Sodexo, the food provider for SCV35 schools recently held the grand opening of Taste 4, a retail style cafeteria located inside Rio Rico High School. The cafeteria makeover is a result of efforts by SCV35’s food provider to improve school lunches across the U.S. The company conducted focus groups with students all over the U.S. regarding the question on the minds of millions of parents and schools everywhere. What do kids want to eat?
Families can understand the challenges of deciding and preparing meals daily for children. Parents and schools alike want to provide healthy and tasty food. Let’s face it, kids can be picky and healthy can sometimes be tricky.
Although a very big undertaking, Sodexo was determined to win the stomachs of students everywhere. After polling students across the nation, two factors simmered to the top of the list, students wanted more flavor and more options. With that in mind, Sodexo approached the district about revamping the food program.
When approached about the change, SCV35 Business Manager Isela Brown agreed and asked the company to go one-step further. She wanted to see the cafeteria transformed into a more modern style with a retail feel. “Many times we eat with our eyes,” said Ms. Brown. She wanted students to be excited about the food changes as well as the presentation. She wanted to exceed the student expectations of cafeteria food. Kendal Zuniga Sodexo Senior Marketing Director agreed with Ms. Brown saying, “Generations of students are different in their expectations for not only food, but presentation.”
The new combination of style and food resulted in the grand opening of Taste 4. The new menu has four options, one of which is a weekly rotating option. Street tacos, chicken dishes, and Asian cuisine are just a few examples of the rotating food items. In addition to the new menu is a rotating flavor station. Flavors like sriracha and garlic parmesan were added to compliment the menu while adding flavor in a healthy way. The daily options include fresh, made to order deli sandwiches, spicy chicken sandwiches, pizza, burgers, fresh fruit and fresh flavored water.
Students were pleased at the grand opening, as was obvious by the food line that wound around the cafeteria. Students were asked what they thought about the new menu, sophomore Benjamin Gonzales said it was “good, (an) improvement of food choices.” Yesena Michel, who was surveyed while eating her Asian bowl, said it “looks more appetizing. (It) looks cooler.”
Of course, none of this could have been possible if it were not for the local Sodexo team who cares and serves RRHS students daily. Rachel Carroll, Sodexo Food Service Director for SCV35 said the company “has made changes to 29 school programs, and RRHS Sodexo team helped make this the smoothest.” SCV35 wishes to thank Sodexo for their dedication to our students.