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Relationship Marketing in Practice

Christina Lin, MS, RD

Director, Food Services

Palos Verdes Peninsula USD

I was pleasantly surprised to open the principal’s weekly update from my sons’ school, Peninsula High, and see a mention of a new pizza product on the school lunch menu. This is among notices of sport wins, academic scholarships, robotic team projects, and musicals. School lunch pizza made a headline!

Christina Lin, Director at Palos Verdes Peninsula is making those connections within her District. A few months later I noticed another school food mention (in a positive tone).

I asked Christina what she has been doing for outreach, as the students and principals themselves are marketing her menu items for her. Here are her responses.

  • Periodically attend principal’s meetings to share Food Service updates

  • Visit the sites and meet with principals individually

  • When students reach out to share feedback, I encourage them to take a leadership role. At Peninsula High, one of the leadership classes has a school meal subcommittee. They share menu ideas and are a huge help with marketing. For new menu features, I have them add announcements in the morning bulletin, school phone app, and student newspaper. (Good job Christina!)

  • Attend PTA meetings – They now reach out for me to give talks at Red Ribbon Week and go through FS for catering (It is nice to be wanted and part of the group!)

  • Attend student council meetings, even at the elementary level

  • Work on Social Media presence with FS Instagram and Twitter – District and principals retweet FS messages which is great

Kudos to Christina. Building those relationships takes time and effort. But in the end, it is actually a time saver, having the students and staff marketing for the department. This is how school food service earns a positive reputation.

"There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for 'satisfied'." - Shep Hyken

"Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you." - Chip Bell


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