At Christopher Columbus High School, while many people are still getting ready for school, a group of workers is on campus bright and early to make sure the students get the fuel they need.
Classic Caterers has been working alongside Columbus since 2009, but many of the employees have been on staff for over 10 years. There are many different jobs within the kitchen ranging from cooks, to cashiers, to dishwashers. All of the employees arrive at Columbus at 6 a.m. and work for over eight hours a day. “This job isn’t very easy and it takes a very large physical toll on your body,” said dishwasher, Angel Pagan. The kitchen serves about 1,300 students daily, and almost 5,500 students a week.
How do they get the food to feed this many students you may ask? Classic Caterers receives over 90 cases of inventory daily to be able to supply the kitchen with a sufficient amount of food for the day. Every week the kitchen prepares a weekly menu that will suit the Columbus appetite. “We go through almost 500 pounds of french fries and about 200 pounds of chicken nuggets everyday,” said cashier Araceli Alberto. Clearly, a large amount of inventory is needed to supply those staggering amounts of food to serve.
The kitchen is on duty all day to make sure that they can provide some of the best quality meals. Everyday, the Cafeteria serves both breakfast and lunch, giving students and faculty a variety of options to choose from, but this requires a lot hard work.
Once the kitchen receives the orders on what to prepare, they work non stop, from 6 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. “Every employee is either preparing food, going through inventory, or sorting out the food to be able to serve the meals to the students,” said cafeteria manager Marisela Santoni.
The cooks prepare many varieties of sandwiches, wraps, and also the special of the day. Some of the most popular foods that are served are meals such as chicken chop chop, curly fries and chicken nuggets.
Though the cafeteria seems to be thought of positively by most Columbus students, but some individuals think differently of it. “The food they serve is pretty good, but it’s a bit overpriced,” said sophomore Mark Santiago. That is one of the most common complaints individuals have given about Classic Caterers; however, most of the student body still finds both the price and quality of food fair enough to purchase lunch daily.
Although students may have different views on the cafeteria food, it is the relationship of those on the kitchen staff that keeps everything running smoothly.”You know we work together almost eight hours daily, so it’s like a family in the kitchen,” stated Santoni. As part of the extended Columbus family, Classic Caterers hopes to continue to serve the Explorers for years to come.