Into the Cafeteria

Gems American Academy Abu Dhabi Cafeteria

Gems American Academy Abu Dhabi Cafeteria

Camila Salazar Carrasco, Staff Writer

The cafeteria is a known location and popular destination for secondary students to pass their lunchtime. The GAA cafeteria shares a similar environment to other schools with simultaneously occurring conversations, never-ending lunch lines, and the smell of all sorts of food. However, often stereotypes of school food are seen as very unhealthy and boring because they have the same thing over and over. Is this the situation here at GAA?                                                                  Gems American Academy Abu Dhabi Cafeteria

This article offers insights into the diversity of food the cafeteria provides, and the opinions and perspectives high school students have related to the options. As many know, GAA has a catering service that provides them with school meals for the students, this company is called slices. The catering service Slices is well known throughout the UAE. Slices have partnered with GAA for a couple of years now, so we decided to ask students whether they’ve seen changes in the quality of the food.

106 students in high school eat at the cafeteria every day, making it a rather popular location to have lunch. A closed, cool environment, with access to food, creates a popular location for most. Out of the 106 students who spend their lunch in the cafeteria, roughly  60% eat food from the cafeteria. Of those students, there are newer and older students and so, an interview was held to get their opinions.

The interviewed individual from the class of 2024, who is presently a sophomore, gave us his opinion on the cafeteria food, as he has been at Gems American Academy since elementary. The question asked was, “ Has the food in the cafeteria improved or progressively worsened through your academic years here at GAA?” The students’ response was, “ It improved due to changed vendors”. 

The cafeteria isn’t always about the quality of food but also the quality of staff. As our student interviewed mentions, the cafeteria improved through the change in vendors. This displays how vendors have a key role in the cafeterias selling, and with the improvement, it can be inferred that GAA has a good cafeteria staff team to help serve the students meals. The next question asked was “Is the food selection provided in the cafeteria diverse?” To this, the student responded with “yes”. With diverse food and a good staff team to help, GAA has already created a great image. 

The second student interviewed is a newcomer to GAA, giving us a whole new perspective. Answering the second question she states, “compared to other schools it’s good because you can buy sandwiches and not just snacks”. These positive comments from a newer student compared to that of an older student presents how the cafeteria at GAA has a good reputation and opposes the stereotypical cafeteria norms. 

In the last interview, we got in contact with an old GAA student who now goes to another GEMS school in Dubai instead. We asked, “How is the cafeteria at GWA Dubai different from that of GAA Abu Dhabi?”  They responded, “They sell french fries on Thursday, and the other days they sell stuff from different cultures on each day”. The student then states that food-wise they have better choices at GWA but for beverages, they’re the same. 

To conclude this research from those interviewed, ⅔ students agreed with GAA having a better lunch menu than that of other schools, and having good staff people to help the sales. There is still improvement that can be made as the students’ state to help the cafeteria improve for the following years.