Coffee conundrum: Restaurant 108 drops iced coffee


Ani Mathison

Where’s the coffee? Coffee at Restaurant 108, including French Vanilla and Hazelnut varieties, is now only served before school.

Tina Little, Staff Writer

In recent years, many new guidelines have been passed restricting which foods can be sold to students in schools. From beverages to snacks, certain organizations have been trying their best to make healthier options for students. These rules have been established across the country and prevent sugar-filled items from being sold. Restaurant 108’s popular iced coffee is no exception.

This year, due to a Massachusetts state law, Restaurant 108 can no longer sell iced coffee during the school day.

The new cafeteria provider, Whitsons Culinary Group, had no involvement in getting rid of coffee from the restaurant, Career and Technology Education Curriculum Coordinator Arnie Marcus said.

¨It’s not a rule from the cafeteria or the new manager,” Marcus said.

The food services at the high school follow the guidelines made by the John C. Stalker Institute, which works out of Framingham State University and advises schools on what to serve their students. The John C. Stalker Institute A-List is a comprehensive list of all the foods that can be sold in Massachusetts public schools and is used by the restaurant, cafeteria and school store, Food Service Director Gus Travassos said.

“Coffee is not on that list,” Travassos said.

Even though this law is in place, iced coffee is still being served in the morning at Restaurant 108, Marcus said.

“Now we are allowed to serve coffee up to a half hour before school begins,” Marcus said.

According to sophomore Emma Skoler, the restaurant is losing money because they aren’t getting as much business.

“It’s dead in the mornings now, and it used to be so busy last year,” Skoler said.

Culinary arts teacher Paul Carpenter said that the restaurant has made up the difference by selling smoothies, which are the replacement for iced coffee.

“We don’t lose money; we don’t have to make money anyway,” Carpenter said. “We’re not here to make money, we’re here to teach kids.”

According to Carpenter, the Board of Education gives the restaurant certain items they are allowed to sell.

“All I know is I teach my kids what the state of Massachusetts tells me to,” Carpenter said. “It’s like standards, you need to have English and math standards. You have culinary standards, and I follow those standards, and I teach the kids those standards.”

Carpenter thinks this change has had little impact on the restaurant and the customers.

“Coffee is not a big thing,” Carpenter said. “I mean, it’s nice to have for the kids because a lot of people wanted it, but they can go down to Dunkin’ Donuts and get it.”

Sophomore and restaurant worker Emily Guo also thinks this change has not had an impact on the workers.

“For the workers, I don’t think there is a pretty big impact because we still have a job; we still have other stations,” Guo said.

As of now, Restaurant 108 has no plans to serve coffee again during the school day. According to Carpenter, this change has not effected on the work students do at the restaurant.

“We’re not here to sell coffee,” Carpenter said. “We’re there to teach kids the culinary trade and how to run a dining room, how to run a restaurant and the kitchen area, everything.”