The Frustrating Wait

Terminating The Issue of The "Endless" Lines

September 14, 2018

As High School students flood the cafeteria for lunch, the lines for getting food, depending on when you arrive, elongate in a matter of seconds. The cafeteria is congested with people and the thought of getting food on time seems like a nightmare. You are forced to pick a line. But oh no, that’s just the first line you have to wait on. There is another line that awaits: the seemingly endless cashier line. Students go through this unpleasant routine everyday, and it has some of them frustrated.   


Everyone has their different experiences in the cafeteria. Some days it’s worse than others. For 11th grader Imad, he feels he spends far too much time in the cafeteria lines. “The lines in the cafeteria are way too long,  especially if it’s on a day where the food is good.” Hajime, a freshman, agrees with Imad: “The cashier line takes forever, and you can’t even go to the Grind because those lines are too long.”

The lines in the cafeteria are way too long,  especially if it’s on a day where the food is good.”

— Hajime H. (9)

Suggestions have been made by our caring Cafeteria Manager, Mrs. Ihrig. “Go to the Grind and maybe get a drink and do something else and then come back.” Imad agrees with her, “you can wait until the lines get smaller and then you can get your food.” It’s a great idea, but the length of the lines haunts students at the Grind as well.


Idan, a freshman, says, “Everyone knows the lines are too long and the cafeteria is too small.” According to a poll done on the freshman class, he’s right. Over 75% of the people who answered said the lines are too long. When HS students walk into the cafeteria or grind, long lines are no joke. In addition to the lines being too long they are also “very chaotic” in Imad’s opinion. Students are squished in the small area. They must constantly try to avoid people as they make their way through the crowds to get to the cashier line.


As we revisit Mrs. Ihrig, the expert on all ISB food production and head of the cafeteria, she provides interesting information and data on the cafeteria and lines. She also thinks that sometimes the lines are too long. However, she is aware and on top of it.  She strives to improve the conditions of the cafeteria and flow of the lines. One way of doing this is by recording some data. “When the lines do get long I’m always timing them how long it takes students to get through. It never takes longer than 12 minutes.” The question is, are some students willing to wait that long to meet the needs of their pestering stomachs?


Luckily, come next summer, the cafeteria is due for renovation. “We will be moving some stuff around to make the flow a bit easier.” The cafeteria was designed a long time ago, “and is a little out of date.” It’s time for the old cafeteria to adapt to the growing amount of students.  


The variable that affects the length of the lines for getting food is the menu that day. The lines get long “if it’s on a day where the food is good,” says Imad. The food is undoubtedly tasty, however that’s part of the problem. Some dishes are so good students wait a good 6 minutes or more on a line.


The data shows that students aren’t too happy about the lines being long. But they are not just going to rant about it and get all angry, the Cafeteria is willing for suggestions and the High School body is willing to give them some. Nest, a sophomore, thinks that there should be more cashier stations so the lines can get spread out. This idea is simple and it would make the flow much smoother. Ludo, a junior, suggests that the cafeteria staff should watch which lines get the longest for which foods, and, based on that, create two lines for the most popular foods. Imad believes that, “they should make the serving area smaller and make the place where you walk with your food a little bigger, this would give more space for people to keep moving and not be stuck in the chaos of the people trying to get their food.” These thoughtful suggestions can reduce the levels of congestion and length of the lines by opening up the cafeteria space (hopefully will come with renovation) and create more lines to improve the flow.


There is a definite issue, and students and staff are aware of. However, it looks like students and Mrs. Ihrig are willing to fix the problem and give solutions.


Do you think the cafeteria lines are too long? Feel free to comment down below or let us know if you have any suggestions to improve the cafeteria flow!


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