Training & Professional Development

I remember “training” from my days as a Senior Manager…

It was usually information delivered in one direction, often without much relevance to the daily challenges I faced. After being on the receiving end of all those lectures, I promised myself I would do things differently someday.

And I do.

The teams I work with become part of a conversation. I listen and we all learn. We make new connections and come out of the experience with practical information.

I’m talking about real-world ideas you can try out right away to see the difference they make – in participation, efficiency, communication and satisfaction.

Core Training for School Teams:

  • Evaluating the menu
  • Improving service and presentation
  • Introducing new and improved items
  • Boosting participation in breakfast and lunch programs

Customized training sessions can also be developed to target specific issues.

Core Training for Manufacturers :

  • Understanding changing school nutrition standards
  • Finding your best fit within menu planning
  • Introducing new products
  • Promoting new products in partnership with schools

Check out part of a training session in Houston, TX

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Dates are filling up! Let’s schedule a time to discuss your needs. I can help you make your school year the best year ever.

Choose any combination of the trainings outlined below. I can create the program according to your needs. Each session is a minimum of 1-hour and 30-minutes, or we can focus on a specific training or combination of trainings for up to 6-hours (a full day). YOU CHOOSE!

My fees are ALL INCLUSIVE – no additional costs after the quote – includes travel and all expenses.

Choose from these popular trainings:


Kern Halls delivered exactly what we needed to achieve change. Having a third party consultant conduct focus groups and program analysis - with a fresh and unbiased set of eyes - is a valuable and necessary tool when building buy in from staff and administration.

Kathleen Kane SNS , Director of Food and Nutrition Services

I recommend Ingenious Culinary Concepts because Kern Halls is extremely knowledgeable in so many areas of the food service industry, from regulations to equipment, and from customers to the dining environment. He has experienced so many different school food & nutrition programs across the country that he can quickly provide suggestions to improve participation based on 'what works' in other districts. He is skilled at listening to student customers, expertly gaining their trust and inspiring them to share their perspective about school meals. We are excited about implementing suggestions that Kern made while visiting us in Charlotte County!

Terri Whitacre Director , School Food & Nutrition Services Charlotte County, Florida

Ingenious Culinary Concepts provided a turn-key Food Festival event for Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services Department. Kern and his team thought of all the details and managed the event from start to finish ­ and afterward! The event was a huge success and provided a very positive image for the district. We are continuing our partnership with Ingenious Culinary Concepts due to their professionalism and customer service.

Julie G Farris Director – Nutrition, Training, Quality Assurance Dallas Independent School District

Your general session was the perfect message and tied in with the general sessions as well, providing good customer service by marketing & merchandising. We must understand our customers and not continue to do everything the way we have always done things.

Valerie Lindsay Child Nutrition Supervisor

We had a great experience working with Ingenious Culinary Concepts. Kern Halls has a broad experience developing concepts in the K-12 market.  He and his Team were very valuable in helping us to understand the student preferences and how we can adapt our products to succeed in K-12

Beatriz Herrero – StarKist , Food Service Marketing Manager

We had the privilege of having Kern Halls present at our Education Symposium. Not only was Kern knowledgable and upbeat, he gave everyone a new and different perspective on what kids likes and wants are when it comes to meals served in school. He also conducted a Kids Focus Group that was thoroughly entertaining but highly enlightening as it came straight "from the mouths of babes" as to what they want. If you are looking for a person that knows and understands School Food Service and clearly understands K-12 Trends, Kern is the guy for your group. He brings excitement back into School Food Service!!

– Nicole Nicoloff, Education Segment Manager, Gordon Foods

This year we invited Kern Halls to present at our Manager’s in-service. He did a truly outstanding job! The information was timely, informative, and thought provoking. All of my Managers and Assistant Managers were totally engaged. It was the perfect way to start the new school year. I look forward to bringing him back to my District in the future to share more ideas and innovative concepts with my management staff!

– Dawn Houser SNS, MPA

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive for your class and the conference overall. Your extra effort to provide up-to-date answers for the participants has not been overlooked. We appreciate your dedicated spirit and your commitment to excellence and therefore, insistently welcome you back to assist us in educating the food and nutrition personnel within Region 13.

– Child Nutrition Team, Region XIII, Austin, Texas

I was out in the schools days after your workshop, the employees were still talking about how much they enjoyed it. I also observed them putting a little extra effort into serving the students. It was a pleasure to see. Thank you for the inspiration.

– Linda Irby

Session Session Description Audience

“Empowered to Lead” (FNS Managers, Assistants, Leads or higher) PRIMARY USDA PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS:

4140 Develop communication skills. (COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS) 4120 Promote child nutrition program. (PROGRAM PROMOTION) Course Summary:
In this session, managers will be empowered to make decisions that will positively impact their FNS customers and their program’s bottom line. Attendees will be motivated to achieve the goals set by the FNS district office. Participants will learn communication techniques and customer service skills that will set their FNS program apart from the rest.

(FNS Managers, Assistants, Leads or higher)

“Student-Centered Customer Service” PRIMARY USDA PROFESSIONAL STANDARD:

4130 Empower school nutrition staff to provide excellent customer service (CUSTOMER SERVICE)
Course Summary:

This course is intended to offer FNS professionals the tools and techniques needed to provide students exceptional customer service. An emphasis on “making the most of every customer encounter” is paramount in this session. Participants foster skills used to develop customer buy-in and trust resulting in increased student participation in breakfast and lunch programs.

FNS Staff, all levels

“K-12 Marketing 101” PRIMARY USDA PROFESSIONAL STANDARD:

4110 Develop strategic plans and marketing plans that reflect program goals and enhance interaction with stakeholders (MARKETING)
Course Summary:

This course is intended to introduce FNS professionals to the fundamentals of marketing. Participants can expect exposure to proven strategies and methods operators can use to successfully function in the school foodservice industry. Building foundational marketing skills will be an emphasis for increasing student participation in breakfast and lunch programs.

FNS Staff, all levels