East Lake High School
Tarpon Springs, FL
A busy school cafeteria was trying to serve thousands of students in a short period of time with broken, inefficient and inadequate serving line equipment.
That’s when LTI stepped in and, over the course of one weekend, transformed the space with new serving lines, improved technology and enhanced décor — all creating a more functional, more appealing and more profitable space.
East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, FL, is home to about 2,000 students. Its cafeteria also serves an additional 900 students from a neighboring middle school.
A 45-minute lunch period for each school meant the serving lines needed to function efficiently in order to get students through the line with time left to eat. Unfortunately, at the time LTI began work on the project, about half of the serving equipment was inefficient or not working.
The servery had adequate space to expand and improve its operations without altering the physical space, so LTI recommended additional serving lines as well as some equipment to expand serving vertically onto temperature-controlled shelves.
LTI installers arrived on a Friday afternoon, as soon as the staff finished cleaning up from the day’s meals, and got to work removing the existing counters.
On Saturday morning, a four-person team unloaded 160 feet of new serving counters into the serving area and began the installation and connection processes. New paint and signs began going up.
By Sunday, all that remained was equipment testing and clean-up.
“It worked as an awesome parade,” said Bob Saraceno of Eaton Marketing, who worked on the project alongside the LTI team.
When students returned to school Monday, they were met with a brand new, highly functional cafeteria.
Décor updates included tapping into the school colors and Eagles mascot to freshen up and modernize the previously generic environment. New signage promoted food stations, including a new salad bar and an increase in a la carte options.
By growing from four serving lines to six and adding vertical shelves featuring QuickSwitch Ceran glass, the cafeteria was able to double its serving capacity and to go from feeding 285 students at lunch to serving more than 850.
The new second tier, with its modern appearance and attractive lighting, improved merchandising of prepackaged cold food items or a la carte options like sandwiches and pizza, which boosted sales.
A modified traffic flow improved efficiency, and the arrangement also reduced theft by eliminating dead space and positioning employees evenly throughout the serving line.
“It was a wonderful transformation — for the students, for the workers, for the school. And I was still home in time to catch the football game on Sunday,” Saraceno said.
Learn more about how LTI can revolutionize a cafeteria in just a few days at lowtempind.com/k12.
Manufacturer’s Rep Group: Eaton Marketing