U-32: Stepping Up The Pizza Game

After seeing significant drops in the pizza revenue and other foods from the cafe, Rick Hungerford and U-32’s cafeteria staff sent out a survey to the student body to see what they could change in the menu to make the food more appealing.  The result?  A new pizza crust, among other new items.

When the survey came back,  Hungerford found that many of the people wanted some snacks that could not possibly work.  Before he can sell a food at school, Rick to must have the food processed and approved by putting the nutritional facts into a “USDA smart snack calculator.” The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), only allows schools to serve each person two ounces of grain and two ounces of cheese.  Rick says his “hands are tied in that respect.”

But there were some changes Hungerford could try.  After seeing that the students didn’t like the cafeteria’s pizza, Rick decided to change the crust. “We were getting a pizza crust made from Riches, and it had a wheaty aftertaste. I didn’t care for it and the pizza sales started to drop, so we looked for a different pizza crust.”

image02I spoke to Justin Barr, a student and pizza eater at the U-32 cafeteria, about the old crust. “It was decent, I guess. The crust was a little hard, but not break your teeth hard, which was a little rough.”

Asked how he felt about the new crust, Justin said “It had pretty good cheese and the crust was pretty good as well, it had a nice crunchiness to it that I really enjoyed.”

Junior Lonnie Hunt was asked the same question, how the new pizza compared to the old, and he thought the new pizza was better. “I noticed it was different, maybe a little better. Better than it was before, that’s for sure.” Along with the better taste, Lonnie believes that the pizza stays together and “doesn’t constantly rip in half.” He also stated that the texture is better and it makes a more “wholesome pizza.”

Rick started to search for new places to buy his pizza crust, within the USDA regulations. He found a business in Williston, Pastabilities, to be the new crust provider.  They offer many different kinds of whole wheat crusts. Besides the crust that is used now, the 16” romain crust, Rick can also purchase a box of the 16” romain flatbread crust and many other wheat varieties.

I spoke with Dana Griffin during a lunch band and she usually eats the pizza everyday. She is limited to what she can eat at the school, because she is gluten free. She explained to me that the new gluten free pizza crust is good. “Yeah it’s good, it tastes like a normal pizza, it’s just the crust is thinner.”