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The law of product management: Cheap, fast, good. Pick 2.

Up until now, government schools always picked cheap and fast to save on money and effort. This mandate is for cheap and good, which involves more labor costs. In so many words, this is a mandate for a tax hike.

Really, the state of our cafeterias is deplorable. I work at the closest thing to a fine-dining restaurant my town can afford. My boss did his best to copy a 4-star restaurant menu and ambiance, repackaged it at a third the price, and while the menu is not quite that elaborate or complicated, he still basically succeeded. That's what private sector competition is all about.

My university cafeteria cooks what I would call "average" cafeteria food, but they charge $7 for the same buffet I could get for $4.50 at a local dive. They have no sense of competition.

Really want to give students better meals? Offer Subway a chance to cater food to the students on the taxpayers dime and have them compete with school cafeterias. You will see those cafeterias cooking some great, healthy food the next day.