After two-and-a-half years of ordering or, more accurately, not ordering lunches from Goodfellas’ lunch program, high-school students can now buy lunches from Boudin, Noodles & Company, Chili’s, Pizza Guys and Noah’s.
Each vendor will deliver lunches on a different weekday (students will receive the same entree on the same weekday for a month).
The food will be prepared at the restaurants and delivered at around 11:30 a.m. to the MP room, but SCDS staff will distribute it.
The new program requires students to order farther in advance. Last year, students ordered on the Goodfellas’ website by 11 a.m. the day before. This year, they must order a month of lunches a week before the beginning of the month. The order forms for September were due on Aug. 26.
This program is more expensive than Goodfellas’, according to chief financial officer Bill Petchauer, who has been in charge of the lunch program since 2007. The cost per meal is $6.50 for lower-school students and $7 for middle- and high-school students. Each of Goodfellas’ meals were $4.50.
“By purchasing our food from the restaurants, the price naturally went higher, but we hope the quality and variety are worth it,” Petchauer said.
But Petchauer emphasized that the school is not profiting from the more expensive lunches.
“We tried to keep the price as low as possible with the constraint that the program needed to break even,” Petchauer said.
Lunch program costs are added to monthly student bills.
Petchauer said that while the menu for September is fixed, meals can be added month to month.
“We will look at which entrees are selling and which are not,” Petchauer said, “and will adjust the menu accordingly.”
Petchauer said that he, the management team and others began discussing a new lunch program in the spring. The push for a new program was influenced by an Octagon article last school year (“Students say no to GoodFellas: only 5 percent of high schoolers ever order lunch,” Feb. 17), he said.
Over the summer, Petchauer contacted 15 different restaurants, including Chipotle, which, he said, was approached on multiple occasions but did not seem interested.
“The five that were chosen were the most interested in becoming a part of our program and were believed to be the best matches for the school,” Petchauer said.
Petchauer said he and the management team also considered improving the Goodfellas program, hiring mobile food trucks or providing an in-house lunch service before deciding on partnering with the five vendors.
If this program becomes less popular than Goodfellas’, Petchauer said that the management team will reconsider one of the other options.
By Aug. 26, 51 lower schoolers, 44 middle schoolers, 21 high schoolers, and six employees had ordered, a total of 122 people.
Petchauer said that he expects students will like the familiar foods and the variety.
“There are several options to choose from,” Petchauer said. “And most students may have previously had the entrees so they know what the food tastes like.”
Petchauer is right. Seventh grader Elise Sommerhaug said that she is strongly considering ordering from the lunch program next month for its variety and how familiar she is with the food from Boudin and Chili’s.
Freshman Chloe Collinwood said that she is also interested. Collinwood said she likes the restaurants that are part of the program, but is unable to visit the restaurants because they’re far from her house.
According to Collinwood, the freshman class is obsessed with Noodles & Company, located in Loehmann’s Plaza.
“There’s something for everyone whenever we go there,” she said.
Order forms can be found at www.saccds.org in the Parents section.
—By Sonja Hansen