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Easy Back-to-School Makeovers for Your Cafeteria

Fast-casual restaurant traffic has been growing over the past two years for teens ages 13-17, which is well ahead of school cafeteria traffic.¹ Bring the fun experiences, inviting ambiance and delicious food they get at fast-casual restaurants to school this year.

Here are four easy ideas you can implement now to capitalize on back-to-school excitement and set the tone—and eating habits—for a great year.

  • Host a back-to-school “launch party”
    Kick off the school year in style with a launch party that showcases the new ideas in your cafeteria. Offer samples of your new items, hand out Good Times Café stickers, play fun music and introduce your foodservice team to the students. With a back-to-school bash like this, kids will feel at home in your cafeteria and excited about what you have in store for the year.

  • Put “Get to Know You” cards out on your tables 
    Students will be excited to reconnect after returning from summer break, whether it’s sharing stories from their summer adventures or what they’re looking forward to for the year ahead. Make your cafeteria THE place to do this with “Get to Know You” cards asking these sorts of questions. No one will want to leave school to get food if they’re going to miss the back-to-school excitement happening in the cafeteria!

  • Use a menu board to ask a question of the day
    Display your question on a screen or make it old-school and use a menu board and chalk for even more fast-casual appeal. If you really want to go all-out, paint a wall of your cafeteria with chalkboard or whiteboard paint and use that to post your questions. Topics could range from trivia, to food-related questions, to holiday themes, or be personalized according to what’s going on in your school or community throughout the year.

  • Create an upbeat, energizing playlist  
    With so many songs at our finger tips via music-streaming services, it’s no wonder coffee shops and cafés have great sound tracks. Collaborate with school administrators on an upbeat—and school-appropriate—playlist to bring the good vibes to your cafeteria. You could even take monthly requests from students regarding songs they’d like to hear during meals. Or you could use our playlists—they’re ready-to-go and conveniently geared toward two different age groups.

Get free stickers to put on your back-to-school packaging from Good Times Café, your one-stop-shop for ideas, tips and free downloadable assets.

¹The NPD Group YE Dec ‘17