Thumbs up if you're meeting all your school foodservice challenges, but based on everything we've heard, there are still significant issues that every school district faces.
Every district is a little bit different, and every school has its own nuances, but what we've also heard is there are four important challenges that all of you are facing. We wanted to take a few minutes and break those down for you here:
FOUR CHALLENGES ALL VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND SCHOOL DISTRICTS FACE WHEN PROVIDING FOODSERVICE:
The Four Fs of School Foodservice
Food is obviously one of the most important of the four Fs. If you don't have quality ingredients that taste good, you won't have students choosing to eat those ingredients. How and where school nutrition directors source their ingredients is a critical factor here.
Finding fresh healthy ingredients can also be a strain on financial resources, but there has to be a balance between how much a district spends on food versus how good that food is to increase participation.
The money. It all comes down to budgets. Everyone will have to figure out the right formula for success, but when you boil it all down, it depends on a few important factors. Can a district afford good ingredients? Can it afford to bring on the right staff? Can a district afford to make upgrades in the kitchen to keep up with changing demands?
Speaking of kitchen upgrades, the third F is all about the facilities. What does a school cafeteria need to provide higher quality foods in a more efficient manner? Think about it from the student's perspective. If he doesn't like the taste of what's being served, he won't buy it. If she doesn't have enough time to stand in line and eat a school-prepared lunch, she'll bring lunch from home. You also have to think of it from the school's perspective, as well. How much space is available in the kitchen? What regulations exist that dictate nutritional values? Can technology help solve any facilities-related challenges?
This might be the most difficult challenge of them all right now. As the entire foodservice industry struggles to find people to work in the industry, the issue is even more confounded in schools. Schools don't often have the resources to pay wages that are competitive with the private sector, and we do not foresee this changing anytime in the near future.
Can we help you solve any of these school foodservice challenges?
If High Sabatino and our school nutrition experts can be of any assistance in your efforts to solve these challenges, please feel free to reach out to us. We welcome the opportunity to provide qualified solutions, and we hope you have a great year and look forward to seeing you soon.