Student-driven menu choices and chef collaboration are at the heart of healthy for us at SFE (Southwest Foodservice Excellence). We are a culinary-based management company that feeds over one million K-12 students across the country. We are continuously on the cutting edge of evolving new menu choices and concepts.
We continuously work with each one of our districts and reevaluate what works and does not work from year to year. We also continuously innovate new concepts on all levels of K-12 nutrition to appeal to students changing palates and empower them with a variety of choices.
For the elementary level, superhero mascots on marketing collateral entice our students to be excited about healthy food choices. Students are greeted in our schools’ Adventure Café by Executive Chef Monty Mongoose with a motto of “Eat Lunch, Feel Awesome,” displayed on posters. Chef Manny Panda echoes the healthy plea with the message, “A Good Lunch Can Save Your Day,” written on signs.
Teaching young kids the importance of veggies and a commitment to plant-based foods are also at the forefront of our nutrition education materials at the grade school level. Holly Kangaroo reminds kids that “Superstrength Means Never Skipping the Veggie Line.” Supporting physical activity also ties into our messaging through our very own DJ Cheetah, who reminds students that, “A Little Movement Goes a Long Way.”
SFE serves up more on-trend menu choices than its competitors. SFE offers over 3,000 menu items with more entrees made using fresh-from-scratch recipes than anyone else. SFE sources locally whenever possible to bring the freshest ingredients to students’ plates.
In middle school and junior high, students become much savvier with evolving tastebuds with the “Food for Thought” concept. Here they can browse the Cool Eats Café and choose a hearty breakfast such as Honey Overnight Oats with Peach-Blueberry Crunch. At lunch, their tastebuds are wowed with bold and spicy boneless chicken wings and pizza made from scratch and topped with fresh veggies.
Our culinary team continuously works on food concept innovation. From Ballpark, which brings grilled burgers, chicken, sausages, and hot dogs to the café, to Adobe, which focuses on building your own tacos, burritos, and bowls. Our SFE chefs and dieticians focus their efforts on research and development as well as trials with students.
With a taste for sophistication, high school students are served up a variety of choices with our Food Court-style concept. SFE’s Red Dragon is our twist on Asian fusion, while Luigi’s Café serves up more than just pizza with modern favorites such as the Philly Cheesesteak Panini and the Cuban Burger Panini.
SFE’s approach to our partnership with all our partners is to get feedback from our students in a variety of ways. We do this through our mobile menu app, which is powered by Nutrislice. Students can provide real-time feedback on all menu items using a five-star rating system. In addition, we hold regular taste testing panels. This personalized approach to student input helps the SFE culinary team get a deeper understanding of the foods and concepts students want. Students feel empowered, knowing they have a say in what menu choices they will have throughout the school year.
Because school food service is all we do, our SFE food service experts already have their finger on the pulse of kids' favorites. Students can expect on-trend, great-tasting meals prepared using fresh ingredients.
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