I recently spent a week at a company training facility in Japan.
[SIZE="6"]How much would a mess hall meal cost to make? My guess for the meal unit cost would be around ¥100 - ¥200 (around $1 or $2 dollars per meal).
Along with around 100 others I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a mess hall. Everyone had the same meal, but each time the meal was different, and freshly prepared - a main dish, with 2 or three side dishes, rice, and miso soup.
This is different from a western experience where cafeteria food might be pre processed. The meals weren't spectacular, but there was variety, and they seemed nutritionally balanced. After the week I felt really good, I don't think I'd feel the same way after a week of only western style cafeteria food.
[SIZE="6"]I would be happy to eat at this kind of place for lunch everyday. I wonder for a large kitchen and with those economies of scale, if it would be possible to provide a lot of people with good fresh food, for a very low price if they committed to coming everyday - any thoughts?[/SIZE]