Five companies submitted bids for the contract. A comprehensive rubric ranking several criteria assisted the district in selecting the best qualified vendor.
Those criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Company performance history – As measured by the duration and extent of the company’s experience in the food service management business.
- Management and employee staffing plan – A proposed plan for administration, supervision and staffing under the specifications of the contract.
- References – Experience in the education food service industry shown by providing five references of school districts of comparable size.
- Financial stability/Accounting and financial systems – The ability to show company profitability and acceptable practices over the last two years through profit/loss statements.
- Nutrition and wellness – Two years of experience implementing the nutrition-based menu planning approach, and an example of a marketing plan or successful nutrition awareness program.
- Proposed facilities and daily operation – The evidence of Point of Service software proficiency, preferably with Horizon or One Source.
- Tour of food service management company facilities/off-site kitchen – Off-site facilities must meet health and safety standards, with proper temperatures for food storage.
- Strategic marketing plan – A five-year plan of the methods of communication used including flyers, and signage. Also need examples of age-segmented branding, and promotional programs designed to increase participation.
The Illinois State Board of Education also reviewed and approved the District’s selection. The food service contract had not been put to bid for five years.
The value of the contract ranges between $4.8 and $5 million, depending on how many meals are served. Last year, 2.1 million meals were served in the district’s 22 buildings.