29 May Our first year as a foodservice provider
The 2013-2014 school year marked the first year of operation for Beyond Green Foodservice. There is a lot we have learned from our pilot programs. Nothing too surprising from a kitchen and catering standpoint but many insights gained from parent and school expectations.
Communities care, and we wanted to share the biggest takeaways from our first year as Chicago’s newest foodservice provider!
- Insight: Balance is needed on a school lunch menu between traditional items and less traditional ones to make sure kids continue ordering while trying new things.
- Reaction: Our kid-friendly menu focuses on healthier versions of recognizable classics. Alongside the staples, we also offer other unique menu items to meet various needs.
- Insight: There is a misperception in the market around the amount of quality food that can be purchased while maintaining low lunch rates.
- Reaction: We’ve struck a balance between cost-effective pricing and preferable sourcing and are purchasing as much local, organic, antibiotic/hormone free foods as possible within the current pricing structure our customers are used to.
- Insight: “As much as possible” is typically thought of as close to 100%.
- Reaction: We can tell you exactly what this means at Beyond Green!
- Insight: Harsh winter weather that shuts down school can be a significant business loss.
- Reaction: Reasonable cancelation policies and hoping for a better winter!
- Insight: Menus need to have the right amount of variety without being too cumbersome.
- Reaction: We ended up expanding our menu more than originally intended. Purchasing fresh for a large number of menu items each day can be a challenge, but we’ve found our customers appreciate the right amount of variety when thinking about how this affects sourcing and quality.
- Insight: Engaged parents and schools providing positive feedback.
- Reaction: We’ve loved serving their schools!
Beyond Green would especially like to thank the schools that have participated in our first year of providing school lunch to our local community. With feedback from these clients we have been able to nail down and perfect our operations and continue offering made from scratch foods to a growing list of schools and preschools.
If you are interested in Beyond Green for next year, get on board now!