School Breakfast Makes 'Cents'

School breakfast makes sense for improving student behavior and learning. It also makes "cents" for your food service program. Is your program missing out on easy, valuable revenue? 

The research is clear: students who eat breakfast do better in their studies, are more attentive and have fewer behavioral and health issues. School breakfast can also be benefit food service programs through increased revenue. Despite its benefits for students and schools, participation in the School Breakfast Program nationally is about HALF of the National School Lunch Program, according to the School Nutrition Association.

In our experience, school breakfast is the easiest, most untapped source of food service revenues. For every additional student eating school breakfast, your school brings in an additional $459 a year (in areas with severe need, assuming 172 days in the year). With 50 additional students, you'll bring in more than $22,962! After contract costs, your program could reap profits of about $18,000 for those 50 extra breakfasts a day.

If you're offering school breakfast, what might be preventing more students from participating? Consider:

  • Service style: The way breakfast is offered may affect participation. Grab-and-go breakfasts offered near entrances and breakfast in the classroom are the most convenient, least labor-intensive breakfast styles and attract more students than cafeteria-served breakfast.
  • Timing: Is breakfast offered prior to the start of before-school activities and until students start class? If students need to arrive early to eat breakfast, fewer are going to do so. Conversely, some students may miss breakfast if they have before-school activities that leave little time in between their activities and classes.
  • Location: Offering breakfast through multiple carts or kiosks placed throughout the building can make it more convenient for students to grab breakfast on the way to their classrooms.
  • Stigma: Students may not participate because they or their parents perceive school breakfast as to be only for low-income students.
  • Parents: Many parents perceive school breakfast to be unhealthy. They may also feel like it's their responsibility (duty) to provide breakfast for their kids. Help them shun the guilt by educating them on the convenience, cost and nutritional content of school breakfast. Help them see that school breakfast makes sense for their budget and time.

CKC Makes Breakfast a Breeze

CKC makes offering breakfast simple with our pre-assembled breakfast bags that contain all the components for a reimburseable meal. These work great for grab-and-go breakfast as well as breakfast in the classroom - the two most convenient options that have proved effective at increasing participation. The breakfast bags are also keep your expenses and labor low.

Many schools experienced the ease of breakfast during the pandemic, when the federal government provided breakfast free to all students. Seven Hills Preparatory Academy enjoyed a significant bump in revenues when it had 600 students regularly taking school breakfast. According to Food Service Director Monica Gihl, CKC made school breakfast easy with the breakfast bags. Students simply grabbed a bag and a milk on their way to their classrooms in the morning.

Talk to your Client Service Manager about how other schools have successfully increased their breakfast participation. It could make a substantial impact on your bottom line and students' performance and health.

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