Use vending to extend the meal program’s reach
The expansive Lee High School campus in the East Baton Rouge (La.) Parish Schools has four buildings but only one with a cafeteria, so vending offers a convenient meal option for students not willing to trek over to the main eatery.
Use grab and go to expand choice
Worcester County Public Schools
The high schools in Worcester County (Md.) Public Schools expanded the number of reimbursable meal options from three or four to 11 by adding grab-and-go salads and wraps.
Take advantage of Gen Z taste preferences
Wayzata High School
Wayzata (Minn.) High School menued an Indian dish in response to data showing the younger generations like this cuisine more than their elders, and sold 250 servings on its first try.
Let students customize with healthy but spicy flavoring options
Campbell County School District
Campbell County (Wyo.) School District 1 is one district that has experimented with flavor stations that let kids add their own low/no-sodium spicing to their dishes.
Leverage the coolness factor of food trucks
Hamilton City Schools
Hamilton City (Ohio) School District has deployed its own food truck to serve as a lunch alternative and as an educational “vehicle.”
Taste test extensively with students
Charleston County School District
Charleston County (S.C.) School District taste tested potential meal additions with some 50 students a day for three weeks over the summer to get a solid focus on preferences.
Wayne Central Schools
Wayne (N.Y.) Central School District’s My Way Café concept is flexible enough to offer anything from tacos to mac and cheese in a customizable format so students can better satisfy their preferences.
Customizable salads trump pre-packaged
Cobb County School District
Creation Station made-to-order salad bars at Cobb County (Ga.) Schools give students a choice from among at least three proteins and over a dozen veggies.
Make salad bars attractive
The award-winning salad bar program at Laredo (Texas) ISD emphasizes variety and color, and staff is always on the alert to ensure it looks full, attractive and constantly replenished.
Smoothies, schedule change up breakfast count by 201%
Warhill High School
Warhill High School in Williamsburg, Va., not only added very popular berry smoothies to the breakfast menu but also moved a free study period to the start of the school day where the meals can be eaten.
Give breakfast a second chance
Cardinal Community School District
Schools are increasingly extending an alternative breakfast chance to later in the morning to capture students who missed getting one earlier.
Think outside the box
Orange County Public Schools
Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools appropriated a couple of idle golf carts to use as supper delivery vehicles to students away from cafeterias at afternoon activities like football and band practice. It was so successful, the district is now buying dedicated carts to expand the program.