Going Digital and Automating K-12 Nutrition Across Nine Missouri Schools

Catching up with a Missouri district to learn how their continued partnership with LINQ helps them operate smarter, faster, and better.

Willard Case Study
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“The managers all love the production records, and now we have every cafeteria off the old paper forms and fully digital.”

Phil Broyles
Director of Nutrition Services

Checking in on Willard Public Schools, the Missouri district tells us they’re serving staff, students, and families a better K-12 nutrition experience than ever before. They went 100% paperless across nine schools for production records this year. Recently, they also experienced a smooth Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Administrative Review. Thanks to their integrated FOH and BOH K-12 nutrition solution, they report smarter, faster, and better operations. 

We last spoke with the district’s Director of Nutrition Services, Phil Broyles, and Administrative Assistant of Curriculum, Nutrition Services, and Custodial Services, Sharon Petty, toward the end of the 2022-23 school year. Catching up with them nearly a year later, they tell us they’re still happy they partnered with LINQ. They’re only finding more benefits as they implement additional features and functions.  

Engaging, intuitive online K-12 menus and a new food service website  

Broyles and Petty told us last year that they looked forward to implementing online menus on a fresh nutrition department website at the start of the 2023-24 school year. Right on schedule, they launched their website and began posting menus for students and families to view from anywhere, 24/7.  

Leaving printed menus and clunky online interfaces behind, Broyles says the new menus showcase each day’s selections and make it easy for families to find ingredients, serving sizes, and nutrition values. They can even rate items on a five-star scale to show preferences. “Parents and staff love it,” Broyles reports. “Parents especially like the nutritional information and the option to have menus emailed to them each month.” For staff members, Broyles says building the menus is fast, easy, and accurate with their library of saved menu items.  

Saving up to 20 hours per week with automated production records  

Time-consuming, stressful manual processes drove Willard Public Schools to seek a modern nutrition solution. Upon implementing LINQ Nutrition, they found the system a game changer for processing the 1,200 meal applications they typically receive each school year. He says going digital with production records is one of their biggest wins this year. 

With the integration of FOH and BOH systems, including POS, inventory, and production records, their kitchen managers can generate reports in real time with just a few clicks. “The managers all love the production records,” says Broyles, “and now we have every cafeteria off the old paper forms and fully digital.” That’s nine managers who no longer spend the end of their shift filling out forms and verifying accuracy. It’s saving them as much as 20 hours per week across the district.  

An integrated K-12 nutrition solution simplifies Administrative Reviews  

Every K-12 nutrition leader knows the stress an Administrative Review can cause. From finding necessary documents and data to ensuring that it’s all accurate and compliant, it’s a lot for anybody to manage on their own. That’s why Broyles and Petty say they’re glad they have LINQ Nutrition. “We had our DESE Administrative Review last month, and LINQ was a lifesaver,” Broyles tells us. Integrated data across FOH and BOH modules makes daily operations easier while also ensuring real-time accuracy in the event of an audit. There are no more worries about who updated which spreadsheet—as long as inventory is entered correctly, it maintains accuracy as each transaction is made at the POS terminals.  

LINQ Nutrition also makes it easy for leaders like Broyles and Petty to find documents and historical data when needed. They don’t need to dig through cabinets and folders, hoping that previous reports were pulled and filed correctly. “It was so much easier for Sharon and me to get the information that DESE needed. Also, they complimented us on how everything looked and how easy to read it was,” says Broyles. That’s a glowing review from a state agency we’re proud to share. 

Keeping the future bright at Willard Public Schools 

Broyles and Petty say LINQ delivers on their initial expectations when they chose to implement the system. Keys to their success include their ability to automate processes like production records and inventory management utilizing integrated FOH and BOH modules, ongoing training on new features, and a strong partnership with LINQ. Together, we help them identify and build solutions to their district’s unique challenges while saving time and stress with digital, automated processes.