JCPS swaps Papa John's Wednesdays for Wild Mike's Tuesdays

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS middle and high school students returning to the 2017-18 school year found a big difference in lunch options -- pizza from Papa John's on Wednesdays have been replaced with pizza from Wild Mike's on Tuesdays.

The district's nutrition services team rolled out Wild Mike’s pizza in school cafés this week, said Dan Ellnor, the district's nutrition services manager.

"We decided we want to switch to frozen, in-house freshly baked pizza," Ellnor told WDRB News on Wednesday. "It takes eight minutes to bake and it's on the line fresh, whereas any delivered pizza is not going to be as fresh as delivering it on site."

JCPS has had a contract with Papa John's for pizza delivery at middle and high schools since the mid-1990s, but officials informed the company last year that it would no longer be bidding out a prepared pizza contract once it expired on July 31, he said.

"Last school year, we tested out five different vendors for pizza. And when we put the bid out, Wild Mike's came in with the lowest bid," he said.

The contract with Papa John's was about $1.1 million and the contract with Wild Mike's is about the same, Ellnor said.

Ellnor said JCPS will also be debuting a Buffalo Chicken pizza from Uno's on some middle and high school menus on Sept. 8.

"We are making a lot of changes to the menu this year," he added. 

Mike Raisor, the district's chief operations officer, visited Pleasure Ridge Park High School on Tuesday to see how the roll out went.

Ellnor also tweeted some pictures:

"Overall, the new pizza was a mixed review, he said. "But with any change you make, you will have a mixed review."

Cheese and pepperoni pizza is not the only thing being offered to students for lunch on Tuesdays. This week's menu also included cheeseburger sliders, cooked carrots, baked beans, tossed, salad, strawberries and other assorted fresh fruit. 

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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