The Importance of Cafeteria Layout
If you’re designing or remodeling a cafeteria or dining hall, you have a lot to consider. You may be crunched for space or need to share a multi-purpose space. Add in the changing tastes of students and evolving guidelines that are requiring more fresh foods, and cafeteria design requires a well thought-out strategy..
As you’re thinking about how to keep traffic flowing quickly and encourage healthy food choices, consider these tips:
- Put a la carte items at the end of the line, so students are more likely to choose a complete meal.
- Place a salad bar at the beginning of the line. Kids will be more likely to choose fruits and vegetables. Plus, letting students choose what they want can reduce waste. Offer soup and salad in the convenience of one cart to help round out the meal.
- Make good food attractive. Put some extra time into displays of fruits and vegetables, and add signs that indicate smart choices. Need ideas? Browse our extensive line of Merchandising and Display Solutions.
- Think convenience. Like most people, students tend to gravitate toward the easiest options. Fresh, healthy food can be just as accessible as a vending machine or fast food option. Consider self-serve display cases or heated shelf drop-ins to offer a true grab-n-go setup.
- Maximize efficiency by using flexible equipment. Whether you are back in the kitchen or out in the dining area, space is often at a premium. Being smart with your equipment choices can free up space for prepping and cooking and improve flow in serving and dining spaces. Hot/cold drop-ins allow you to change from a cold salad bar to a hot dinner buffet with the flip of a switch. Convertible Conveyor Toasters are perfect for bread and bagels during breakfast service and can also toast sandwiches and melt cheese for hot subs during lunch.
If your school’s budget allows it, a Vollrath custom serving line can be the ideal solution to your layout challenges.
If custom’s not for you, consider the next best thing: our Signature Server® or Affordable Portable® mobile serving equipment lines. These pieces are designed to work independently but can be paired with a simple connection method. And, like all Vollrath products, they have a durable design including heavy-duty casters for easy movement to reconfigure your layout or to clean, since you never know when a food fight might arise.
Want some visuals to help you get started? View our photo gallery of serving line projects.
About Michael Komendat
Mike is the Category Manager for the “Fabricator Components” and “Serving Equipment” product categories. In the 13 years that he has been with Vollrath, Mike has gained an extensive knowledge in Custom Serving Line Equipment project coordination. His expertise is put into action working directly with our District Sales Managers and customers to develop serving lines, mobile equipment, and layouts. Mike's undergraduate degree is in Business Administration with concentration in Marketing.