Central Indiana schools say no to restaurant food in cafeterias

Outside food items are causing huge issues and distractions in the cafeteria, especially for younger students.

Sept. 26—For some schools, it’s been a decade-long policy. For others, a recent push.

But just almost every school district in Central Indiana is saying no to bringing food from restaurants into their cafeterias.

With recent federal school lunch regulations now firmly in place, student’s trays are filled with more greens than ever. That makes it even harder when another student brings in french fries and a burger from a local fast food restaurant.

Food service directors from school across Indiana are calling the problem a huge distraction, especially for elementary students.

All of a sudden, a calm lunch period is turned into a dissatisfying experience when less nutritious and good-smelling food enters the cafeteria, says Greenwood Food Service Director Cheryl Hargis.

“It makes them want that and lots of times a child will just won't eat themselves, so jealousy gets in the factor of it,” said Hargis.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
Richard cousins

Compass Group confirmed this morning that CEO Richard Cousins was killed on New Year’s Eve in a small-plane crash off the coast of Australia. He was 58.

Cousins was scheduled to step down as CEO in March, after leading the world’s largest foodservice management company for 11 years. His planned successor, Compass COO Dominic Blakemore, has agreed to assume Cousins’ duties immediately.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news,” Compass Chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement. “It has been a great privilege to know Richard personally and to work with him for...

Menu Development
to-go meals

Drew Allen didn’t hesitate when asked what he expects of noncommercial dining in the future. “Change,” he says. “We have to change with the times and what our guests are looking for.”

Allen, the director of culinary services at Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices in Lebanon, Ohio, says the more the residents and guests at Otterbein change, the more diverse eating habits his team has the chance to explore. One of those changing habits, he says, is diners’ growing desire for portable, made-to-order items . That’s a theme borne out by data, too—and is true across dayparts. Roughly 67%...

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Ideas and Innovation
email

Communication is key, and [managers] are busy too. One tip I picked up from another director was to label my subject line with the header “action,” “information” or “response” followed by a brief description of the email contents. That way they can filter through their inboxes during their busy days to know which emails need their attention immediately and which they can save to read later.

FSD Resources