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Community Partnership

Whitsons’ first step to a successful partnership is to form a bond with each community we serve, working toward a common purpose. We are like a family, with many hands encircling one shared vision. Our family culture extends beyond our company owners and team members to the communities that we serve. Our programs are shaped around this shared commitment, and are therefore unique to each community. Our shared experience serves as a basis for providing high quality service to each community, with a program that is customized to meet the community’s changing needs on an ongoing basis through regular student, parent and district interaction.


We also support our local and global communities through a number of community service efforts, such as participation in community projects, support of local agriculture and other food suppliers, educational enrichment opportunities and weather-related and other emergency services. Examples include holiday food and clothing drives, Impact Lives hunger relief efforts, community gardens, junior chef educational programs, storm shelter support and involvement with local charities.

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Feedback and Benchmarking Programs

One of our key strengths is our ability to stay in touch with student preferences. Students of all ages have strong opinions about the foods they like and dislike, which can vary greatly by community and region, and even within each school community. Our goal is to understand our students’ preferences and balance them with our overall nutrition goals to establish a program that features nutritionally sound menu options that are enjoyable to the students we serve.

 

  • Student Surveys. Student surveys are conducted annually via an independent Scantron-based paper survey program or web-based survey program. Survey results are tabulated electronically and compared against other Whitsons schools and past performance. Our onsite team, client and executive team analyze the results and develop a written action plan for service enhancement opportunities.
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One of our key strengths is our ability to stay in touch with student preferences. Students of all ages have strong opinions about the foods they like and dislike, which can vary greatly by community and region, and even within each school community. Our goal is to understand our students’ preferences and balance them with our overall nutrition goals to establish a program that features nutritionally sound menu options that are enjoyable to the students we serve.

 

  • Student Surveys. Student surveys are conducted annually via an independent Scantron-based paper survey program or web-based survey program. Survey results are tabulated electronically and compared against other Whitsons schools and past performance. Our onsite team, client and executive team analyze the results and develop a written action plan for service enhancement opportunities.
  • Client Surveys. Clients are also surveyed annually, with results benchmarked and action plans developed for enhancing the value of our services.
  • Team Member Surveys. Whitsons greatly appreciates the value of obtaining regular feedback from our team members who are interacting with our customers on a daily basis. Periodically, we formally survey our team members regarding their overall impressions of Whitsons at the account, district and corporate levels.
  • Comment Cards. Our locations are equipped with suggestion boxes and comment cards for students, staff or administration to provide informal feedback or suggestions.
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Interschool Communications

Information exchange between schools is critical to the success of the dining program and opens a dialog for all parties to work toward common goals.


  • Regular Client Meetings. Regular meetings, attended by key school representatives, as well as our food service director and district manager, are the most effective way to ensure that Whitsons remains on top of the continuous improvement process. In these meetings, we review menus, budget performance, action plans and planned improvements and any other issues of importance to our school communities.
  • Involvement of Executives and Company Owners. As a family-owned company, we pride ourselves on remaining personally involved in the success of each operation. Toward that end, a company owner will visit onsite and meet with our clients to ensure their continued satisfaction with out services.
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Information exchange between schools is critical to the success of the dining program and opens a dialog for all parties to work toward common goals.


  • Regular Client Meetings. Regular meetings, attended by key school representatives, as well as our food service director and district manager, are the most effective way to ensure that Whitsons remains on top of the continuous improvement process. In these meetings, we review menus, budget performance, action plans and planned improvements and any other issues of importance to our school communities.
  • Involvement of Executives and Company Owners. As a family-owned company, we pride ourselves on remaining personally involved in the success of each operation. Toward that end, a company owner will visit onsite and meet with our clients to ensure their continued satisfaction with out services.
  • Food Service/Nutrition Committee Meetings. Food service committees are usually comprised of representatives from the food service, the district and interested parents in the local community. Generally, we recommend food service committee meetings be held monthly or quarterly, to review menus, nutrition education efforts and any upcoming promotions to ensure that our program continues to exceed the community’s expectations.
  • Communications to Principals. Whitsons forms a relationship with the principals at each school to keep them engaged and informed on an ongoing basis. This allows us to maximize the effectiveness of our dining program by customizing it to the specific needs of the students at each school.
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Community Involvement

Community involvement takes many forms, including information exchange about the school nutrition program, as well as rallying around community initiatives that contribute to the greater good of the community. Whitsons is equally committed to each aspect of community support.

 

  • Board Meetings. We remain actively involved at the school board level, to the extent that our clients wish, to keep board members informed and involved in the foodservice program. This allows us to integrate ourselves into the community and better tailor our services to meet the community’s unique needs.
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Community involvement takes many forms, including information exchange about the school nutrition program, as well as rallying around community initiatives that contribute to the greater good of the community. Whitsons is equally committed to each aspect of community support.

 

  • Board Meetings. We remain actively involved at the school board level, to the extent that our clients wish, to keep board members informed and involved in the foodservice program. This allows us to integrate ourselves into the community and better tailor our services to meet the community’s unique needs.
  • PTA Meetings. Whitsons welcomes the opportunity to attend PTA meetings to present program enhancement ideas and obtain feedback from the PTA. We view the PTA as a valuable resource in developing program enhancements.
  • Parent Communications. Our menus are distributed in accordance with each school’s preferred method of correspondence with parents. We want to keep parents informed of program options, menus and promotions, as well as encourage them to contact us with questions, concerns or special needs.
  • Media Relations. Whitsons has a collaborative public relations program that is customized by client to communicate to the community about the nutrition-focused, innovative changes the district has brought to the school breakfast and lunch programs.
  • Local Purchasing Initiatives. As mentioned in many areas of our website, Whitsons is committed to supporting the communities we serve through partnerships with local farms and other suppliers of goods and services. Currently, we source an average of 52% of our products locally companywide. This is a figure that far surpasses industry standards.
  • Community Initiatives. Whitsons has numerous examples of community outreach efforts.
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