4 easy ways to drive traffic

people line stairs

Between major renovations? Here are some sales boosters that won’t bust your budget.

1. A new path

school hallway

At one location of Durango School District in Durango, Colo., the school rerouted morning traffic to flow through the cafeteria to boost breakfast participation. The nutrition team went from serving 20 students in the morning to 116.

2. A fresh ambiance

painting mural

Oxford School District in Oxford, Miss., has experimented with upping the cool factor in its cafeterias by adding paint and custom graphics. But the schools also found more cost-effective ways to appeal to their young guests. The district has consulted with student groups about offering TV programs, lighting schemes and music to draw diners to the cafeterias.

3. An attractive daypart

tailgate grill food

Martin Luther College in New Elm, Minn., does not have much of a late-night scene. Capitalizing on the vacuum of recreational options, dining sets up events from 7 p.m. to midnight every weekend. The dining hall hosts tournaments for yard games like cornhole and serves tailgate fare. More than half of the total enrollment of the college attends each weekend.

4. A different entry point

coffee kiosk

Since its high school cafeteria is a bit tucked away, Carrollton City Schools created a breakfast cart that looks similar to a Starbucks kiosk and is situated right outside the school’s doors. It serves smoothies, yogurt and muffins. “We are trying to get in their path and target students who aren’t coming to the cafeteria,” says Linette Dodson, director of school nutrition for the Carrollton, Ga., district.

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