Dining Services Director Amanda Venezia updated the School Board on the latest figures for the dining services program in the school district. Some of the highlights from the presentation from end of March 2017 to today were that total revenue has increased overall and expenses are down. Business Manager for the district Peter Curro also informed the Board that Dining Services is running far ahead of the profit made last year and they went on to make a $12,000 surplus. Total surplus for this year is expected to be far greater. The changes they found that make an impact are the number of snow days, the more snow days in a school year, the less vending machines on the school grounds are used.
Venezia said that they are very happy that revenue is higher than they originally anticipated. There is a higher participation rate at the high school due to the fact they are “breeding good customers”. “The eighth grade class from last year was very responsive to the new face of Dining Services as we’ve rebranded it the past few years,” Venezia said. Students who have had a different idea of what Dining Services meant in the past are beginning to move out of the high school and are being ushered in by a new wave of students accustomed to this way of food services. Venezia has found that participation of Dining Services has been consistent over the years and the vending machines have played a big role in that. She was also happy to announce that they broke six figures last week and feels that vending machines are the way of the future. Meal counts at the middle school are positive and the meal counts at the elementary schools are flat.
Major expenditures that Dining Services in the district uses are salary, supplies, food, and NHBG (New Hampshire Buying Group). Being a part of the NHBG opens the door for opportunities in terms of where they stand in the country with food services. Venezia also mentioned that they are short staffed and anyone is welcome to fill out an application to join the team. The current fund balance is $46,521.05. Capital improvements for next year include a new freezer condensing unit for the middle school that is in desperate need of replacement, this will cost about $7,000. Also, the lease items for the five vending units are $12,000. Dining Services is also offering new services that include a focus on customer service, a commitment to social media outreach, an integration of dining services into the school culture, and online interactive menus.