Del Mar district ‘not pleased’ with new lunch provider, may seek replacement

Since the beginning of the school year, the Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) has been receiving complaints about its new school lunch provider, LunchMaster.

DMUSD Superintendent Holly McClurg said staff has been working as diligently as possible to follow up with every concern and has worked with each school site’s staff as they deal with issues. She said it has been a lot of hard work on the district’s part, with Assistant Superintendent Cathy Birks even personally driving to deliver meals to kids.

“We want to maintain the standard of quality that families and children expect from school lunches and, of course, what they deserve,” McClurg said. “Currently we’re looking at what options we have moving forward and will bring a recommendation to the board in the near future. To be frank, we have not been pleased with the service we have received.”

The district had issued a request for proposals for the lunch program in March and received just two bids, from Choicelunch, its vendor since 2011, and LunchMaster, a 20-year-old company founded in the Bay Area, new to the San Diego market.

In May, the board voted to switch lunch providers, looking favorably on LunchMaster’s similar healthy options provided at a lower cost.


During public comment, Keith Cosbey, one of the founders of Choicelunch, addressed the board.

“When I saw the request for proposals gave 50 percent weight to the cost of the lunches, I knew that Choicelunch would not come out on top,” Cosbey said. “But I believed then and today that Choicelunch is without a doubt the best fit for the Del Mar community.”

He said he was proud that his company will never be a low-cost solution because they offer such a premium service, including a “seamless” ordering platform they developed for the Web, Android and iPhone that allows same-day ordering up to 6 a.m. the day of the requested order date.

“Choicelunch truly enjoyed working with the Del Mar community over the last four years and we look forward to one day continuing that partnership,” Cosbey said.