Cafeteria Revamps to Please Students and Faculty


Fifth grade student explores the new options in the soup bar.

Due to recent changes in the cafeteria, Hockaday students and faculty are sliding their trays down the lunch line more slowly, spending more time at the salad bar, and making more nutritious meal choices. Hockaday food services director Torie Reynolds and her staff wanted to start this year off with a goal: providing more nutritious and delicious options for students.

“We want you all to be happy and healthy,” says Reynolds of the new changes in the cafeteria.

Reynolds knows what girls need out of a lunch. She and her team are reaching their nutritional goals for lunch by making more homemade meals, as 95 percent of what the kitchen staff makes is now from scratch.

Always pursuing further knowledge of what students like, dislike, and wish to request for lunch, Reynolds has experimented with many different options during her tenure at Hockaday.

Thus far, students and faculty throughout the school enjoy the various, new options presented at lunch. New Upper School math teacher Andrew Brown, a fan of the soup bar, believes that the cafeteria staff has succeeded in making lunch nutritious while maintaining tasty favorites such as red velvet cake and bread sticks. Coming  to Hockaday from W.T. White High School, a public school in Dallas, Brown plainly states that Hockaday food “is about 1000 times better” than that of his former school.

Sixth grade student Grace also utilizes the new options in the cafeteria, especially the daily soup and sandwich bar. Grace is excited that, not only has the cafeteria staff added more options, it has also made gathering lunch items more user friendly.

“I like how the soup bar tells you what soup it is,” Grace says on the labels above each option on the soup bar.

Fulfilling another of Reynolds’s goals, the soup bar provides more options for all students, including vegetarians.

While the new changes in the cafeteria mean more options, the cafeteria can sometimes be hard to navigate quickly with so many decisions to make. As many students and faculty have less than 20 minutes to eat lunch, making the most nutritious choices while in the lunch line must be a speedy process. Thus, Reynolds and her team have worked to extend the changes beyond the cafeteria into the online posting system of the lunch menu on First Class. In addition to a more visually appealing layout, the menu now includes colored daisies next to entrees, salads and soups to indicate which foods to indulge in, which to eat small portions of and which to eat in moderation.

Many fourth graders find the new menu beneficial, including Kaylin, who believes the guiding daisies on the menu are helpful for her and her peers, who used to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals at lunch. However, others, such as fourth graders Isabel and Caylee, find the daisies challenging to locate and their terminology confusing.

Yet constructive criticisms like these are exactly what Reynolds wants to hear. To continue providing the Hockaday community with options they enjoy, she urges students and faculty to use the Let’s Eat menu suggestions folder on First Class email.

Reynolds is excited about the changes that have been made and is eager to hear suggestions to better cater to the needs and desires of the Hockaday community, with one condition of course:  “Keep in mind that we’re feeding 1300 people—no sushi!” Reynolds laughs.