A different cafeteria


Abbie Hoffman

LHS Seniors Raina Marty (left) and Allie Huber (right) eating their lunch at Jimmy John’s.

Raina Marty, Social Media Coordinator

Gen Z has it way different than any other generation with electronics, big brands, social media and more, as they have never been huge on a nice sit down restaurant. The less they interact with staff at food chains, the faster they can get back to what they were doing and the longer they can spend with who they are with. Gen Z seems to spend more money on food than they even realize.

Juniors and seniors at LHS have the opportunity to have open lunch. Students either go by themselves, meet people to eat or carpool with their friends. With that, not everyone goes home for lunch. So, what can they eat that is not too expensive or too far away?

Most LHS students go out to eat either five times a week or not at all. It all varies based on where they live as well. With a handful of students open enrolled, the closest they have to food is a few blocks away. When a few blocks away for some students is where they live. 

Analyst Nichole Miller Regan said that teens are most influenced by taste when it comes to choosing where to eat. Convenience is the second-biggest factor, followed by menu selection. Nutrition was the lowest-ranked attribute, according to  CNBC News. 

The fast food chains around LHS where most students go are Taco Bell, Qdoba, Starbucks and, most popular, the local Bagel Boy. Although a bagel costs the same as a Starbucks drink, “Starbucks in particular, has remained a top restaurant brand for teens for years. In 13 out of the last 17 surveys, Starbucks has been the No. 1 food brand for upper-income teens to shop at,” according to CNBC News.

Sioux Falls has recently built a Chick-fil-A as well, adding yet another quick and yummy open lunch trip to the list. And thanks to mobile orders and online pickups, teens rarely need to speak to staff and the quicker they receive their orders. “The majority of teens, approximately 66%, still dined out most frequently for dinner, which we believe has evolved to become a social tradition and a form of entertainment for teens, especially as discretionary spending has been reevaluated during recent times of increased economic pressures,” Regan wrote for CNBC News. 

Students love food almost the same as they love shopping. It has a lot to do with the social aspect along with just getting a quick meal in before school. Sometimes students do not even think about how much they are spending on food items just because they are so familiar with the food place they are at.