top of page

Food for thought.

What do you remember about the actual rooms in the schools you went to as a child? What were the math rooms like compared to the English rooms? Were your social studies rooms all that different from the rooms where you learned world history?

Often times its the people - the teachers and fellow students - that make a learning space feel memorable, but there are a few spaces in a school that stand out as distinct in and of themselves. Perhaps no single space in a school is more distinct in that way than the cafeteria.

Cafeterias are some of the largest, most socially formative spaces in public schools. What are you doing to make the most yours?

More than food service.

Pizza day is a memorable occasion in any school cafeteria, but there is so much more going on in the food commons than the food itself. In the cafeteria, students:

  • Meet one another; forming and reinforcing relationships.

  • Share stories about their classes, assignments, and personal lives.

  • Relax and enjoy a break from the demands of their classes, allowing them to recharge before heading into the second half of the school day.

  • Encounter the bigger social picture - the community of the school itself - and see themselves in its context.

To think of and build a school cafeteria without keeping each of these influential elements in mind is to miss a very large aspect of student life. You encountered it yourself when you were a student, you know first hand how impactful these experiences can be. It seems like a missed opportunity, then, not to be thoughtful and strategic about the way we design and equip these spaces.

Prime multi-purpose real estate.

Another distinct quality of cafeterias as compared to other spaces within a school is their size. Apart from the school gym, the cafeteria may be the largest space the school has to offer its students. What a shame then to only use that space for a single purpose, for a fraction of the school day!

Dining commons have great potential to serve the student body, and indeed the faculty, as a place of gathering, discussion, and collaboration. They can facilitate these activities for multiple classes at once, or serve as a place for entire grade groups to come together for larger events.


The layout matters.

So how can schools set themselves up for success when designing or upgrading a cafeteria? And what are some of the ways OnPoint can help you make the most of this all-important space in your school?

A few examples:

  • Tell your story. The cafeteria is a great place to showcase a schools values, its mission, and its culture. Decals, logos, and all kinds of graphical elements can be applied to walls, floors, and table tops to accomplish this. Build spaces to show off student projects, art, and achievements. Celebrate your community in one of the largest gathering places on campus

  • Keep it moving. Make use of mobile furniture to stay flexible. Keep your options open and leave yourself in a position to respond to the changing needs and periodic events you may want to host in your cafeteria. OnPoint can help you furnish your dining commons with multiple uses in mind.

  • Make room for comfort. There is no law that requires cafeteria seating to be uncomfortable. OnPoint can offer you a wide selection of seating options that match your existing style, bring new visual energy into the room, and - yes - give you a place you would actually want to sit. Likewise, tables and other furniture can be integrated to make the space itself more enjoyable and restorative for your students and faculty.

Ready to begin? OnPoint can help.

Contact us for a consultation today and learn how OnPoint can help you transform your cafeterias and dining commons into spaces where your students discover and strengthen their sense of community and wellbeing.


OnPoint is committed to continually seeking out and partnering with industry-leaders in furniture, technology, and the construction of education spaces.

This article was inspired by a recent publication from one such partner: MiEN.

You can find White Papers on this and other topics from MiEN here.


Os comentários foram desativados.
Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page