Every part of your School Lunch program affects every other part, so it’s tempting to lump them all together when trying to approach making improvements.
It’s important to stay away from a “blanket approach” to making improvements, though, because it’s too much to work on all at once and will make you hesitant to get started. Then, even once you do start trying to make improvements, your efforts will be disorganized. When that happens, you may end up overlooking important pieces of your program that could benefit from your attention.
Instead, in order to effectively improve your School Lunch program, it’s helpful to organize the overall program into major areas, and then come up with a plan for each.
Here’s HSS’ suggestion for how to organize your program’s functions into groups when coming up with your plan for making improvements.
1. Lunch Line Speed
This one’s at the top because it’s the most obvious, but also one of the most challenging. We all wish our lunch lines could move a little faster, so this can be the first area to focus on.
2. Menu Planning for Participation
Once you have your line moving at a better pace, the next area will be to make the lines longer. In order to boost participation, the key is to focus on the menu planning.
3. Payment Processing
So now you have a ton of students and your lines are moving quickly. The next area to look at is how you’re taking payment from all those students. This includes both the P.O.S. system as well as general School Lunch accounting processes.
4. Reimbursement Dollars
Last — but certainly not least — don’t forget to take advantage of reimbursement money. To get the most reimbursement available, take a look at the way in which you process and track free- and reduced-meal applications, which is a major contributor to School Lunch programs’ ability to get reimbursed.
Want a smart way to tackle each of these focus areas?
Watch the video below, especially if you’re planning to attend the SNA’s ANC 2017.
Can’t wait for ANC17? Click below to start improving your program in each of these areas.
Or reach out to one of our friendly School Nutrition Solution reps to discuss your program’s unique needs.