Thursday, July 13, 2000

Cafeteria at Fairfield speeds up food service

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — It's not exactly fast food, but it'll be faster than before.

        Students at Fairfield Senior High School will get their food in about half the time beginning this fall, thanks to a $104,685 cafeteria renovation that will double the number of cashiers and make it easier to get food.

        The project will be paid for with revenue from the food service department. Work will begin later this month.

        “The new system should decrease the waiting time by 50 percent,” said John Pennell, Fairfield's administrative assistant for business. “Our present system encourages some kids not to eat or not buy as much because they can't eat it in time. We're also finding a problem with line jumping and theft.”

        Instead of entering in two lines and going from station to station, students will be able to go directly to the area they are interested in — salads, hot lunches, sandwiches or other food specialty areas — and serve themselves.

        That frees up servers to become cashiers and to restock the food areas. Mr. Pennell said it also would allow the district to offer more variety.

        A report prepared by Jim Kuechenmeister, who oversees the food operations, said the new setup should reduce the time it takes students to go through the lines from a high of 14 minutes to fewer than eight.

        Before the plan was finalized school officials visited several schools, including Lakota and Oak Hills, to see how their operations worked, Mr. Pennell said.

        Also in the plans is the closing of the separate food line for teachers and the addition of a “mini-mart” that would contain ice cream, frozen yogurt, soft drinks, snacks and similar items.

        “The staff wanted more options,” Principal Monica Mitter said.

        That area would provide snacks for students or teachers involved in after-school activities that sometimes run into the evening, Mr. Pennell said. Lunch periods begin about 10:15 a.m. and are finished by 12:15 p.m.


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