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Saving Labor in School Cafeterias

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Labor is one of the biggest challenges in foodservice. Though that's a more recent occurrence for many foodservice operations, staffing shortages have been quite common in school cafeterias for years. The reality is tight school nutrition budgets can lead to lower wages, and when other types of establishments offer more money, it leaves potential staff headed to higher-paying jobs. School nutrition staff are heroes, and we're grateful for everything they do to help keep America's children nourished and prepared for learning. The reality, though, is there's often not enough of them, leaving directors with challenges.

Solving those challenges can mean developing new processes to enhance efficiency. It can mean leveraging innovations in foodservice equipment and supplies to make work easier for existing staff. And it can mean thinking outside of traditional school foodservice in search of the school cafeteria of the future.

The resources below help address labor challenges in our schools.

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Saving Money in School Cafeterias

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School foodservice ultimately depends on money. Each director needs to develop a critical calculation to determine how much a district can spend to deliver a single school lunch. There are many factors to this formula, of course, but it ultimately comes down to money.

In many cases, it's easier for school nutrition directors and staff to figure out ways to save money rather than try to get bigger budgets from the district. Simply put, saving is easier to control and often more reliable. The good news is there are many foodservice factors to consider when it comes to saving, from reducing food waste to using equipment innovations that will lower utility spend.

The resources below help address how school nutrition directors can save money in school cafeterias.

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Create a Better Menu with Less


How much does it cost to produce a single school lunch? As we mentioned, this is the critical financial formula that school nutrition directors must figure out when delivering for an entire district, but it's not the only formula to consider.

In order for a district to operate effectively, it's important to garner as much student participation as possible. Full-paying students will ultimately help subsidize those who fall into the category of food insecure, so directors and school nutrition staff must create quality menu items day in, day out in order to encourage participation. The second formula is how one can create a better menu with fewer resources.

The posts below will help shed some light on this factor.

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