Concessions transformed into new coffee bar

Max Beitzel and Emily Pavlik

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As South students walked through the hallways during the third week of the school year, they discovered that their old concession stand had been turned into a coffee bar. Next to the dome, four new tables stood their ground, and multiple new items, including coffee, had been added to the menu.

Casey Wright, associate principal of administrative services, said that he initiated discussions of what to do with the concession area with various administrators and representatives of Quest, South’s food service provider. Previously, the area served as just a concession stand, operating during indoor sporting events and directly after school, according to concession worker Marina Ayala. They collectively came up with the idea to turn South’s concession stand into a coffee bar, according to Wright.

“We thought that [both South and Quest] could benefit from expanding the hours and the choices within that space,” Wright said. “We saw it as a neutral benefit to work together, to staff it with [Ayala], and then to open it up for additional hours.”

Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel said the coffee bar coming to South was a valuable addition to the school for various reasons. The new tables gave students more options of where to sit, especially because the location of the coffee bar was already a popular area, Fagel said.

“I think the idea [came from the fact that Quest is] obviously looking to increase sales,” Fagel said. “[As] the administration we were just like, ‘If it’s fun for students then that’s great.’ Our big thing was we just didn’t want prices to be too high.”

Fagel thought having a coffee bar at school was a significant switch from students not drinking coffee at all to students making daily trips to Starbucks or the coffee bar. She agrees with Wright and Quest in that the coffee bar is an excellent addition to the school.

Brian Murdy, plant operations supervisor, said that the Plant Operations Team also took part in completing the transition from concessions to coffee bar with minor construction.

“We added an electric outlet and a drain for the new coffee machine, a couple more outlets for a cooler and some other equipment, cleared the walls and painted them, replaced ceiling tiles, and adjusted the door,” Murdy said.

Most of the complaints about the new addition are about the prices being too high; however, Quest is ultimately in charge of the cost. In order to receive more customers, the coffee bar should look into advertising more, according to freshman Belle Foster.

“[The coffee bar] could be a bit more advertised,” Foster said. “[The busiest times are] probably after school, or maybe 10 minutes before school starts because kids like to get their coffee before they go to class.”

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