Coral Shores High School
Monroe County School District, Key West, FL
In the tropical setting of Key West, Florida, Effie Jackson, director of food services for Monroe County School District, set out to improve the school cafeteria experience. Partnering with the seasoned professionals at LTI and Eaton Marketing, her aim was to revamp outdated lunchrooms, crafting functional and captivating environments that would better engage and inspire students and their food choices.
Monroe County School’s collaboration with LTI initially began with a focus on a charter school and eventually expanded to other schools within the district. Jackson recognized the need for a more contemporary cafeteria setting, resembling popular dining establishments, to generate excitement and appreciation for the meal options offered. Her vision centered on redesigning service lines, menus and overall dining ambiance to create an engaging and appealing experience for students.
“We just started this whole beautification process. We were talking about revamping our menu and doing some more trendy food, and with that came redoing our service lines. They were really outdated at our schools,” said Jackson.
Plans put into action
Jackson and the Monroe County School District implemented a series of strategic measures to overhaul their cafeteria services. They collaborated with LTI and George Van Riper at Eaton Marketing to modernize the service lines, ensuring a more efficient lunch service that improved accessibility and enhanced the overall dining experience for students. Additionally, they prioritized the aesthetics of the cafeteria space, utilizing LTI’s expertise to create visually appealing serving lines that highlighted new food items and contributed to a more enjoyable dining atmosphere.
During the design and installation process for Coral Shores High School, Jackson appreciated the effective communication and collaboration, underscoring LTI’s patience, accommodation and outstanding customer service, leading to a seamless and successful partnership between the two organizations.
Jackson stated, “LTI’s patience and accommodation were exceptional. Despite multiple stakeholders and our constant requests, working with them was effortless. Their suggestions, combined with Eaton Marketing’s input, perfectly captured our vision. Every element we desired was incorporated. They addressed the challenges at each school, delivering customer service that exceeded expectations.”
Jackson and the Monroe County School District’s collaboration with LTI, Eaton Marketing and Milo Food Service Equipment improved student engagement, provided the students with better meal access and created a more appealing cafeteria environment at Coral Shores High School.
“Each individual school now has better access to the meals we’re trying to provide. Before, we had outdated equipment and couldn’t put out the items we wanted. The equipment that was in place was not the right height and access points for the age groups. All those things that were problematic that slowed up the line have been eliminated. Now the kids can make the choices themselves which makes it go quicker,” said Jackson.
Monroe County indicated an interest in undertaking future projects with LTI to further enhance the dining experience within the district. Those plans include:
- Identifying other schools in need of cafeteria service line updates and proposing the use of LTI’s services.
- Exploring menu revamping and introducing trendy food items to cater to evolving student preferences.
- Implementing new seating arrangements to create a more dynamic and inviting lunchtime atmosphere.
- Continuing to prioritize aesthetics and design in cafeteria spaces to sustain student excitement and appreciation of meal options.
- Applying additional initiatives, such as graphic wraps on pass-throughs and the creation of a salad bar.
Jackson’s collaboration with LTI has led to a significant transformation at Coral Shores High School’s cafeteria services. By prioritizing aesthetics, efficient service lines and student engagement, she has successfully created a modern and engaging dining experience for students.
“The kids are excited about it! Seeing them taking selfies of themselves with the service lines in the background makes us feel good,” said Jackson. “Everybody likes new things. Interestingly, on the instructional side, a lot of the teachers and admins say that the new serving lines have helped behavior issues.”
Jackson’s commitment to enhancing the cafeteria environment aligns with the district’s goal of promoting student well-being and fostering a positive school environment. With the continued support of LTI, she and the district are well-positioned to achieve their future objectives of creating an even more dynamic and student-centric cafeteria experience.