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5 Ways to Manage School Foodservice Spend

Renee Greiner
Renee Greiner | March 10, 2023

Inflation is having a big impact on school foodservice operations. Inflation has become an increasing problem due to factors such as rising food prices, labor and equipment costs and regulatory requirements. Schools can combat inflation and budget concerns in several ways, including:

  1. Tracking Waste
    Tracking waste can help identify areas or staff processes that may lead to higher waste. Pay attention to students' plates at the end of the meal and ask them for their feedback to determine what is getting thrown away. Also, track inventory to identify patterns in waste and make changes to reduce waste.

  2. Utilizing State Commodities 
    Taking advantage of state commodities whenever possible can help save on cost. Keep an eye on what is available as they are first come, first serve and change frequently.

  3. Maximizing A La Carte 
    Premium prices can be charged on a la carte options, which can help your food service program generate much-needed revenue. Look for new ideas, and reach out to your Distributor Representative, K-12 Specialist or other Food Service Directors to get inspiration.

    Click here for information from General Mills Foodservice about A La Carte options for schools.

  4. Balancing Scratch-Made & Pre-Made
    Using as many scratch-made options as possible can help save on food costs, while using pre-made options can help save on labor costs. Balancing the two can help you balance your spend.

    Click here to view the Martin Bros. blog "Balancing the Benefits of Scratch & Premade in K-12 Foodservice."

  5. Finding Special Deals
    Look for manufacturer rebates, low prices on items a distributor is closing out of inventory and other opportunities to save money on food cost. Many schools can also take advantage of joining purchasing co-ops to help save money.

Addressing inflation and budget concerns in school foodservice operations is important to ensure schools are effectively managing their resources while providing the important service of feeding students nutritious meals.

As the Midwest's leading school food distributor, we provide the tools and services needed to cut rising costs and put your program at the top of the class!


Questions or comments about this article? Feel free to contact us!


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