Bistro Closed Due to Another Lunch Lady Quitting

Gabriel Rader

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A few weeks ago it was announced that the Bistro is closing due to one of the Chartwell’s employees resigning. This was the first time the bistro saw the light of day since covid hit, and its reign was short. 

This isn’t the first time one of our Chartwell’s employees left due to low paychecks; the school is no stranger to a shortage of lunch ladies–it’s been a recurring issue through my years of high school.

Not only does the resignation affect the bistro being open, but the lunch line’s effectiveness takes a hit, too. Most students that don’t get in line right away usually don’t get to sit down until halfway through the lunch period, shoveling down food before their next class.

I went to the back of the line three times and recorded how long it took from the bell starting lunch, until I got my food. On average, the last person in line has to wait a total of 13:34 minutes to get their lunch food. That’s 13 minutes taken away from already sparse free time students get for their only break from their schedules. 

Lunch is a social period and for most students; this is the only time they get to unwind and talk to their friends. So when you take away time students get to talk and hangout in lunch, students will be more inclined to talk and be more distracted in other more important classes.

One less worker also would lead to a dip in food quality and maintenance. This is a pretty easy concept to grasp. One or more workers lost can only mean less hands on deck for feeding the entire school. Our four lunch ladies cannot feed over 400 kids.

Even if our lunch ladies lose a helper, the workload still remains the same, meaning that we put more work, stress, and responsibilities on our already underpaid workers. Now, they must fill in whatever tasks the previous worker had just adding more weight to a heavy workload.

Putting more pressure on underpaid and underappreciated workers will only push them closer to quitting, and we’ve seen the difference of one worker. We have to be proactive and prevent anymore from stepping down.

Raising the rate of pay is the easiest way to keep our lunch ladies around while maybe attracting a few new employees. With inflation rates skyrocketing, the former pay just won’t cut it in regard to livable wages. 

Changing the rate of pay is a lot easier said than done, but there are other ways to keep our lunch ladies close that don’t concern money. Be appreciative of the hard work they put in for the students and teachers, and understand that they are tying their best with resources they’ve been given. It really goes a long way to make them feel more appreciated. 

Because if we aren’t, all that could mean is less workers and longer wait times in line.