Planning a field trip can be tricky when it comes to booking meals for your students. You will want to find a great place that can accommodate your class size within your budget. We've put together a simple step-by-step guide to help you book meals for your next class field trip!
Finding a Restaurant
The first thing to consider when you're looking for a restaurant on your field trip is its location. You don’t want to travel 60 minutes to have lunch. First, take a look at field trip venues. If student groups visit the venue often, it's likely that they offer student meal plans. For example, places like The Canadian Museum of History have a group food menu for students. Their group options include breakfast buffets, lunch meals, and dinner buffets.
If the venue doesn’t have food options for your class, try googling restaurants with group meal options near your destination. If you googled group meals near your destination, you'll find something like this Trip Advisor page. It shares a list of group dining options in Quebec City that could work well for students as well. Not all of these locations can accommodate school groups, so be sure to call and check before you arrive!
Another great option when planning the meal for your class trip is to visit local tourism websites! These sites will have resources to help teachers plan their field trips. The Ottawa Tourism site features an excellent online guide that lists restaurants that can accommodate groups, the max capacity, if they have a group menu, if there is space for parking a coach, and more!
Regardless of where your class is eating, you'll want to check for health and quality concerns. One option is to take a look at online reviews and see what other customers have to say about the restaurant. Or if you can, try and visit the restaurant yourself for an inspection to see if the restaurant meets your expectations. Check a few restaurants before you go on your field trip and make a list of viable options that you can later narrow down.
Securing a Restaurant
After you’ve made a few selections for your field trip's meal, call or email the restaurant to confirm the following:
- Does the restaurant accept student groups?
- What is their overall group capacity?
- What student group menus do they currently offer?
- Do they have availability on your field trip travel dates?
- Are they wheelchair accessible?
When you speak with the restaurant, make sure you are specific about your student group’s requirements. Give the restaurant an ideal budget too. Even if a restaurant has a menu for student groups, don’t be afraid to negotiate based on your class’ needs.
When you are making menu suggestions, be sure to consider allergies, vegetarian options, and what your students will enjoy. And keep in mind that sometimes the restaurant requires the entire group to select the same entrée.
Once you have selected a menu, make sure the price includes tax and gratuity. Checking these details with the restaurant means you won't be surprised by any additional fees after booking. Once you have made a reservation, confirm payment details. How does the restaurant want you to pay and when? Also check to see if the restaurant requires menu selections prior to arrival.
Following up!Now that your field trip is just a few days away, you'll want to check with the restaurant to confirm a few details. Roughly 48 hours prior to your departure, call the restaurant to reconfirm the date and time of your reservation. This is when you will usually need to send your class' allergy requirements and student group menu selection. When you arrive at the restaurant, confirm the menu and allergy concerns again with the onsite manager. Thanks to all your hard work, all your students can enjoy their meal comfortably! These few simple steps will ensure that you have a great experience and an amazing field trip!