The Quest for good food is over

The new food that is taking over New Trier

Anna Ferguson, News Editor

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Cafeteria PicLonger lines, higher prices, and a whole new menu have created some very strong opinions on New Trier’s new food provider, Quest.
One outstanding factor motivated the decision to switch providers. This was a routine process of bidding for other food providers that ensures that the school is getting the best quality service for the best price, according to the administration.
Denise Dubravec, principal of the Winnetka campus, elaborated on the decision, “I think it’s just good practice to make sure that you’re always looking for a provider that gives you the best service.”
A survey of the student’s opinions on the food and how the cafeteria was run indicated that it was time for a change, so the school began the lengthy process of searching for a new food provider during the middle of the last school year.
The process of choosing a new food provider was a rigorous one, according to Dubravec. The school assembled a committee of students, teachers, and administrators to review various food providers’ applications, watch their presentations, and go to other schools to see the food providers in action.
After the meticulous selection process, with Aramark, Chartwells, and Quest comprising the top three food provider candidates, Quest came out on top. “We were looking for healthy food and then cost, along with dietary needs. We also wanted a food provider with the ability to serve the population of kids that we have in a timely manner,” said Dubravec.
Quest seems to be as well liked by the students as by the selection committee: “It’s so dece[nt],” said senior George Owen, “The food this year is low key– so much better than last year.”
However, slow service and higher pricing have become a major inconvenience for some students and have left them less than satisfied, “I love the food, but I hate waiting in the huge lines,” said senior Brendan Loftus.
Dubravec insists that these are only temporary problems, “We’ve addressed the slow service with Quest… and one of the items that they need to address is adding more staffing, and they’re in the process of doing that,” she said.
Food plays a huge role in student life, according to a recent Yale study. Food influences memory, attention, and behavior which can have huge effects on relationships with teachers and other students. Therefore, giving students access to healthy food that they enjoy eating has a positive effect on students happiness and performance.
It is important that the food served in the cafeteria be of high quality and that it be served as quickly as possible, without draining New Trier students’ IDs.
Regardless of the minor inconveniences of the new food provider, students seem to agree that Quest is a step up from Aramark. “I always used to bring my lunch,” said senior Jackson Hurst, “but I really like the school food this year and I’ve started buying my lunch every day.”
Despite the service issues that students have experienced through these first couple of weeks with Quest, Dubravec remains positive about New Trier’s new food provider,
“We’re one of the largest schools in this area, so it’s not an easy task. So there are always going to be hiccups, but the most important thing is that they want to do the best they can to serve our school.”

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