The Tippecanoe School Corp. (TSC) is a K-12 public school district located in central Indiana, approximately one hour north of Indianapolis. It operates two high schools, six middle schools and 11 elementary schools that serve approximately 12,500 students.
This past summer, the TSC’s William Henry Harrison High School planned to revamp its foodservice operations to better serve its 1,700 students.
As part of the project, the school’s food court service lines needed to be reconfigured to provide added flexibility, better speed of service, and enhanced merchandising opportunities.
Attractive and reliable refrigerated display solutions were needed for its expanding grab-and-go operations.
“I had already purchased Structural Concept’s displays for another one of our high schools and a middle school, so was familiar with the equipment and what it offered,” says Lori Shofroth, the TSC’s director of nutrition services.
Shofroth visited Structural Concepts’ manufacturing plant in search of accessible milk coolers for the school.
“I hate traditional milk coolers, so I asked if the company could provide open display cases for crates of milk,” Shofroth says. “I was shown the Oasis Refrigerated Self-Service Counter Milk Display Case, and it was perfect.”
To improve the serving line logistics and create merchandising appeal, Harrison High School implemented a total of nine Structural Concepts FSC and FSE grab-and-go refrigerated displays, including two double-sided units that backed up to two rounded island cases, three upright coolers and two Oasis Refrigerated Self-Service Counter Milk Display Cases.
“Now, each line has a big oasis island, so staff members can put out enough salads to last through the entire lunch hour, rather than constantly refilling the cases,” Shofroth says. “This is a big deal.”
The refrigerated display cases also helped increase Harrison’s school lunch participation from 56 to 60 percent.
“A la carte sales also are up about 4 percent, which has to do with the additional product we’re able to sell in these cases,” Shofroth says.
Like Harrison High, Klondike Middle School’s serving lines also were being reconfigured to better serve its 455 students. The goal for this project was to adapt the high school concept used at Harrison to the middle school level.
To change up the food program’s format and improve the flow of the service lines in a limited amount of space, Klondike Middle School needed to replace its upright drink coolers and find an alternative to staff handing out salads and boxed lunches.
Along with two Oasis Refrigerated Self-Service Counter Milk Display Cases, the school incorporated two Structural Concepts FSC and FSE grab-and-go cases to help expand its menu offerings and lunch program participation.
As a result of the redesign, Klondike’s lunch participation this year is at almost 73 percent, increasing to an average of 330 a day, compared with 295 in 2013.
“At Klondike’s open house over the summer, the kids were so excited and impressed with the change, commenting that they felt like they were eating at the mall,” Shofroth says. “It’s all due to the display case presentation.”
With the grab-and-go cases, the school can display a wider array of products, including baskets of fruits and vegetables, boxed lunches and salads.
“Kids can pick up these items and bypass the serving line, which has really increased speed of service,” Shofroth says. “Plus, from a merchandising perspective, the displays really pop.”
The display case designs also provide enough room for the two serving lines.
With the opening of a new intermediate school next year, the TSC will have 20 schools with foodservice programs accommodating about 13,000 students. Plans are already underway to add refrigerated display cases at both Battle Ground and Southwestern Middle Schools.
“Most impressive was that, after incorporating the grab-and-go cases at McCutcheon High School, salad sales increased from 25 up to 100 a day,” Shofroth says. “Any time we change any of our service lines, I will definitely be going with Structural Concepts’ display cases.”