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.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
student choice

Turkey and cucumber are two ingredients foodservice director Vince Scimone would never have thought to put together. Student judges at Grossmont Union High School District in La Mesa, Calif., however, believe they are a winning combination.

The students selected the combo, which was paired with a spicy Thousand Island dressing and sandwiched between a jalapeno bagel, as the winner of the district’s first Shark Tank competition. The now-annual event pits schools across the district against one another to come up with creative menu items. The new items are judged by students....

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to address the danger of student allergies , the University of Maryland is looking to make EpiPens available in its dining halls by the time spring break rolls around, The Diamondback reports .

Each dining hall would have multiple two-pack EpiPens on hand, which would cost about $1,000 per eatery, Dining Services Director Colleen Wright-Riva told The Diamondback. The EpiPen initiative would be instituted in partnership with the College Park, Md., school’s University Health Center.

Out of the university’s 9,000 students who are currently enrolled in a meal plan...

Managing Your Business
help wanted

Put down your peashooter for a moment to consider how weaponry has evolved in the battle for foodservice talent.

Restaurants, the perennial rival for key employees such as cooks, cashiers and line servers, have been griping for more than three decades about “Help Wanted” signs becoming permanent fixtures of their front windows. The only break came in the Great Recession, when their hiring pleas were replaced with “Going Out of Business” alerts. But even then, noncommercial foodservice had a tough time convincing potential hires to work inside the operations of hospitals, employee...

Ideas and Innovation
Romaine Lettuce Concerns

Following last week’s warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urged foodservice operators to halt serving all romaine lettuce , FSDs across the country have found a variety of ways to replace the crunchy green that’s a customer favorite in salads and sandwiches.

Though the original warning was earlier this week limited to romaine grown in certain areas of California , operations continue to do without romaine as they await new supply. In the meantime, prices of alternative iceberg lettuce have been on the rise .

FSD reached out to members of its...

FSD Resources