Cover Story

Christian School Products Jan/Feb 2021 Cafeteria Design Impacts Student Participation

By Teri Wilson-Ruggles 

The school cafeteria is frequented by a large majority of students every day. The space serves a primary purpose of providing a dining area to provide nutrition to all who participate. 

However, as the need arises, these spaces have had to be transformed into versatile multi-purpose spaces due to increasing lack of space in schools. Since the primary use is generally for a cafeteria, nutrition directors are focused on serving nutritious meals to as many students as efficiently as they can.

In the last few years, it has become increasingly important for schools to be creative with their dining resources, even more so in the current environment. Cafeteria space is evolving to be further away from the utilitarian and antiquated, old school “get in, get out” environments.  

Outdoor Seating and Furniture

Getzen is Palmer Hamilton's durable, functional, and weather-resistant outdoor site furnishings. Getzen provides different types of metal fabricated outdoor furnishings. These quality manufactured solutions can easily upgrade outdoor settings at schools, parks, churches, and even homes.

  • Expand your classroom outdoors
  • Add capacity to your lunchroom
  • Personalize with name and logo

Palmer Hamilton Design provides a turn-key service, including pre-design consultation with students and staff, design presentations of layout and graphics and selection of furnishings all the way through manufacturing and installation– all coordinated and managed by one team.


PHabLAB by Palmer Hamilton is a project-based learning (PBL) environment that combines collaboration, design thinking, and digital fabrication for the purpose of exploration and complex problem solving.​

All academic disciplines can leverage a PHabLAB to teach STEAM fundamentals and career/technical skills.

Cafeteria Bench Table (19F)


We design furnishings that enhance the student experience. 

Age-appropriate design that accommodates more students with increased seating and managed traffic flow creates an inviting, safe and fun environment for all to enjoy.



Specializing in creating unique dining spaces for your dining facilities.

No longer can you plan your space for a person to just come and eat, you need to design it with flexible furniture that accommodates laptops, backpacks, group discussions and dining.



Creating effective and flexible areas like lounges, dining, and multipurpose rooms.

Palmer Hamilton provides furnishings for corporate spaces that assist in making unproductive, in between spaces productive.

Higher Education Furniture


Our expertise lies in dining areas, cafeterias and social areas.

The college dining facility has become one big living and social area. They come to eat, talk, read and collaborate. A flexible furniture design can accommodate electronics, backpacks, group discussions and eating.



We provide drawings, layouts, traffic flow, renderings and full designs. 

Palmer Hamilton provides flexible furnishing solutions to unique challenges, like wireless charging tables or custom graphics.

Library Furniture


We assist clients in achieving proactive learning and teaching environments.

Palmer Hamilton is the leader in product and design for state-of-the-art library and media resource spaces. We assist clients in achieving proactive learning and teaching environments.

Palmer Hamilton provides smart, versatile and beautiful furnishing solutions to K-12, higher education, commercial markets and libraries. We began manufacturing high quality cafeteria tables for schools more than 65 years ago and quickly became the industry leader in innovation, selection and service. Over the years, our product lines evolved to include mobile tables, wall pocket systems, outdoor furniture, food court furniture, library furniture and décor—all designed to be as durable and safe as they are stylish and easy-to-use.