and supervision roles, difficult to personalise the ‘club’ as often using a shared space, staff need food handling and health and safety training, care needed as young people in close proximity to toasters, kettles, knives etc. Washing up, food storage and suitable waste disposal facilities must be arranged.
Style: Servery bar is provided, often using school hall and kitchen facilities but not full kitchen service. Catering personnel may be used or it might be agreed for other staff to have access to sinks and storage facilities. A wider range of foods are able to be stored and served including hot options. Young people eat together as they would at lunchtime and table top games/books may be provided or activities offered in an adjacent venue/space.
Suitable for: medium sized groups wanting to offer activities and food provision. Those with access to kitchen facilities. All ages.
Advantages: Hot and cold food options available, food can be stored safely, older members can get involved with running and planning the club, easy access to storage, cleaning and cooking facilities, opportunity to contract catering staff if desired, larger numbers can be catered for.
Constraints: Need for careful negotiation of kitchen facilities, venue restricted to canteen/hall, may be difficult to attract members who don’t like school lunches, can be less of a ‘club’ environment than the ‘Tea and Toast’ model, can be harder to run other additional activities.
Style: School canteen/dining hall is used to provide a full breakfast meal service and run by school catering personnel. Often set up as an extension of the school’s standard catering contract, but increasingly included in it. Resembles provision that is offered at lunchtime where kitchen staff and support staff have clearly defined roles. This model maximises the potential to provide a wide variety of breakfast menus, including the option of providing hot food.
Suitable for: catering for large numbers of students, where the priority is providing a meal service.
Benefits: can cater for large numbers, quick turn around, designated kitchen staff and facilities, club coordinator not responsible for food sourcing or storage, wide range of foods offered.
Constraints: Hard to create a ‘club’ feel, limited opportunities for wider activities and facilitated social mixing between ages, reliant on catering contracts, menu dependant on external provider, harder to ‘try and test’ new foods.
What to choose?
Before you decide what model is best for you use the planning your club section to give you some ideas on what you need to think about next.