Schools and University - Complete line of kitchen equipment and custom fabricated serving lines
The school foodservice industry is one of the most complex food business segments. Foodservice directors are faced with addressing the dietary and preference needs of schoolchildren as well as faculty and staff. They must do it within budgetary changes, school lunch program parameters and mounting mandatory government legislation. Making the situation more taxing is the fact that many different proposals are being considered and enacted at the state level.
Schools that provided traditional cafeteria service with one daily entrée and a few other options have now added salad bars, kiosks, vending machines and a variety of other choices for increasingly demanding students. The challenge for foodservice managers is walking that fine line between what students want and will eat and the increased scrutiny and regulations to reduce an epidemic of childhood obesity.
Foodservice directors are dealing with introducing new and healthier environments; however, the introduction of any new menu item can lead to an increase in food waste. To convert rejection to approval, dishes have to be, to some extent, familiar to students, taste good and enjoyed visibly by their peers. To combat this struggle, many schools are relying on professionally trained chefs for recipe/menu development, staff training and nutrition education.
Implementing eco-friendly practices is another area of focus for school systems. The use of energy efficient equipment, recycling packing waste, and reducing energy and/or water are essential in saving time and money in their districts.
Various funding opportunities, such as grants and monetary assistance, are another valuable resource for school districts. Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages enrollment in their program to compete for money distribution. The US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition provide grants with programs such as National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Special Milk Program and Team Nutrition. The National Dairy Council may also have grant money accessible through local dairy association chapters.
The USDA also provides grants to schools, enrolled in programs, to replace outdated food service equipment. Constant improvement in food preparation, serving and sanitation equipment help schools focus on much needed infrastructure to better serve their students nutritious meals, support food safety, improve energy efficiency and expand participation in school nutrition programs.
A recent survey by the School Nutrition Association noted a strong majority of schools have purchased or are considering purchase of new equipment for the coming year. The top two categories are commercial cooking products including ovens, warmers, or broilers and foodservice refrigeration including refrigerators or freezers.
SESCO has an extensive list of manufacturers that understand the challenges of school kitchens and cafeterias. Your professionals at SESCO would like to help you design or update your kitchen environment to improve nutrition, reduce cost, offer greater convenience in meal preparation, improve acceptability, and improve stability!
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