Cafe Cachet


High top tables, booths, round tables, charging stations; all of these things will be coming to campus this summer. The cafeteria, which has had the same set-up and traditional cafeteria-type tables since the school was built as Central Middle School, was selected for a complete reconstruction and remodel; with the goal of making the lunch room more modern, more comfortable, and more appealing to students.

Recently named “The West Wing” in reference to the presidential elections that happened this past year, the new cafeteria will be “The West Wing” of West Shore in the hopes that it will attract more students and in turn bring more revenue.

“As you probably are aware, our cafeteria does not make a whole lot of money,” principal Rick Fleming said. “All the cafeterias in Brevard County are self-supporting, meaning that whatever food items they sell simply go to cover their labor costs. That’s why lunches are relatively cheap, in compared to the food court at the Melbourne Square Mall where you’re going to pay a minimum of eight or nine dollars for a lunch. In our cafeteria you’re paying three bucks for a lunch so they can keep the prices down to cover their labor costs.”

A committee of various students, juniors Jared Hayes and Shelby McKeever, sophomores Lydia Howald and Sky Morgan, and freshman Abdullah Shahzad, was formed to voice their opinions on the proposed remodel.

“Four other students, the district nutritionist, architect, and I discussed how the cafeteria could encourage students to buy food,” junior Jared Hayes said. “So far we determined that the cafeteria needs to be a more inviting place that is both efficient and cost effective.”

Learning-environment specialist Cindy Wessel took their suggestions into consideration and came back to the next meeting with blueprints, pictures, color swatches and plans for both the administrators and students to approve.

A more modern and collegiate style cafeteria was decided on, with multiple sections of different seating options. There will be booths, high tops, round tables and even a printing section so that those who go to the media center during power hour to print homework assignments will have equal opportunity right in the lunchroom. There will still be three lunch lines but will be designed like those of a food court.

Even though the layout of the cafeteria is changing, the food selection will remain the same. Instead, widescreen TVs will be placed in each lunch line to showcase present and future lunch options.

“It’s kind of disappointing that I’m a senior and they are redesigning the cafeteria right after I leave West Shore,” senior Alicia Handley said. “But I think it’s a waste to spend copious amounts of money on modernizing it in hopes of making more money when the only problem is with the food they serve.”

In addition to the layout of the cafeteria changing, a new policy is being considered in which cell phones will be allowed during power hour starting next year, accommodated by charging stations lining both the north and south walls in the cafeteria; a place where students can charge their phones, laptops, iPads, or any other form of technology while being able to eat lunch simultaneously.

“I feel like if we had an allowed time to use our phones we are less likely to want to sneak a text during class,” freshman Lindsey Hoffower said. “Personally this would change my cell phone habits in class. I would just wait until Power Hour to use my phone rather than in class. I would use my phone mostly for schoolwork and sometimes for other purposes.”

If the goal of the new cafeteria does not succeed and not enough money is made to support labor costs, those employed will not be at risk.

“No [jobs won’t be lost]. Even if they were, it would be in Brevard County cafeterias as a whole,” Fleming said. “For example, at Bayside where there are nine employees, they might lose one because we didn’t make a profit. So they just shift the burden of profit to another school, which is sad for us. I mean I wish more students would buy lunch but we have a lot of helicopter moms who would rather make their kids lunch instead of eat in the cafeteria.”

Sophomore Lauren Novak is hopeful for what the new renovations will bring to the school community.

“I am super excited about the new renovations. I hope it will bring more people to the cafeteria, and in turn, bring more revenue to the cafeteria,” Novak said. “I usually buy my lunch anyway, but I will probably be a little more encouraged to go in and buy a snack every once in a while. Either way I enjoy talking to the cafeteria staff and trying to brighten their day.”

By Hope Dougherty