A school’s breakfast success can be determined by three factors: convenience, selection and budget. When using Cambro’s Flex Station, school foodservice operators are able to accomplish all three goals with just one product. Every school wants to increase their breakfast participation, and one school district in Oklahoma was able to more than double their numbers with the help of Cambro’s Flex Station.
When students at Oklahoma City Public Schools complained about the monotony of their cafeteria line, foodservice operators started looking for something to diversify their offers and keep their interest in participating. Operators discovered Cambro’s Flex Station had the ability to give students the freedom to eat, socialize and make it to class on time.
“We are able to place the Flex Stations in different areas throughout the school. [Students] can just come into school, it’s right there by the main entrances, and they take [breakfast] to class or the cafeteria…or hang out with their friends before the bell rings,” said Angelica Martinez, Nutrition Specialist with OCPS. “They can take it to the classroom and even put it in their backpack as a snack for later because some students might not be hungry right when they get to school.”
OCPS has three schools with two Flex Stations each. Martinez says before the Flex Stations, they had less than 300 students participating in their breakfast program at each school. However, after a year and a half of using the Flex Stations, they increased their service to more than 700 students.
Martinez says switching to Grab-N-Go allowed them to make smart changes without compromising their dietary standards.
“[We like] the flexibility that we are able to provide more healthy meals to our students and reach more [students],” said Martinez. “When we bag [food] and put them on a more fast food concept, but it’s still meeting the nutrition requirements, they are more interested and more likely to grab it. Parents love [the Grab-N-Go] initiative because kids are still getting the nutrients they need and they’re still making it to class on time.”
After such a huge amount of success, Flex Stations will be implemented in more schools during the upcoming school year. Additionally, one school has already started using the Flex Stations during lunch in order to provide more options to students on closed campuses.
“It’s kind of the same concept as breakfast, having them at the main entrances and higher traffic areas. Some schools are closed campus, but they can still go to the courtyard, hang out, be outside.”
On top of everything else, Martinez was very happy with the Flex Station’s affordability.
“An ‘official’ breakfast cart, if you buy one, is a lot of money. So, with the [Flex Station], it helps meet our budget and still reach the kids and provide them innovative meals that they still enjoy,” said Martinez.
Now through Sept. 15, those who purchase a Flex Station will receive two free cases of Food Pans or Food Boxes to use in their unit. Click here for more information or contact your Cambro rep to get started.