MINNEAPOLIS (June 26, 2018)—General Mills Foodservice is helping K-12 schools appeal to a new generation of students with Good Times Café—a turnkey program to add fast-casual appeal to their own cafeterias. Foodservice directors will get a firsthand look at Good Times Café when it’s brought to life at General Mills’ booth (#851) at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference taking place July 9-12 in Las Vegas.
Good Times Café is the first-of-its-kind online resource, featuring robust information and downloadable assets to help schools create an authentic café experience—similar to students’ favorite coffee shops and fast-casual restaurants that they visit outside of school. Schools can use the customizable materials to transform their entire cafeteria or select elements such as recipes or free downloadable posters and stickers that may work best for their school meal program.
“Students today have so many choices, and school foodservice professionals are continually challenged to find new ways to make school food fun and appealing so that kids will eat at school,” said Rebecca Thompson, senior channel marketing manager at General Mills Foodservice. “We want to help operators create an eating experience that is positive, safe and engaging for all students. Good Times Café is designed to celebrate food in an environment that kids want to be a part of.”
Good Times Café materials, free and available to all K-12 foodservice programs, include:
- Articles with helpful tips and tricks, e.g., how to makeover your cafeteria, packaging ideas, fun limited-time offers to drive participation all year
- Recipes and menu inspiration
- Downloadable assets including Good Times Café-branded window clings, digital screens, sample playlists, posters, stickers, Snapchat filters and more
General Mills developed Good Times Café following extensive research to better understand how today’s students make decisions about the food they eat. Some of the key findings indicated that Generation Z (students born after 1995) spend one-fifth of their budget on food and prefer fast-casual restaurants at a 50 percent greater rate than full-service restaurants. In addition, one in three kids age 2 to 19 eat at fast-casual concepts daily.
Thompson adds there are many elements from the fast-casual industry, such as customization and creative packaging, that schools can implement, and even the smallest changes can have a big impact. For instance, schools can bring the “café” experience to life in cafeterias by offering samples, featuring limited-time offers or playing music.
“With the growing popularity of cafes and coffee shops among school-aged kids, Good Times Café takes a cue from students’ favorite fast-casual restaurants to arm schools with ideas, inspiration and tools to use in their own operation,” said Thompson. “The Good Times Café hub on our website features so many great ideas that schools can immediately put to use to bring fast-casual appeal to their cafeteria.”
For more information on Good Times Café, K-12 foodservice directors can contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative, call 1-800-243-5687 or visit www.generalmillscf.com.
About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, Gardetto’s and Annie’s. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division had fiscal 2018 net sales of $1.93 billion. For more information, please visit www.generalmillscf.com.
The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2017
Statistic Brain, Fast Food Eating Statistics, 2017
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General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
1The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2017
2Statistic Brain, Fast Food Eating Statistics, 2017