Viral email on school meal standards

Staff at Teddington School in Middlesex and the Managing Director of Cucina, the catering specialists at the school, were bemused recently by an email received from a parent and school Governor expressing concern over changes to his children’s eating habits at school.

Steve Quinn, Managing Director and Owner of Cucina, said:

“Typically I am supporting clients up and down the country, but recently whilst in the office, I received a complaint email on my desk. Initially I was very concerned but after reading the first few lines, in actual fact I was rolling around in laughter and was reassured that we were actually doing very well with the food menu at Teddington School. The sales are continuing to grow from strength to strength and we are in fact contemplating offering the letter’s author a consultancy position in our customer complaints department. A fantastic email! Very funny!”

The full text of the amusing email, from a quality manager at an oil company, to the headteacher Mr Richard Weeks, is printed below.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SCHOOL LUNCHES?

Dear Richard,

I know that you are a busy man, but I feel compelled to write to complain about the quality of the school lunches at Teddington School. Up until the start of this term, my children had considered the lunches at school to be dreadful and insisted on packed lunches. Although this required some work from me, they could be produced at very low cost and everyone was happy. They had something to eat and the money saved went into the Household Adult Wine Fund.

Now we are in the rather awkward situation where my children think the lunches are great and want them every day. Roast dinners, burgers, Tex Mex – nothing but variety and superlatives. Not only is my wife’s reputation as a fine cook being steadily undermined but, even worse, this will increase pocket outgoings by around £120 per month. The extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning is no gain when you consider the loss to the Wine Fund.

I really don’t know what the world is coming to. In my day, it was accepted that school food was dreadful and it never did me any harm (apart from the normal problems that everyone has with food phobias and nightmares). If we carry getting soft like this, the next thing we’ll do is to make schools light, airy, clean and smart places to learn in! Then where will we be!
I am wondering whether there might be a solution where you could program the children’s lunch cards to only dispense gruel? That might help guide them back to the ham sandwich option… just a thought.

p.s. When do you launch the Governor Lunch Card?

Jeremy Law, Deputy Headteacher at Teddington School, added:

“We have just moved into a state-of-the-art school facility and it had to be matched with the best food service that we can provide, whilst also providing good value for our students. With a well trained, high quality chef running the kitchen, we were expecting consistently high quality food that does not run out before the last students get through a very short lunch serve – we have not been disappointed. We have had so much positive feedback about the food, which staff and students have shared with us, but also with the Cucina staff. The staff members that have transferred over to Cucina are visibly proud of what they are serving and it shows in their faces and in their interactions with the students. We also welcome more emails from other happy parents who are delighted that their children are eating nutritional food whilst at school.”

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