Fighting Increases in Food Costs

by | Jan 26, 2016

Fraternities and sororities hire us for a variety of reasons.  Not only do we hire the best chefs, but we also provide them with 50+ hours of onboarding and orientation to Greek Life and cooking for a fraternity or sorority.  Of course, those are just a few.  There are many more reasons that the men and women in these chapters may not even realize.  Food costs are one of those unnoticed or not-so-obvious reasons.

You can only go up to a few days without hearing about an increase in the cost of some food items.  Food is connected to so much, from healthcare to transportation, to droughts in one region and floods in another.  So how does Campus Cooks protect their chapters from having to pick up the tab all the time?

One way is through our Procurement Department, managed by Mike Scagnoli.  Every month, we analyze reports provided by vendors and government agencies, such as the USDA ERS. This allows us to see what is doing well and what can hurt our budgets.  If the food that is usually in season is getting hit by some disaster, we want to ensure everyone can plan accordingly. Our chefs serve fraternities and sororities items that are in season. When not in season, serving items such as strawberries kills budgets and are not high in quality.

Secondly, with our growth comes enhanced buying power.  Once looked upon as only purchasing small orders, we are now some of our vendor’s largest clients.  This has helped our buying power and allows us to get the best pricing possible.

Thirdly, we look to local sources.  While not every item may be practical, we strive to source locally grown products to incorporate into our menus. As we continue to buy from them, our relationship grows more robust, and they can meet our demands.

Finally, we plan.  This seems simple enough, but we take various sources mentioned above and create our own forecast.  We look at trends that have occurred and watch a variety of economic variables that can affect us.

When you are looking for a food service provider for your fraternity or sorority, remember that your program is not just a great chef but a strong team behind that individual.


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