Your Cafeteria Aesthetics, and Atmosphere, will Make or Break the Student Dining Experience.


Whether it’s the walls, seating and/or serving lines, each component of the dining room has the potential to positively impact student perceptions of their school’s cafeteria as a whole. We refer to this as the cafeteria aesthetics or atmosphere. Rather than function strictly as a K-12 architecture firm, Ingenious Culinary Concepts places an emphasis on the entire experience and process as well.

Just as adults enjoy and recognize the vibe a restaurant gives off, students are aware of the feelings evoked by the cafeterias they dine in up to five times a week, 100 plus days per year! By utilizing our cafeteria redesign services; we help you ensure that your cafeterias reflect your commitment to providing students with the best services possible.

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What do students say about your high school cafeteria aesthetics?


Our national student focus group data reveals students feel their cafeterias are “institutional,” “dull,” and “uninviting.”  We’re betting yours would say the same thing.

The typical high school cafeteria aesthetics are stuck in a time warp.  Bland, boring, colorless, institutionalized. Those aren’t our words. That’s how students describe school cafeterias.

And it affects their decision as to whether they will dine with you.

That’s why 156 additional students were served on grand opening in our most recent cafeteria re-design project.

And here’s what they were saying:

“It doesn’t look dull and boring in here anymore. It’s actually nice.”

“When I first saw the cafeteria I couldn’t believe it was our school.”

Or how about this one…

“Why did ya’ll wait till my last year to do this stuff? I’m a senior.”


Atmosphere is the pervading tone or mood of your cafeteria. Is your cafeteria warm welcoming and friendly?


A set of principals concerned with nature and appreciation of beauty. ICC brings the wow factor to your school cafeteria.


From functional, flexible equipment to vibrant vinyl wraps that cover naked, industrial steel serving lines. ICC brings back style to every element of your cafeteria.


Graphic designs combining powerful nutritional messages and the school culture can help foster the dining experience student’s desire.

Students are holding your high school cafeteria aesthetics to a standard

Did you realize your student customers are holding you to a standard?

Most school lunch programs realize an obvious standard is the quality of the food. Without quality food displayed and served properly it’s an uphill battle to increase participation. It can be as simple as keep the hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Or, food quality can be as complex as menu changes, samples, and even displaying food in ways that encourage consumption.

Some school foodservice programs understand that the level of customer service is directly linked to student customers dining in your cafeteria. A simple smile and, “how are you today” can go a long way toward encouraging students to eat breakfast or lunch with you.

Very few school foodservice programs realize the importance of the atmosphere in the cafeteria.

Students compare your school cafeteria with their favorite retail food chain that they know and love. Sadly most school cafeterias are coming up short. In fact, kids would rather eat almost anywhere than the school cafeteria.

It’s human nature to compartmentalize our day. Work, school, leisure, obligations, we tend to think is these terms.  When your high school cafeteria takes on the atmosphere and aesthetics of a retail food establishment in step with the retail chains students are accustomed to outside of school in their leisure time, they are attracted to your cafeteria. It feels like a break from the day at school. It becomes a place to eat and socialize. Your cafeteria becomes a hotspot where students love to dine

We’re not just another K-12 architecture firm


When you partner with Ingenious Culinary Concepts to redesign your school cafeteria, you can be assured you’re working with experts that know and understand the nuances of a successful foodservice cafeteria redesign project.

After all, we’ve successfully completed redesigns all over the nation.

The focus of renovations is more than cosmetic. We look at every improvement as an opportunity to streamline operations and deliver a guest-focused dining experience. We achieve a friendlier, more contemporary atmosphere by introducing:

  • A fresh paint job, branded wall graphics, signage, and build-outs
  • A mix of seating that includes high tops and booths
  • Vibrant vinyl wraps that cover naked, industrial steel serving lines
  • Sleek, black packaging, trays, and dishware that create color contrast that makes food more appealing
  • Other design and functionality upgrades to increase participation

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Isn’t it time your school cafeteria went from institutional to inviting? We would love to put some ideas together for your school cafeteria. Let’s talk about how Ingenious Culinary Concepts can help you today.

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