A Change in the Lunch Menu


Recently Mr. Reitz, Redbank Valley High School’s Food Service Manager, has changed the school menu to provide students four options daily:  pizza, hamburger, salad, and one other daily rotating entree. According to Mr. Reitz the four choice option is better  “…because we now have four choices verses just two, and we always have one that rotates.” He made this change because most people like pizza, salad, or hamburgers. These foods are also easy to make every day on a large scale and can easily be self-served.

Have students responded positively to this menu change? The Bark decided to conduct a survey of RVHS students to see how students feel about the new menu format. Out of 172 responses, 8.9% do not eat the cafeteria food regularly, leaving 169 relevant responders.  Of the 169 cafeteria food eaters, 46.8% of the students don’t like the new menu change, while 53.2% of students do like the change.  Of the students surveyed, there is no definitive opinion about the menu change. About half the students are in favor; the other half are not.

Students who were opposed to the menu change shared the following comments:

“You have the same options everyday, and I get tired of eating pizza or hamburger each day because I don’t want the other choice.”

“When you eat hamburger, salad, or pizza multiple times a week, it starts to get disgusting.”

“I don’t like it because if you don’t like the one choice two days in a row, then you are stuck eating the alternative every day.”


Students who were in favor of the menu change shared the following comments:

“If I don’t like the option they are serving today, then I can always eat the options that are there every day.”

“ I like the change because you can eat pizza, salad, or a hamburger if you don’t like the choice that changes daily. In the past, I have had to pack my lunch when I didn’t like either of the options. I don’t have to pack at all now that there is always an option I like.”

“I find the change to be beneficial because it offers a basic constant to students who don’t like the other option, rather than provide two choices that people simply don’t like.”

A few of our survey questions focused on the three choices offered each day: hamburger, pizza, and salad. When we asked if they eat the regular choice of hamburger, pizza, and salad, 87% of the students answered yes and 13% of the students said no. These percentages prove that students overwhelmingly prefer the three choice option.  From these students, 63.2% eat the same choice every day and 36.8% alternate between them. These statistics, however, could cause a nutritional concern. It is a generally accepted fact that eating the same food daily is not healthy. Nutrients come from different foods and a diet with variety is better.  

Overall, students prefer having four choices. However, the choices that stay the same could alternate each month. For example, we could have a club sandwich, ham and cheese bagel, or a calzone, instead of the hamburger, salad and pizza. Perhaps this is the only suggestion we could possibly offer considering the results of the survey. Thank you, Mr. Reitz, for making our cafeteria better and better.