How to Overcome School Labor Challenges in the Kitchen With Vulcan

These days, schools are finding it more difficult than ever to fill kitchen staff positions. There are many issues contributing to this crisis, and thanks to Vulcan, there are now some solutions to help combat school labor challenges.

Feeding Kids at School

Schools in America have to feed meals to roughly 30 million students every school day. While this is a significant challenge on its own, students often have very short lunch breaks. The average lunch break for elementary school students is only 25 minutes, and middle and high school students have only 30 minutes on average. This means that students need to be fed quickly, so they have enough time to eat. It also means that students need to be motivated to eat quickly.

Of course, students will be more motivated to eat quickly if they know they will enjoy their food. School lunch programs should try out new menu options on a small scale first. They’ll find out whether students like these dishes. Schools should make popular dishes and regular menu options. Students will be more motivated to eat lunches that they know are tasty.

Labor Challenges & Trends in the School Kitchen

Schools around America are understaffed in the school kitchen. An alarming number of schools have a severe shortage of foodservice labor. This is primarily due to the low wages offered by schools.

Unfortunately, this is far from the only challenge facing school kitchens. Many school kitchens are dealing with severe supply shortages. This makes it more difficult for schools to provide nutritious meals.

While the government has temporarily relaxed these nutrition requirements, schools still have to deal with labor shortages. Pre-made meals may be a tempting option, but these meals are rarely nutritious or filling. Instead, many schools are turning to speed scratch cooking. This practice still requires meals to be made from scratch but uses ingredients that have already been partially prepared. For example, a school kitchen that utilizes speed scratch cooking methods may use pre-diced chicken instead of having their staff cut it up.

Vulcan Smart Equipment

Even techniques like speed scratch cooking will not be enough to make up for the labor shortage in many school kitchens. This is where smart kitchen equipment can help in today's school cafeterias.

Vulcan's cutting-edge line of smart kitchen equipment is perfect for schools. Their kitchen equipment offerings include everything that a school kitchen might need, from combination ovens to heated holding cabinets. Vulcan also offers a program called "Just 4 Schools." This program includes a two-year warranty on school kitchen equipment. It also includes a 30-day risk-free purchase program for schools.

Learn more about Vulcan in our Vulcan Resource Center.

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