Bundling: A Two For One Deal!


For students, time is a commodity during a busy lunch period. Kids may forgo the lunch line to save time for socializing. Cut down line waiting by providing food items that take little time to serve and are easy to grab. Quicker lines equal increased participation and higher sales!

Bundled, “grab-and-go” meals are a simple, alternative way for providing reimbursable meals, while also making it easy and convenient for kids to eat healthy.

What to Include?

Before stocking the coolers with “grab-and-go” meals, have your staff come up with creative combinations.

  • Choose what students like. “Grab-and-go” meals don’t always have to be a sandwich and an apple. Bundle together food items that sell and comply with USDA guidelines for a reimbursable meal.
  • Rotate items. Continuously rotate food items that are bundled to maintain student interest.

Here are a few examples of non-traditional “grab-and-go” meals:

  • Deli wrap with a bright colored fruit cup
  • Pairing fruits and veggies with a side of hummus
  • Specialty salad with a muffin
  • Pairing yogurt and fruit with a side of homemade granola

Need ideas? Ask the students! Find out what they would like to be bundled together. The next step is to then identify a high traffic area for placement.

Location is Key!

Bundled meals should be easily accessible to students. Identify a high traffic area that would be ideal for a “grab-and-go” station.

Bundling Image

  • Use all-in-one stations. Place the bundled meals in a cooler that includes beverages. “Grab-and-go” stations should be a one stop shop for students.
  • Convenient and easy to grab. Place bundled meals on the middle shelf of a pantry, refrigerator or cooler.
  • Multiple locations is best. Make room for bundled meals in speed lines, such as the a la carte area or snack line.
  • Utilize a mobile cart. If possible, place bundled meals on a mobile cart to identify hot spot, high traffic areas.

If your cafeteria is new to “grab-and-go” meals, make sure to communicate the new options to students to encourage participation.

  • Use announcements
  • Verbally prompt students
  • Use signage

Bundled, “grab-and-go” reimbursable meals are another option for increasing participation and sales.  Start bundling in your cafeteria today!

Share Your Ideas!

What are the “grab-and-go” combinations you use in your cafeteria? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

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