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Report from Austintown Food Service Department

December 12, 2018
The Town Crier

The Austintown Food Service Department started the 2018-2019 school year with 11 additional labor hours added back to the cafeterias. This accomplishment was supported by increasing the overall fiscal integrity of the department through optimizing revenue and managing expenses during the previous school year. The department reduced spending by $121,000 and maximized commodity allocations (free food provided by the USDA) which benefited the department an additional $207,000. The department also saw a 30 percent decrease in meal debt.

Through the additional hours brought in this school year, the food service staff was able to provide more scratch-cooking items on the lunch menus. Students are enjoying new items such as homemade mac and cheese, rotini with meat sauce, homemade soups, chicken parmesan, General Tso's chicken, and the ever popular creamed turkey. Along with new menu items, the Fitch High School kitchen introduced the new Cafe Bustelo liquid coffee machine this year. The kitchen staff has seen quite an increase in satisfaction as students and staff are now able to customize their drinks, thus boosting coffee sales.

Efficiency at the elementary level is often a difficult task to accomplish as younger students are still learning how to navigate through the lunch line. In the past, students were tasked with remembering a six-digit identification number which could be forgotten or entered wrong. This often held up the lunch line. Last year, biometric finger scanners were introduced at the elementary and intermediate buildings and have been a great addition in the cafeterias. The scanners have helped cut down on long lunch lines as well as increase accuracy.

Article Photos

Alexis Weber, Austintown Food Service Director

Cashiers at each building enjoy interacting with students on a daily basis. A new customer service feature added to the point of sale system this year is now adding a personal touch to that interaction. The system now indicates the child's date of birth so cashiers are able to surprise the student with a "Happy Birthday" wish.



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