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Do you have a cook?


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We are a full daycare setting and currently collect our midday meal from the local primary school. The meals are ok, but not brilliant and the standard of cooking is very variable, sometimes quite burnt or overcooked. Also the portions are the same as a primary school child's and while some things can be divided up for little ones, not everything can, so there is a fair amount of wastage.

So, I have been thinking about employing a cook. I have looked at some nurseries' websites, their lovely menus, many saying that they use local produce, organic meat etc.

What I wanted to know, is how it all stacks up financially. How much do you pay a cook, how much do you spend per head, and how much do you charge parents for meals?

 

Thanks in advance

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You also have to consider the kitchen you have; is it suitable for commercial catering? Do you have enough fridge/freezer space. Will samples of food have to be kept for Food Hygiene Officers to check? Do you have space to safely store food? Do you have rodent problems?

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We make all our food - 8-6 daycare with 25 children per day and it works brilliantly for us. All have food hygiene and food is cooked by staff (mainly me!). We always have one staff member extra so when someone is doing lunch ratios etc are still ok. I probably should be able to tell you how much per head it costs but I really can't - I know we cover our costs though and could work it out if I put my mind to it!!! We get food from tesco and various local suppliers which is really good as we live in a small community so nice to support them. We charge £1 breakfast and £1.50 for lunch/ tea. As for the kitchen, it's just a 'normal' small kitchen, no one has ever questioned it, we just have the normal environmental health guidelines etc to follow. Never heard about keeping samples of food narnia - we rarely have any left over which is great as I hate hate hate waste!!!

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Our kitchen is small but adequate. We are inspected by EHO every year and have 5 star rating so I don't think it would be a problem. I really don't think we could manage cooking lunch ourselves though. We have around 45 children per day so it would be a bit of an undertaking. Thanks for your replies.

If anyone out there employs a cook, I'd love to hear from you... :1b

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We have a cook who works 7.30am-1.30pm and prepares breakfast and lunch for the children. She also makes lovely fresh bread rolls, home-made soups, pasties, other savoury dishes and pizzas for tea a couple of times a week, as well as biscuits/cake for tea when required and sometimes scones or cheese straws for snack time.

She previously worked in a school kitchen, so although our numbers are nothing like that, she gets the chance to research and try new recipes (no 4 or 6 week rota for us!), plans the menus, writes shopping list, and stocks up the freezer with purees for babies. She also does all the ad-hoc kitchen cleaning - oven, freezer defrost, changing cooker hood filters, etc. And she's always happy to pop out to the local supermarket if we've forgotten to order something or run out of milk........... saves me going! :1b

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