Management is a general term for all of the areas we include here: fiscal, human resources, facilities, assessment, and wellness policies. In order for a district’s food service department to be successful, the director has to be adept in a vast array of subjects. A department needs defined and efficient systems to keep the many areas working in sync. Management, in the broadest sense, requires the director and their team to efficiently synchronize all of the tasks and critical information necessary to feed our students every day. To innovate, a food service department must be organized, efficient, and stable—capable of thinking outside the box while keeping their highly regulated child nutrition programs self-sustaining.

Fiscal Management

Fiscal Management keeps an organization running efficiently within its allotted budget. Fiscal accountability in food service departments is imperative, especially given the challenge of operating in a highly regulated environment, often with limited revenue, inadequate facilities, and high personnel costs. This section covers:

Human Resources

The human component is critical to any organization, and a clear understanding of the expectations and challenges related to staffing is essential for school food service. When shifting the food production and service model to scratch cooking, it is especially important and challenging. This section covers:

Professional Professional Development

Additional skills and learning opportunities  prepare employees for advancement within the organization, as well as deepening the knowledge base. Professional development also creates an attractive employment option for motivated workers.


Among the many challenges that food-service directors take on, becoming an expert in facilities design and equipment is a particularly tough one. Directors looking to innovate and produce scratch cooked meals are faced and with an astounding lack of equipment and facilities infrastructure. This section covers:

Assessment and Next Steps

Critically examining and strategically improving programs is the key to guiding school food systems into the 21st century.  Achieving program goals is possible with a structured review of processes, assets, and challenges. This section covers:

Wellness Policy and Smart Snacks

As a part of Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), these two areas require a broader understanding of what the requirements are and how the Local Education Agency (LEA) (aka the school district, as opposed to solely the food service department) is responsible for meeting the regulations. This section covers:

Management Tools & Resources

Here are all of the tools and resources from this section in one convenient place.

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