Slamming the Door Shut on Student Food Deliveries

Lusk Albertson PLC's picture

There's no doubt that it's crucial for today's school administrators to know exactly who is stepping onto school grounds, when, and for how long. Justifiably, we're focused on the significant and serious security threats presented in the current climate. That being said, it's still necessary for an administrator to keep tabs on even the most mundane school visitor. To that end, with students enjoying increased access to technology, and the rise of companies like Uber Eats, schools are now faced with perhaps the blandest security threat of all: food delivery staff.

To be sure, security may not be the only concern on this front. The simple fact is that unregulated student food deliveries can be a logistics nightmare for schools. Whether or not your school allows open campus lunches – an entirely separate issue with its own pros and cons – the influx of unknown individuals on school grounds can be a problem. So, what's the best way to tackle the issue before it becomes a headache?

First, the school should implement a policy that all food deliveries to school grounds are banned unless first approved by school administrators. It may be helpful to include an accompanying policy that provides that only certain types of food deliveries will be approved (e.g., deliveries for club meetings and similar student functions). The policy should be sent to both parents and students, attached to a notice that provides (1) all unapproved food deliveries will be rejected and (2) the school will not be responsible for covering the costs of the delivery or food for the rejected order.

Second, the school should send letters to local delivery businesses (and local businesses that deliver) that clues them in on the school's policy. The letter may request that a business contact the school's office to confirm food delivery orders before the food is sent. This measure, if followed by the business, can save a great deal of time and annoyance for the school, the business, and the student. As always, it's a good idea to have the school's doors locked, except for the main entrance door by the school office. That way, if a business doesn't call ahead, the delivery can be rejected at the door.

The move isn't bound to be popular with students, who will probably resent the loss of access to some eating options. Nevertheless, the safety and disruption concerns are obvious, and it's a good idea to implement countermeasures before lunch deliveries become an issue, if similar policies haven't already been put in place. After all, food delivery services aren't going away any time soon – but with these policies, they'll be away from your school.