Students notice change in cafeteria portion sizes

Students take issue with food portions, Quest staff work to fix problem



A rice bowl served up during the first week of school. The problem of inconsistent portions has been solved by Quest.

With the start of the 2022-2023 school year, the cafeteria, according to frequenters of the Picante line, also known as the rice bowl line, has been giving out smaller than average portions during the initial weeks of school. 

“Usually the lunch providers are pretty consistent, but what I’ve been receiving is like half the portion that was usually served last year,” said senior Zach Weiner.

Weiner is not the only one who has experienced this problem; Seniors Kiana Eickbush and Meg Denberg both have received underwhelming lunches. “On the first day of school I didn’t get much rice, which is a big issue especially for rice bowls because it’s the main part of the meal. Otherwise it’s just lettuce and sour cream,” says Denberg.

“I think the quality of food in general is phenomenal at New Trier compared to the typical American public school

— Alex Two

The issue according to the students is more than just minimal servings. “The serving is rarely consistent. One day there’s so much meat in the bowl that it overtakes the entire plate, and the next day there’s barely any meat,” says Eickbush. 

Dennis Karim, the food service director at New Trier, cares very deeply about consistency in the portions being served to students. 

“The price of food items affects all of us from our school to your home to my home… meaning that there must be a standard to what we are giving every student.” 

Other students, like senior Alex Two, are unhappy with such complaints. Two believes that inconsistency is human, and the cafeteria should not be condemned for a rocky start to the school year. “It can’t be perfect. The portions seemed a bit small on the first day of school, but it wasn’t atrocious,” says Two.  

Two also points to new staff changes within the cafeteria as an explanation to these inconsistent servings.

 “It seems perfectly reasonable to me that there would be different portions in the first days of school because of the new employees that have been hired since the start of the school year.”

Karim also points to the new changes as a cause, but is also optimistic for the rest of the school year. “It’s just a matter of getting [the new staff] on board. We’re in the process of getting that streamlined and we’re moving in the right direction in that regard.”

Although there have been some complaints with one aspect of the cafeteria, students are still satisfied with the service as well as the quality and variety the cafeteria produces.

“In general, the whole food service is very good for a  high school. This is just one minor hiccup, and everything else has been great,” says Weiner.

In fact, Two is very happy with the quality of the food service.“I think the quality of food in general is phenomenal at New Trier compared to the typical American public school… most people don’t get nearly as much variety or cleanliness.”