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MAX – The School Meals Drive Thru Window

Convenience is the King of retailing. We can buy just about anything from behind the wheel of our car at a drive thru window or even from the comfort of our armchair with online shopping.  School Food Services sales has suffered of late due to  (wisely) diminishing the fat, sugar and salt content of the breakfast and lunch meals of our nation’s children.

Lowering the Labor Cost for a School Meal:   While food sales decreased, the healthier food costs for schools have risen right along with labor costs. Perhaps we should change the meal delivery model.  Some school districts have actually turned to mobile catering trucks as a way to feed more students. While we respect the marketing wisdom of bringing the food to the students, this is an expensive option that appears to be limited to schools no longer participating in the NSLBP reimbursable programs. The path to selling or even giving away more meals within a fixed price structure will require a lower labor cost per school meal served.

An easy way to achieve this desired result is to provide greater and more convenient access to School Food, as opposed to surrendering to the local fast food restaurants, convenience stores and coffee shops feeding our students before school, after school and for open campus schools even during school.  This is the ‘drive thru window’ school marketing concept. A computerized vending kiosk can offer a low labor cost meal and 24 hour food delivery marketing avenue. This is based on a technology engagement for which our children have an almost magical competence.

Increase your schools CEP free breakfast participation with a MAX Free Breakfast Robotic Kiosk. Or increase your full price, reduced or free meal sales with a POS integrated MAX kiosk placed in remote campus sites… where the students are. Harness that ‘Drive-Thru Window’ marketing power and watch your labor cost per meal start to descend.

Using outsourced vending services in a school is incredibly self-destructive to the financial stability of School Food Services. The huge majority of the income goes to the outsourced vending company’s operating expenses, but would actually translate into net income through school self-operation. Schools don’t need to pay for off campus warehousing, route trucks, route personnel , owner’s profits or even income taxes. That all becomes school profit through self-operation. Schools restock their own vending machines far, far more frequently than outsourced professional vending companies… generating more sales per machine. Extending the school Food service sales window 24-7 will also lower that labor cost per meal served.  Here is a link to a 5 minute presentation on why Schools should operate their own specially designed vending machines instead of suffering with the tiny commissions and invariably poor service of outsourced vending service companies: 6 reasons Why Schools Earn 500% More through Vending self-operation .

Jim Dillingham

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