Four Reasons Why Students Dislike the Cafeteria in 2022

October 28, 2022

Since COVID and Hurricane Ida hit Cresskill, things have been very different for CHS students. After two and a half years, Cresskill students finally stepped foot in their very own building again. It has been over two and a half years since the students of Cresskill High School have eaten the old cafeteria options, and they still continue to think about the past. The old cafeteria’s food and system were great, but many things have changed, and there are many things to dislike about the new cafeteria. Cresskill students were asked what they don’t like about the new cafeteria, and here are the top five reasons why the recent cafeteria food/system is so much worse than it used to be back in 2020.


The Lines Are Too Long

One of the main reasons why people dislike the CHS cafeteria is because the lines are way too long. Since 2020, the cafeteria system has really changed, and it takes much longer for students to get food than it used to. While a few years back, there were two lines to pay for your food, now there is only one checkout line. With only one line, students now have to spend more time waiting to pay for their food than actually getting to eat food during their lunch periods. Not only that, but another thing that holds up the lines is the fact that the cafeteria has little to no change in the cash register. Because of this, the cashier has to go into his office to go get change, and students have to wait even longer to be able to go eat. Aya Catran, a CHS 9th grader said, “One thing that I really dislike about the cafeteria this year is that the lines are too long to buy lunch. Not only for the cafeteria but also for the food trucks.” That’s right; the food truck lines also take up most students’ lunchtime. Students from multiple different grades have expressed that they have spent up to fifteen minutes waiting in the food truck lines! That’s almost half of a CHS student’s lunch period. This is a problem that needs to be fixed: students should be able to buy lunch in school without having to waste half of the period waiting in line.


No Variety In Lunch Foods

Another huge thing that the students of CHS/CMS dislike about the cafeteria is the lack of variety and rotation of food options. Students constantly complain that it is the same thing every day, and they are getting sick of it. In 2020, there would be a variety of hot lunch options that would rotate every day. There would be different varieties of pasta every day, pizza bagels, waffle fries, mac and cheese, and more. Now the only hot lunch offered is pre-bought pizza from Ray’s, chicken nuggets, and if you want anything else, you have the option of buying cold sandwiches or salads. And keep in mind these options never change. It is the same thing every day. Emmi Chong, a 9th grader, said, “The cafeteria doesn’t have a good variety of food, and the food is not even that good. They don’t even sell hot lunches except for the pizza and the food trucks. And the food trucks don’t even change like we were told they would.” If students are complaining about this then it is a problem that needs to be solved! 

The cafeteria also has a low variety of snacks compared to the snacks in 2020. There used to be freshly-baked cookies, many different types of ice cream, chips of many different flavors, candy, different kinds of fruits and much more. When students look to buy snacks now the options brought to them are apples, a few different types of chips, fruit snacks, muffins, and Rice Krispie Treats. While there are still a few good options, students complain that the snacks now are nothing compared to the snacks from 2020.


The Snack Stand is gone

Going back to the topic of snacks in the cafeteria, the snack bar from 2020 has not come back this year and students are not happy. This not only affects the variety of snacks but also affects the lines. Since there is no physical snack-bar today, the only other place to buy snacks from is the place where you buy your food from. Because of this, there is no separate line to buy snacks, and even the people who want to buy just something small have to wait the whole entire line behind those who are buying full lunches.  But in 2020, with there being a physical snack stand there was a separate line to buy snacks and both the lunch line and snack line ended up being shorter, saving many students’ time. The Cresskill snack stand was something that many students looked forward to during their lunch periods and that its absence is clearly affecting the student’s this year. A CMS 8th grader said “ I didn’t get to be in the building for my first two years of middle school but I heard that the cookies and snacks were good so I was looking forward to that. I hope that it’ll come back.” I asked another CHS 9th grade student how they felt about the cafeteria this year and they said “I miss the snack bar and the cookies.” So it is clear to see that the snack bar was a big hit when it was here and it should most definitely be brought back.


Lack Of Staff Working in the Cafeteria

Unlike in 2020 there are not many staff running the cafeteria. There is one lady serving the

food and there is one man working the one register that is opened. A lack of staff has been proved to directly affect the length of the lines as said in reasoning paragraph number 1. But beside that, not only does having few staff affect the students and service, but it has also directly affected the few staff that there are working. Think about this. There is two of them and around 100 students in each lunch period. Of course not all students use the cafeteria but it is still a lot especially having to be there for three periods straight without a break. It can be so overwhelming being the only cashier, having to count change constantly for students, and having huge crowds of students around you because there is only one line. Unlike right now, in 2020 as I said before, there were two checkout lines and multiple staff. This made everything run smoother and the staff had less on their hands, it was 100% less stressful for them when having more people working the cafeteria and it was 100% better for the students as well when there was more staff.


It is understandable why all of these problems are occurring after all that the school has been through such as Covid and hurricane Ida but these are problems that should be worked on as soon as possible to be fixed. These problems affect many people including staff and students and some are just not happy with the service at the cafeteria this year. The reasons why students dislike the cafeteria such as the lines are too long, there is no variety or hot food served, and the fact that there is a lack of staff, should not be problems but they are, so there needs to be a change.

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