In order to increase participation in school meals Centennial School District’s Davis Elementary School revamped their cafeteria with more signage, advanced announcement (prior day) of the menu, promotions, a phone app, menu boards, new creative names for meals, taste tests, a Student Food Committee, and increased marketing.
While they are waiting on A frame signs that utilize dry erase markers they have already implemented traditional posters and hand painted signs that feature the full menu in large print as well as individual menu items. Raffles for small non-food prizes were conducted for students who participated in school meals. The Food Committee was used to test and rate potential menu items, make menu suggestions, and create signs. The group also provided the idea to announce the following day’s lunch at the end of the period.
Menu items were given creative names such as Dinosaur Broccoli Bites, Tasty Tree Tops, X-Ray Vision Carrots, Mellow Yellow Corn, Power Peas, etc. At the high school level descriptive words such as crunchy, crisp, tender, golden, fresh, homemade, etc. were used. As these techniques get rolled out into the other schools each elementary school will get its own menu day (e.g. Davis Personal Pizza Day). Some entrée names are Nemo Ham and Cheese, Texas Toast Grilled Cheese, Totchos Libre, etc. The students enjoy Mix Up Days with different chicken options (nuggets, tenders, popcorn, drummettes, etc.) or a cheese stick option.
Contact Person: Shannon Stone
Contact Person’s Title: Supervisor of Food and Nutrition
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (215) 441-6000
- The importance of marketing cannot be overstated.
Evidence of Success
- Participation had stagnated at 41% and after the changes consistently averaged 45-46%.