Are you a fan of the reality home remodeling shows? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a School Cafeteria “Fixer Upper” show? Do you wish you could “love it or list it" with your school cafeteria?

You work hard to serve fresh, tasty meals. You look for ways to add excitement to your meal programs. Are you ready for something new? A cafeteria makeover may do wonders for your meal programs.  The Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors Fresh Eyes Experience can give your program ideas and a fresh new perspective for your cafeteria and service line. Sometimes, a new perspective can help identify quick and easy ways to jazz up the eating experience in your school – and may boost meal program participation as well.

The TV remodeling shows’ successes depend on getting the right décor and environment for the home owner. This is also true for school nutrition directors. Brainstorm ideas with students, staff and the principal. This will insure that students and staff will have buy-in and will be excited to see the results -- which may lead to better meal participation. School cafeterias provide space for educational programs, social events and meetings. Involving stakeholders from these areas in remodeling plans may provide some additional insight (and possibly funding) for renovations.

Lighting can highlight healthy choices.

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Just like on the home remodeling shows, there are many budget-conscious options to consider. Instead of a full-scale remodel, you may just need to refresh your space. Would a new coat of paint, refinished floors and updated pictures or posters brighten up your space? Check out service area and cafeteria ceiling tiles and vents, too. Contact your building and grounds/maintenance department to discuss district painting and flooring schedules, duct cleaning and ceiling tile replacements. Partner with the district art department (or even an artist in residence program) to paint a colorful mural. Add a pop of color with decorative trim, borders and accent walls in school colors. Take a good look at the lighting over your service line and in the eating areas. Can you go beyond the institutional florescent lighting and warm up the space with new LED lighting or even new fixture covers?

Rearranging the furniture for functionality is a key change on the love it or list programs; use this technique in your space as well. Revisit the customer flow. Not just tray pick up or service, but also condiment stations and tray return. Moving trash receptacle, adding organizations bins and repositioning free-standing equipment are all low cost considerations. Seating options are another renovation area that can really make a difference. If you have moveable seating booths and tables, consider grouping seatings for functionality and accommodating student social needs.

Moving service items and adding color helps promote your meals.

Finally, responsible house remodeling includes financial planning and meeting regulations and rules. Equipment replacement planning, new signage and menu boards provide for long term improvements and may be accomplished through planning and possible equipment grants. The Fresh Eyes assessment will pay attention to these areas and provide additional advice and suggestions for success. If you are looking for advice to help your food service program, Pro•Team’s foodservice experts are here to help. For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Visit our website at