Cafeteria workers in three Scottsdale schools will have the opportunity to earn a little extra cash this spring — if they are able to increase food and drink sales.
The Scottsdale Unified School District is piloting an incentive program starting this month at Chaparral High School, Supai Middle School and Aztec Elementary School that will encourage workers to surpass each kitchen’s revenue goals and serve as many students during the lunch hour as possible, said Sue Bettenhausen, district director for nutritional services and wellness.
“We’ve been hard-pressed to find employees,” Bettenhausen said. “If we can find ways to get our current employees more productive — if every employee served 10 more kids every lunch hour — we’d serve 2,000 more kids.”
That means employees would be urged to do whatever they could to work faster, from making work stations more organized to becoming more proficient on the cash register, Bettenhausen said.
Food services is a selfsupporting department — it doesn’t receive funding from the district. Bettenhausen has tried a number of things to raise funds as food costs continue to increase, including making plans to cater for outside companies.
Bettenhausen said she can’t guess how much money employees might make because it will depend on their performance — basically, if kitchens can control costs and exceed their planned revenue each quarter, food services would be willing to share that revenue with employees, she said.
Bettenhausen said the district will experiment with formulas throughout the semester to try to determine the fairest way to reward employees.
Once the formula is finetuned, the program will be introduced at the rest of the schools in the district.
“The first day of school last year, I had a meeting for all the employees and talked about it, and I think I got their attention. I think they thought it was a cool idea,” Bettenhausen said.