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California School Fiscal Services

Providing comprehensive business office and consulting services to K-12 traditional schools and charters



Nutrition Services Metrics - Author: Habib Tahmas

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Having recently made the shift from the district office fiscal side to the nutrition services department as the accounting manager; it’s been a rewarding year learning about this fascinating and dynamic area of school business. Over the last year I have been able to develop some metrics/KPI’s to gauge certain aspects of our operations. These include, among others:

· Monthly Average Daily Participation (ADP) by site/grade level


· Changes in ADP as compared to the prior years


· Current year month-to-month percent change in ADP


· Participation percentages for breakfast & lunch based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA)


· Meals per labor hour


· Average daily cost of inventory used for meals by site


· Average cost of inventory used per meal


In our continuous effort of becoming more efficient with our food and labor costs while increasing student participation and overall revenues; I am soliciting input from our seasoned (no pun intended) nutrition services professionals as to what other metrics/KPI’s they use to measure the effectiveness of operations as well suggestions on increasing participation.


 Currently we have a budget of over $30M, serve nearly 10M meals per year at 60 sites, and a department staff count of approximately 350. We also operate a full catering program, a summer feeding program at all of our school sites as well as several community parks under the Seamless Summer Feeding Option (SSFO), and vend meals to 3 non-district schools. As of 2013-14, we are a provision 2 district with nearly 90% of our student population qualifying for free and reduced meals.


 I look forward to the collaboration and sharing of information on strategies to increase participation (specifically for breakfast as our average participation is currently around 25% of ADA while lunch is at 75%), cost tracking methods for various programs (i.e. CACFP, summer feeding program, catering, etc.), and other useful dashboard items. I will gladly share some of our analytics/data, as requested.

My email is:   [email protected]

Categories: Nutrition Services

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Reply Habib Tahmas
8:06 PM on July 17, 2014 
As the 6th largest school district in the state, indeed it's quite a large and complex operation. It's both challenging and interesting!
Reply Jody Thulin
5:36 PM on July 17, 2014 
Habib -
I think it is worth pointing out that your food service budget is larger than most school district's entire general fund! I am glad to see that you are already studying trends and analyzing productivity. I bet it is very interesting work and I hope you are having fun!