Food Service

  • 35.0 percent of districts contract out for food services (192 out of 549).
  • 13 districts privatized food services within the past year.

Graphic 2: Districts Contracting Food Service

Graphic 2: Districts Contracting Food Service - click to enlarge

Food service contracting continues to grow in Michigan, keeping with a steady upward trend over the past decade.

Graphic 3
Districts new to food service contracting

Bridgman Public School District
Les Cheneaux Community Schools
Cheboygan Area Schools
Westwood Community School District
Flushing Community Schools
Gobles Public Schools
Hemlock Public Schools
Ionia Public Schools
Onekama Consolidated Schools
Potterville Public Schools
Rapid River Public Schools
Rogers City Area Schools
Saginaw City School District

Flushing Community Schools privatized the management of its food services this past year, choosing to contract with K-12 Nutritional Consulting Service. The district cited both savings and excellent personnel as factors in the decision to privatize. Flushing now reports savings of $50,000 thanks to privatization, as well as satisfaction with the contracted service.

Les Cheneaux Public Schools, in Mackinac County, previously ran a food services deficit of $20,000. After the district contracted for many of its food staff through the employee leasing agency PESG, the food services broke even. The district reports satisfaction and plans to continue privatizing the remaining employees by attrition.

Cheboygan Area Schools is now contracting with Chartwells for the management of its school cafeterias. Through savings on retirement contributions, insurance and other expenses, the district expects to save $34,000 per year.

Rogers City Area Schools began contracting this past year for both cafeteria workers and custodians through the third party PCMI. The district also hires its substitute teachers in this manner. The district saves on ORS and FICA charges for all employees contracted out through PCMI. The district reports satisfaction with its privatized employees.

Gobles Public Schools is now contracting with Van Buren Research and Development, a nonprofit school-support group, for its cafeteria workers. The district previously used privatized labor for its custodial services, and has now expanded its contract. Each privatized employee costs the district roughly 16 percent less than an in-house employee, with most of the savings coming from employee benefits. Meanwhile, the district also saves money by sharing its food service director with Bloomingdale Public Schools.

Rapid River Public Schools also expanded a contracting agreement to include cafeteria workers this past year. The district is now saving money by contracting with Superior Chem Dry for two of its food service employees, as well as its custodians. The district plans to continue privatizing workers by attrition over the coming years.