Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management

First Advisor

Jeannie Sneed


This study developed a performance criteria model in terms of achieving the overall Child Nutrition Program (CNP) goal for school foodservice and utilized it in comparing conventional and centralized food production systems. The development and comparison procedures were conducted using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Current practices for monitoring performance criteria also were examined. Five questionnaires were developed to (a) identify a list of comprehensive performance criteria that were agreed upon by school foodservice experts; (b) evaluate two food production systems compared by school foodservice directors who have managed both systems in the same school district; and (c) investigate current practices for monitoring performance criteria reported by school foodservice directors managing large school districts.;Results indicated that customer satisfaction was the most important category in achieving the overall CNP goal, followed by financial management, meal quality, program management, and operations management. Two school foodservice directors, who responded and managed conventional and centralized food production systems in the same school district, suggested that the centralizing food production may be better in achieving the overall CNP goal. However, the optimum level of centralization in school foodservice operations is yet to be determined. Criteria related to food production, program management, and meal quality were monitored daily by most school foodservice directors. Although all performance criteria were monitored regularly by school foodservice managers, standards to determine whether current performance in various criteria were satisfactory or not were not consistent among school districts. Financial management was the area for which school foodservice directors needed the most assistance.;The performance criteria model developed can be used for strategic decision making in school foodservice. Priorities of criteria in the model can be customized to school districts with different goals by replicating the pairwise comparison process used in this study. Also, researchers need to identify levels of performance in each criterion by developing standards of performance for each criterion. This can assist school foodservice directors with evaluating performance in different criteria, especially for those criteria that directors have a difficult time monitoring.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Joyce Hyunjoo Hwang



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

147 pages