A recent survey released by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) revealed that a vast majority of school foodservice directors (90%) are concerned about staffing for this coming school year.
As such, labor was top of mind for attendees at the SNA’s 2021 Annual National Conference. Over the course of the three-day conference, school foodservice professionals met virtually to discuss recruitment and retention best practices.
Here are four intriguing labor ideas that were shared by speakers.
1. Hand out business cards
At both Glynn County Schools in Brunswick, Ga., and Coweta County School System in Newnan, Ga., the nutrition teams created business cards for staff to hand out as a recruitment tool. Staff are encouraged to give out the cards any time they experience great service in their community, such as at a restaurant or a grocery store.
3. Give new hires a culinary training buddy
Frisco Independent School District in Frisco, Texas, has culinary trainers on staff who are responsible for teaching new workers how to read and comprehend recipes, understand measuring and more. Administrative Services and Training Coordinator Diep Dinh says the culinary trainers help make the job transition smoother for new employees.
4. Host a show-and-taste with staff
To get workers on board with new menu items, Kevin Frank, assistant director of culinary services at Detroit Public Schools in Michigan, says he likes to prepare a new dish in front of staff so they get to see how to make it. Employees are also encouraged to taste the dish afterwards so they are better equipped to sell it to students.