We were school canteen operators.
There were tremendous learning over the eight years in running such an F&B unit. We can categorize the learning into three broad categories: (a) starting up, (b) building the team and (c) running a sustainable F&B business.
Starting up was a big thing.
We totally under-estimated the challenges of running an F&B business. It was after all, our first true-blue business.
So, what did we missed out on? There were several more but here are some key ones:
So what we lack in F&B operating experience, we made up with our passion and commitment to make things work, and of course, blood, sweat and tears.
Building the team
In a school canteen business, three core roles to fill are cook/chef, cashier and back-up cook/chef (who also works as kitchen assistant). Supporting these core roles could be permanent part-timers to man the cashier and double up as service staffs to clear the plates.
There is an element of luck here as job advertisements posted on different days attract different types of candidates. We took a while to fill our permanent cook/chef role.
Running a sustainable business
Once you set up the foundation and with necessary team in place, the business will not fly. It's about forming a culture to glue these team members together.
Whizmeal is technology start-up which champions healthy eating in schools. Our vision is to build a healthy eating success story for parents and children. We believe our children should be empowered with knowledge of meal planning, and grow up with healthy eating habits. We firmly believe successful healthy eating starts with education plus the commitment to daily healthy meal choices, especially in schools.
Whizmeal integrates technology and meal planning to ensure children eat healthily in school. We work with teachers, parents and canteen stall holders to create an exciting educational journey for everyone. Together, we will conceptualize, create and iterate on engaging, exciting ways for parents and children to learn healthy eating habits. Our company is dedicated, fast-paced and results-oriented, because we find it extremely satisfying to experience first-hand, positive impacts we are creating for our children. Because we care.
About the Whizmeal System
Whizmeal works closely with schools and their canteen stall holders to offer daily choices of healthy set meals for students. Parents, students, and stallholders are simultaneously educated on the preparation of these healthy set meals. The meals are prepared with reference to the Health Promotion Board guidelines on serving portions. Through Whizmeal, we expose children to a variety of food choices, to impress upon them the appropriate meal servings and ultimately to promote eating a healthy balanced meal!
1. Educate: Whizmeal aims to provide and share useful content on healthy eating and healthy (yet affordable) recipes, including Asian cuisines, to parents, children and stallholders. Whizmeal currently focuses on third party content that fulfills three key aspects: (a) Educate, (b) Engage and (c) Empower.
2. Order: Whizmeal has an online meal planning and ordering website to allow parents and children to pre-order school meals Monday to Friday from the school canteen. Healthy set meals will be listed on the website and the more popular healthy meals will maintain with new meals being introduced.
3. Monitor: Whizmeal offers meal planning and ordering where monitoring of the ordered meals is a key function of the system. In the our next phase of website development, it allows parents to be notified of the child’s consumption and flag excessive servings based on the students’ height, weight and energy requirements coupled with more useful functions.
4. Encourage: Whizmeal sees the importance of parent’s engagement in the child’s development in the healthy eating habits, especially to continuously encourage the child on each and every step of their healthy eating successes. However, we do understand most parents are busy with their works and some might not know the how method to do so. Therefore, Whizmeal will adopt selective social media platforms to allow peer-to-peer sharing among parents, work with industry experts to share, including the development of game applications for both parents and the kids.
Whizmeal Publishing Desk
Whizmeal is all about inspiration and making a difference in school canteen meals. Healthy eating can be affordable and sustainable in schools.