School serves up lunch idea
ONE Hong Kong secondary school has started serving American fast food at lunch times in an effort to keep students on the premises and away from the distractions of local shopping malls.
Students of Queen Maud Middle School in Tseung Kwan O are being given the choice of five McDonald's fast food items for lunch.
Four types of buns and Chicken McNuggets are selling at market price. However, the school is not selling French fries and ice-cream since the quality of these items is hard to maintain outside the food outlet.
For those who prefer the traditional staple - rice - they can stick with the existing provision of lunch boxes, delivered to the classroom by a catering company.
Orders for McDonald's have to be made a week in advance. There are specific days for students of particular forms to order their food. For example, only Form One students can order on Mondays.
Principal Yau Yat-heem told Young Post that since the school moved from Tiu Keng Leng to Tseng Kwan O last year, there were insufficient food stalls in the area for students.
Though the situation improved gradually, construction workers in the area posed a major 'jam' in these stalls and restaurants.
'Last month, when one of the two lunch box caterers halted its service, we came up with the idea of broadening students' choice by asking McDonald's to fill in.' Mr Yau said that his school was the first Hong Kong grammar school to offer McDonald's, although one international school also provided this service.
Currently, senior students are excluded from the in-house lunch ordering service, though Mr Yau believed that once the catering started running smoothly, they too would be included.
Besides filling a shortage in catering services, another important reason for encouraging junior students to have their lunch in school is because of the 'temptation' stemming from shopping malls.
'It does not take more than three minutes to walk to a big department store nearby and with junior students who are still relatively immature, their mood for school in the afternoon will be spoilt.' Mr Yau also believed that the in-house lunch service would train students in maintaining good discipline because 'wet towels and brooms are placed in every classroom so that students can clean their desks after having their lunch there'.
In the first week of its service, the fast food outlet sold about 200 items each day. Sales are expected to increase as the 'promotion' continues to move smoothly.
Sixth-former Joseph Cheung Chi-man said that this fast food lunch service was good though the choice was a bit limited.
Students said that it would be better if there are also French fries, apple pie and ice-cream included since only having buns is not enough for them.' The majority of the students welcomed the idea of providing fast food for lunch because a lunch box with a small portion of rice was not enough for them.