Monday, November 18, 2013

7 Ways to Create a Cool Cafeteria

Most of us have grown up eating breakfast and lunch in cafeterias, and most of us would probably agree that its not the most glamorous experience out there. From elementary to high school, college and even work, most cafeterias get the reputation of being associated with cliques, sloppy food, dirty tables, and hairnets. Given the choice, most people typically opt for lunch at the desk or in the break room rather than in the cafeteria just to avoid all the negative associations. But why should things have to stay that way? There are plenty of great ways to improve a lunch experience by improving a cafeteria. In both work and school environments, a little effort can go a long way, bringing people together and helping everyone stay healthy! Here's a few tips that address how:

Good Food

Healthy Cafeteria Food

First and foremost, cafeterias are for eating. While local governments and parent organizations all over the country have been cracking down on schools that don't offer enough healthy options for their kids, most of the cafeterias in America still don't serve the right foods. Whether a person is a child in school or an employee working in an office, healthy, energizing food is essential to staying full and focused if you want to get the job done. When designing or petitioning a cafeteria for your workplace, try to include healthy foods in your list of things that should either be incorporated or changed. If it helps, try giving suggestions. Few people know that frozen vegetables are often more healthy than canned or even fresh vegetables at a grocery store. Foods that are high in protein, such as eggs, yogurt, and nuts promote brain function and focus. Don't forget to add a condiments area for the brown baggers. Cafeterias that provide smart food options can help anyone who eats there as and improve the school or business as a whole!

Variety

Cafeteria with Variety

Variety is key when it comes to proper nutrition. Without varied foods, our bodies would never get all the nutrients we need to survive. When designing your cafeteria, make sure there are policies in place that emphasize the importance of food variations. Design menus that incorporate healthy foods from all the food groups, and be sure to offer options for vegetarians and vegans that may not feel comfortable eating the foods in a cafeteria environment. Also, be sure to provide nutritional information for all the foods that are served. It may sound like a lot of work, but this promotes a sense of trust between the patron and the cafeteria that is essential to any work or school environment.

Natural Lighting


Naturally Lit Cafeteria


Choosing efficient natural over artificial lighting works wonders on the psychological mind. Studies have shown that when people are exposed abundant natural lighting, they feel better, more energized, and even healthier. Since cafeterias are the places where most people go to eat lunch and reenergize, adding natural lighting can be a great asset. It can improve both the psychological and physical health of students and employees as well as better their moods. Providing patrons with a place to unwind and take a brief break is extremely important for the health of a workplace. Why not shed some light on the matter?

Modern Style


Modern Cafeteria

When designing or reworking a cafeteria, its important to keep modern design in mind. Choosing stylish tables for cafeteria use and cool chairs for training room use to sit on, and making sure they have plenty of cutting edge appeal can really enhance the look of your school or workplace. Instead of shying away, both employees, students, and guests alike will flock to the cafeteria to partake of the yummy food. Modern style also has a psychological effect on those who are around it. In a both school and work environments, stylish cafeterias provide a change of venue that is often much needed after several hours of work and study. Don't miss out on all these great benefits if you don't have to!

Social Layout


Social Lunchroom

It doesn't matter if a cafeteria is in a school or an office building. If it doesn't have a social aspect, it just isn't really a cafeteria. Keeping a social layout in a lunch room is very important. It allows both students and employees the opportunity to discuss work, current events, upcoming exams, and that new Youtube video everybody keeps talking about. Because cafeterias are typically only in places where lots of people congregate, they are perhaps one of the greatest opportunities to promote workplace communication and teamwork.

Improve Communication

Improve Communication

Cheerleaders, jocks, nerds, band geeks, and drama club? Even years after high school ends it certainly can seem like the cliques that existed then are still in full force when people enter cafeterias. Cafeterias are breeding grounds for social hierarchy, but they are also wonderful places to promote communication and teamwork. With the addition of presentation boards for information, cafeterias become excellent places to notify everyone about what's going on at the establishment. Additionally, when designing your cafeteria, take a queue from King Arthur and feature folding tables for cafeteria use that have round tops to promote equality!

Keep it Clean

Clean up

Cleanliness is extremely important in both school and office environments. Not only can cleanliness improve the look of a place, but it also helps to keep everyone in it healthy and happy. Unfortunately, cafeterias are terrible breeding grounds for bacteria. With all the dropped and uneaten food festering in the corners, they can easily start to smell and fester too if they aren't properly cared for. That's why cleaning is so important. If you can't afford a janitorial service, put a schedule on the wall that assigns anyone who uses the cafeteria a different cleaning job such as washing tables, sweeping, or mopping the floor when everyone is done. This strategy had proven effective in both schools and business environments. In fact, most schools in Japan have adopted this strategy since kids often eat in their classrooms. It enforces a sense of responsibility and community among everyone involved.

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