It’s not just lunch: making the most of your school’s dining program 


Does your school’s dining program clock out when the students leave? If so, you might be missing big opportunities for boosting revenue and serving your students and families well. 

As a specialized managed food service provider, we help many of our private school clients use their dining services and facilities as a catering service for school events. 

We’re always working on creative ways to help our schools make the most of their dining programs. Here are some of our favorite ideas for taking catering to the next level.  

Get in the Game with Sports Concessions

Even if your school already has a concession stand in your gym or on the field, your dining program can help make it more appealing and profitable. Bringing your kitchen into the mix means you can go beyond traditional candy and packaged snacks without increasing overhead. Think homemade hot chocolate, baked goods, chili, and other crowd-pleasers that keep people lined up at the counter for more. 

Support the Arts with Show Snacks

Snacks aren’t just for sports spectators! Creating a concession area for arts events at school—plays, concerts, recitals, art shows, and more—can be an easy way to boost revenue and show your support for the future performers and creators of the world. 

Celebrate students with Team Banquets 

Why involve outside vendors to cater team and family events when you have a fully staffed kitchen at your fingertips? A nimble food service provider should be able to accommodate special dinners and awards ceremonies with the menus, service, and setup you need to make the event feel special. 

Make the most of After-School Opportunities

If your school has an aftercare program, your dining services should be a part of it! It’s easy to create and staff a snack bar with healthy options for after school hours. You’ll create value in your program and  keep kids satisfied and happy. And because you’re working with your existing food service provider, you can tie the transactions back to meal cards or meal plans to keep everything seamless. You can even “hire” teams of kids to help in the snack bar to earn points, privileges, and more! 

Make a teacher’s day.

Some of our schools take orders for carry-out dinner options, prepared by campus kitchen staff, for teachers to take home to their families after a long day. Give it a try with your dining program’s “greatest hits.” When your famous baked chicken is on the menu, for example, offer teachers an option to order take-home portions for a reasonable price. Then pack containers of 4-6 servings of each item on the menu and have it ready to go for teachers to grab on their way home and heat up when they get there. It doesn’t take much effort, but the impact is big! 

How do you use your dining program outside of traditional cafeteria services? Let us know! 


Looking for a creative, nimble partner to help you do more with your private school’s dining program? Get in touch with Pedestal Foods here.