South Warren High School
Bowling Green, KY
When you find a winning recipe, don’t stop at one serving, keep cooking!
Kelly Holt, director of nutrition and dining services at Warren County Schools, has embraced this philosophy.
For more than 3 years, Holt has been integrating LTI products into his district’s cafeterias, most recently completing a project at South Warren High. For the undertaking, Holt’s vision was to infuse a captivating, dynamic design that added more personality and flair to the student dining experience while improving line functionality.
The school’s cafeteria line — named “In a Bowl” — draws inspiration from fast-casual restaurants, allowing students to choose from a base of rice, salad and more, and then top it off with a protein and an array of toppings including reduced sodium queso.
Although South Warren High possessed a high-quality food product and the brand recognition associated with “In a Bowl,” what remained lacking was a service line that could match the elevated standard staff aimed to deliver to students.
“We wanted to finish the look and needed the presentation to match the concept,” said Holt.
Collaborating with Joe Fussenegger at C&T Design and Neal Hix with Helix Solutions Group, the “In a Bowl” line was completely transformed to include a state-of-the-art counter equipped with LTI’s QuickSwitch™ technology, plus aesthetically pleasing fronts displaying vinyl graphics that emulate tile leaving stainless-steel exposed between the two layers of visuals.
Holt said the design completely exceeded his expectations.
“LTI took our vision and generated a digital design at the start. That solidified to me even more that we were going in the right direction. In the end, we walked away proud of what we created,” Holt said.
The contemporary design helped with the cafeteria’s traffic flow, making it more efficient and allowing more students to go through the line faster, giving them ample time to eat.
A more versatile menu
While streamlining line efficiency was a main goal for South Warren High, offering students a wide variety of food options was also a priority. With QuickSwitch technology, independently controlled wells can change temperatures in 60 minutes or less, giving personnel more autonomy over menu choices while adhering to strict food safety regulations.
Now, hot foods are served next to cold foods without students having to move to a different station. (Perfect for S. Warren High’s “In a Bowl” bar!) Additionally, utilizing the dry heat mode on the equipment helps utilize staff for more important tasks and makes for a safer serving line area.
“It’s a technology none of our other previous serving line companies had, which is a major difference. I appreciate the ease of operation. You don’t have to put a code in or turn a dial. It’s more exact, and I like that aspect,” said Holt.
Since the installation of the modern line design and LTI equipment, students at South Warren High have given great feedback and expressed general excitement. In fact, more students are eating in the cafeteria than before. Some students say the area gives off a college campus vibe.
“The line really helped with the perception that Warren Co. school food is good food. It’s quality food. The line and the design align with that in a way that connects with our customers — our students.”