Bistro Style “Breakfast in the Hallway” Increases Participation

breakfast in the hallway

Cedric Hodo, Foodservice Director, Saginaw Public Schools, Saginaw, MI

Cedric Hodo, foodservice director for Saginaw Public Schools and SodexoMAGIC Management Company employee, is always looking to try out new ways to reach students with a hot – or cold – breakfast.  “What works in one building doesn’t necessarily always work in the next building,” he says. “Our buildings are all very unique, so we come up with a plan for each building and decide what will work best.  For the high schools, it’s breakfast in the hallway. For the elementary schools, it’s breakfast in the classroom. For others, it’s breakfast in the cafeteria. And, believe or not, some schools have both!”

Whatever they are doing is working. In Saginaw Public Schools, district-wide breakfast participation is up 23 percent while fewer students are arriving to school late and absenteeism is down 12 percent. In addition, the graduation rate is up 15 percent.  

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Cedric says many students in the district don’t eat breakfast at home, but they are making sure they get to school in time to eat breakfast. In Saginaw High School, the current breakfast model is a bistro concept called “Breakfast in the Hallway.” This hallway breakfast is designed to allow students to meet and greet friends while having a quick “Grab and Go” breakfast.  “Breakfast in the Hallway” is set up in the corridor so that aromas from a variety of items greet and entice students as they enter the building.  There are attractive bistro-style tables where students can hang out, talk, and listen to music while they eat before classes begin.  In the mornings, it’s the cool spot to hang out. Breakfast favorites include breakfast burritos, fruit parfaits with granola, pancakes on a stick, cereal bars, and oatmeal with assorted toppings. 

Cedric and his team work hard to promote all of the different options and styles of breakfast service in his district. He works with teachers to link menus and foods served with what they are teaching in class. Custodians assist by troubleshooting any problems with cleanup or trash removal, and his fellow administrators partner to plan the best way to ensure all students can start their day off right: with a healthy school breakfast. 

This story is part of a School Breakfast Success Story Compendium by Michigan Team Nutrition. To read more success stories, click here! 


Nicholas Drzal, RD, MPH, Michigan Department of Education

Chris Flood, MS; Nutrition Communications Consultant, Healthy Habits Today

Cedric Hodo,  Foodservice Director, Saginaw Public Schools, Saginaw, MI