The Lunch Line At Catlin Gabel

By Alon Kornfeld ’18

Most Catlin Gabel students purchase the hot entree in the Barn, however, most students are not satisfied with the wait time. According to a CatlinSpeak survey, Catlin Gabel Upper School students report that they typically wait an average of 10 to 20 minutes for the hot entree in the Barn. Also, over 40 students admitted that they gave up waiting in line at the Barn after waiting over 10 minutes for the entree. Over half of responders said a reasonable time to wait for the hot entree should be under 5 minutes. The other half believe that a reasonable time to wait for the hot entree should be 5 to 10 minutes.

Many students surveyed admitted that the wait for the hot entree is an issue that should be brought up. A few others said that it was not an issue and people should be more patient if they wanted to get the hot entree. Catlin Gabel Upper Schoolers get a 35 minute break during which they can do whatever they want, although that break is the only window of opportunity to purchase the hot entree.

Several students offered ideas about how to shorten the wait time.

A student getting lunch in the Barn. (Photo: Catlin Gabel)

A student getting lunch in the Barn. (Photo: Catlin Gabel)

One of the solutions would is “Having two lines instead of one.” Another student agreed, saying, “Splitting the vegetarian and meat option into two lines.”

Some more suggestions are, “If food was already put onto the plates and people could just pick them up.”

Another student said, “Have more time to get the hot entree instead of the 35 minute window.”

A collaborative idea would be, “Have students help serve the hot entree to make the line go faster.”

The wait for the lunch line was also a problem in past years, and the proposal to add the Grab and Go Room came to fruition in the beginning of this school year. However, most people do not rely on the Grab and Go section of the Barn for their full meal, and most students usually get the hot entree. Another problem brought up in the survey is the fact that people cut the line often, and this violates the fairness of the wait in line.

The Barn staff works hard to prepare meals for each student every school day before students arrive at school. Managing the lunch line is challenging considering the fact that many students rely on the Barn for their lunch. Improving the wait time for the lunch line can be done, although the focus could be on students being a bit more patient.