If your school is lucky enough to have an on site restaurant it is probably the best way to give students the most practical experience and raise money. Usually culinary program run restaurants are only open for breakfast or lunch and offer a lower cost menu for the community.
By law culinary programs cannot compete with their local food service, however this does not apply to faculty and staff. Some schools have their students take lunch orders from faculty and deliver their lunches to their rooms in a boxed lunch fashion. Another way to do it is to host the lunch in the culinary or faculty room itself and have faculty and staff pay at the door. This gives the students the opportunity to practice both the front and back of the house.
Another great way to teach students how to bake in mass quantity, maintain quality control, and market food attractively is to sell boxes of several kinds of Christmas cookies. My students made boxes of 3 dozen Christmas cookies including peanut butter kisses, chocolate crinkle, Russian Tea Cakes, gingerbread, sugar, raspberry thumb prints and coconut macaroons. The community generously supports the fundraiser often profusely thanking me for making their holidays easier.
A great way to raise money for a big trip is to sell food during sporting events or other after school events. Culinary students can actually make the food and decide on a menu and pricing. This allows students to taken ownership for trips that they go on and learn business skills. It is best especially for high school students to show them how to price things and allow them to come up with ideas to market their products. I view it as first a learning experience and secondly an income generator.
Hospitality students cater district wide events and charge a fee to purchase food and supplies. This helps the district because they are paying a fraction of the price compared to local food services and students are learning from the process.
One way to teach students about mass quantity, quality control, and portion control is to sell take home meals to faculty and staff. My students have sold stuffed shells, lasagna, stuffed pork chops, shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, apple & pumpkin pies, quiche and coffee cake, shanghai chicken & rice, and burritos. Shopping at large wholesalers for such orders will help keep costs down so you can make a profit. I also predetermine how many orders I can take and it is a first come first served basis. At first teachers were a little reluctant to eat food students had made, but now we have quite a following.