Pitstop Rolls Nonstop at Lunch

Since opening the new, $250,00 a la carte line at Flagler (FL) Palm Coast High School, the cafeteria has seen a significant increase in participation, says Roy Pistone, food service director for the fast-growing 8,600-student district. To date, the a la carte line, called the Pitstop, is target destination for about a sixth of Flagler High's nearly 3,000 students during lunchtime.

It's easy to see why. Pitstop offers everything from traditional favorites like burgers, fries, pizza and chicken fingers to more sophisticated pasta and stir-fry dishes.

A closed campus keeps the student body in-house during the school day but Pistone wants to make that is a desired choice, not just a forced one, for students. He plans to add an outdoor dining component with a food window facing an outdoor eating area, which would also be served by a mobile cart.

Customer satisfaction is important in a district that is adding about 600 students a year. Flagler, located on Florida's northeastern coast between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, is already building two more schools to augment the eight it currently operates. Projections are that it will have to add one each year for the next 15 years to keep up with the growth.