DECA brings fast food to high school

Published 10:10 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Austin High School juniors are getting a few new lunch options towards the end of May. Thanks to a group of young marketers, up to 20 AHS students could feast on Taco John’s and McDonald’s every Tuesday and Friday.

“It’s kind of our going away type thing,” said AHS senior Jay Ettinger. “We’re getting ready for next year’s students.”

About 20 students will have the opportunity to order fast food for Tuesdays and Fridays, paying for their meal and a transportation fee, which is what DECA members will profit off of. Students could order one of several items off of a member of Taco John’s on Tuesdays, or a couple of burger options on Fridays. While McDonald’s is on board, DECA members say they have yet to get confirmation with Taco John’s.

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The idea started in February when DECA members noticed juniors would try to sneak away at lunchtime to get outside food, something only seniors were allowed to do. DECA students thought that a delivery service would help juniors get the food they want, and help school staff make sure students weren’t sneaking off campus to grab food.

“Given the option, most people would choose to eat outside,” said AHS junior, Alex Mueller.

After making a presentation to AHS Principal Brad Bergstrom, DECA students got permission to try their plan. Bergstrom agreed DECAlivery could help the school.

“There’s a huge demand for this from the student body,” Ettinger said.

There’s a few rules the DECA students have to follow, however. Fast food can only be served in the commons, as it can’t be taken down to the cafeteria. They also can’t serve too many students at one time during the trial run, hence the 20 student limit.

“Everything in moderation,” said Mary Weikum, director of food and nutrition at Austin Public Schools. “Obviously our goal is for kids to all eat a healthy lunch. It’s not every day, it’s twice a week.”

Weikum said although she’s a little concerned over the amount of fast food that’s coming into the school, she’s okay with the idea as long as DECAlivery limits its customer base. The school’s food and nutrition program needs students who buy school lunch in order to maintain its current offerings.

DECA members haven’t worked out what type of fee they’ll charge for delivery, but they hope DECAlivery will build its travel funds, so they can afford to send more members to the annual International Career Development Conference.

“It’s a pretty good idea,” said Troy Watkins, DECA adviser. “I think it’s a pretty creative idea and hopefully the students will be able to make it work.”