Linking Foodservice to Nutritional Education

"There's a nagging problem within school districts: that by and large, school f/s programs are not considered part of the mainstream education process," says consultant Tom Hinton.

"That's unfortunate because nutrition and learning go together. You cannot have one without the other. Regrettably, school administrators and school boards have ignored the value of a school f/s program."

3-step plan: Hinton's plan was to implement a three-step program among Glendora USD's f/s employees.

The first was an awareness of the importance of customer service. "It is a philosophy, not a dept.," he says. "If you want to increase your school f/s business, the first thing you have to do is train your front-line employees working three or four hours a day in the art of customer service."

Step two was teaching them to deliver service with a smile, "and at the same time increase repeat business through kindness, by addressing the students by their names."

The third leg is selling with service. There is, Hinton maintains, an opportunity to generate repeat business and overall awareness as kids pass through to pick up their meals.