A month into the new school year the extended dining hall and improved menus have proved to be a big hit.
The food court has always freshly prepared a wide variety of lunches, everything from traditional Yorkshire fare to meals from around the world. With the increasing popularity of the food service more space was needed and a major £200,000 project was started towards the end of last summer to extend the hall and introduce two new hot food counters.
The daily menu, created by Head Chef Ryan Cummings, still includes popular favourites such as jacket potatoes, salads, sandwiches, wraps and hot dinners, but now students can also choose between the rice/noodle bar and the pasta bar, which have proved really popular.
“The new pasta, rice and noodle menus offer hot and hearty nutritious options which fuel the students through the day,” said Business Manager Justin Waters.
As well as providing healthy food to suit every taste, he said: “It was important for us to produce and introduce a range of meal deals starting at £2.10 so students can get a great value nutritious meal, drink and a dessert or fruit.”
The catering team is dedicated to ensuring that the food on offer is both reasonably priced and of the best possible nutritional quality. “We are passionate about providing seasonal fresh produce and sourcing local goods,” said Mr Cummings. “We are keen to help students make the right food choices.”
Aside from offering a more varied menu the new food stations and the extension of the seating area has cut the queuing time by half. The faster service gives students more time for relaxation and extra-curricular activities, with staff now able to serve 500-600 meals in under 20 minutes. “On our busiest day we now serve more students than ever before,” said Mr Cummings.
“The new food court area is light, airy and informal, so is the perfect place for students to meet up with friends,” said Mr Waters. “We are delighted with the style and standard of the upgraded facilities, which have all surpassed our expectations.”
The improvements have certainly been a hit with the students. “I only saw the dining hall once before it changed but it´s much nicer now and the food is really good. I usually go for the daily main meal,” said Year 7 pupil Jenny Ferguson.
Jay Mallindine, another Year 7 pupil, agrees: “It´s bigger now and there´s more space to sit. I really like the new pasta bar.”