The Boulder Valley (CO) School District foodservices program has experienced a revenue shortfall in the first half of its new dining program under Chef Ann Cooper, reports the Boulder Daily Camera. The shortfall is due primarily to a steep drop in a la carte sales, which have more than offset a modest increase in the number of hot lunch sales.
While the hot lunches grew around four percent over last year, al la carte sales of snacks and beverages dropped to around $243,000 from $710,000 over the same period. The a la carte drop was expected as Cooper overhauled the program, but expectations were for a much larger increase in hot lunch sales as she incorporated more freshly made selections, often made with locally sourced ingredients, in lieu of the processed items that were served before.
Cooper, who was hired last spring after revamping the dining program at Berkeley (CA) Public Schools, says she will continue to work to find recipes for fresh dishes that students will like. The search includes an Iron Chef competition for high school students, with the winning recipe to be incorporated into next year’s menu.