School Lunches Are Getting Too Expensive

Is inflation to blame?


Brandon Huth

Taher is a food service that strives to provide the best quality of food. The company has been serving school lunches across the U.S. since 1981, but have you ever wondered why the TG school lunch costs over $6.00? 

Let’s break it down. According to, the average public school lunch costs $2.74, while Taher’s price of food is nearly $6.00. It might seem outrageous at first, but it really isn’t compared to the cost of everything going into the TG lunch program.

Taher is a business, and they don’t get any funding from the local government. They rely on the people buying their lunch to make a profit and to continue to stay in business. 

Making a profit is important to any business. Taher only takes away a 33% profit margin at TG compared to other schools using Taher pulling in at least a 50% profit margin. 

You may be asking yourself, where does this 33% profit margin go? The simple answer is paying Taher employees’ salaries, paying insurance, and paying delivery fees to get different foods into the TG Lunch program.

Taher head cook Ben Bush says “I wanna make the best food we can, for the best price. We want to sell as much food as possible with a balance and variety each month.” 

“But due to inflation, the cost of food keeps rising and rising, and we have do what’s best for business. I love the TG community and want stay at this school as long as possible.”

Each month Bush gets together with their nutritionist to come up with the monthly menu. They want to provide the best options for the students and staff while selling healthy food, and not just grease every single day. 

Taher’s strategy is to provide balance in the daily school lunch. They have a salad bar, a side entrée, a main entrée, and a sandwich line. Their goal is to provide variety to everyone at the school. “Money will come if you put people first” said Bush.

A TG student said “The lunch service Taher offers is great. I have all sorts of options such as a Salad Bar or a Sandwich Bar depending on if I like what they are serving in the mainline.” 

“The food is better than your typical public school. While costs may be a little higher, Taher provides our community with a good lunch experience.” 

Being at TG Taher has faced many challenges. The pandemic hit Taher hard with needing to come up with a method to provide the best quality of food while maintaining a safe environment in the TG community. 

Taher came up with serving fresh prepackage lunches in a container, which ultimately chose to be a good idea. 

Taher has many ways to determine how much food for that entrée is being served. Taher looks at historic patterns and records and even sometimes takes guesses to know to make enough food. 

They look at what is being served on the menu and how well that entrée performed the last time it was served. Talking to the Bush, they have determined that anything with vegetables in the entrée tends to mean fewer transactions. 

Taher wants to provide the highest quality service for the TG community while trying its best to keep profit margins suitable for business.