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The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Village School’s Cafeteria Staff has a lot on their Plate

An image of the Village School cafeteria, photographed by Ella Nguyen.

Are you one among the many students who get meals from The Village School cafeteria? If so, do you ever think about who makes those meals from morning to evening? The Village School cafeteria staff is on top of everything! They serve a large variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for both residential and day students. We students are so focused on our tests and papers we often fail  to consider who else has to work hard so we can have the energy to keep going during our days. So, it’s time we spotlight the cafeteria staff! 

Comparing what students know about the cafeteria staff and what the staff actually does provides the real realities of just how little the student body is aware of. “I know the staff’s names, I like to speak to them,” said senior Devon Stevenson when asked about his awareness of the staff. Knowing the staff on a surface level, Stevenson makes interactions with them on the daily, but doesn’t know much about what they actually do, besides cooking and serving meals. This is a fair assumption, but it doesn’t say just how much work the staff actually has to do every day. Cooking and serving aren’t the only steps in their jobs. “I don’t know,” said senior Steve Sciba after being asked about his knowledge of the cafeteria staff. “All I know is that they serve food.” But they do more than that. 

“Here is a general outline of what a day would look like: Preparation and setup, menu planning and briefing, cooking and food preparation, quality control and taste testing, service preparation, service period, cleaning and maintenance, and review and planning for the next day,” said Kevin Jenkins, the Director of Dining Services at The Village School. Putting into mind the fact that the Village School is international and has students from all over the world can really make this a challenge. From nut allergies to the restricted diet of vegetarians, the staff has their work cut out for them. On top of just designing a menu, they actually have to execute it and clean up after serving. “Staff are scheduled to come into work at 6 am every morning. Production for lunch usually takes 5 to 6 hours, depending on the menu items,” said Jenkins. “There are times when production needs to start the night before.” 

Students, especially in high school, have schedules packed with assignments and classes from morning to the night, but the cafeteria staff have to work five to six hours every single day for just one meal! Can you imagine the workload with breakfast and dinner on top of that? With such a busy job, you could say that they have quite the “full plate.”

When it comes down to it, the job of the cafeteria staff is a large part of student success. A large portion of Village School attendees, including teachers, order lunch from the cafeteria, whether they forget their own at home, or simply don’t have the time to make it themselves. Students and faculty both require the nutrients to continue throughout the day, and it can be difficult to set aside time to assemble a well-balanced meal. “I wish students knew that the staff members are genuinely passionate about their success and wellbeing,” said Jenkins. “Each staff member, whether a Chef, cook, cashier or dishwasher, plays a crucial role in creating a positive and supportive environment for students.” 

Keeping all of this in mind, it can be concluded that the work of Village’s cafeteria staff is not only difficult, but essential to student’s health, productivity, and thus education. So, next time you buy a meal from the cafeteria, don’t forget to thank the staff for all the work they do to provide you with that meal!

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About the Contributor
Ella Nguyen
Ella Nguyen, Writer
Ella Nguyen is a freshman writer who enjoys playing board games, drawing, and spending time with others. She joined Viking Media to exercise her love for writing and learn more about the world and others. Outside of her daily tasks, she is often found playing games and exploring different arts in the company of her family and friends.

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