University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Looking to spice things up in the cafeteria? Try a flavor station!

Variety of herbs and spices

Flavor stations have many benefits for schools -- but what exactly is a flavor station?

A flavor station is a designated spot in the cafeteria where students can add -- you guessed it -- FLAVOR to their meals. Extra pizzazz can come from basic herbs and spices, curated seasoning blends, flavored vinegars, hot sauce, and more!

Why should you consider adding a flavor station? Here are are five great reasons!

  1. Having the option to flavor foods to their own tastes adds a sense of ownership to the meal. Students may be more likely to buy school lunch, potentially increasing revenues for the program.
  2. Flavor stations help schools stay current on trends (like sriracha) and provide for students’ needs and wants.
  3. Students can use seasonings on any part of their meal. However, herbs and spices can be particularly useful for adding flavor to vegetables (like garlic powder on broccoli), which may be bland due to sodium restrictions in school meals.
  4. Flavor stations can increase the amount of food eaten, decreasing food waste and helping students get the nutrients they need.
  5. Decreased waste as a result of more food being eaten means school nutrition funds are being used more efficiently!

Okay, so what can you offer at the flavor station? Check out our next post in the series for ideas!