A New Beginning: The Raider Way Cafe

Introducing the Raider Way Cafe, an addition to Huntley High School that allows staff and students to enjoy food and drinks throughout the school day. Although there are noticeable flaws in the cafe, one cannot help but see the potential for the future.


M. O'Connell

Raider Way Cafe employees working between class periods.

Matt O'Connell

Every morning, hundreds of Huntley High School students reluctantly roll out of bed, drained of energy, anticipating piles of work added to their schedules. One vital piece to the routine for many students is coffee. A great percentage of students operate on autopilot until that smooth, sweet sensation fills their mouths. Such a demand can be met by multiple establishments throughout Huntley such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, or Dunkin’ Donuts, all located on Route 47. The hurry to get coffee and get to school on time is another issue that strikes many within the high school.
Now, the Raider Way Cafe offers a solution to both issues. A coffee bar within the high school supplies students and staff with food and drinks throughout the day. It appeals to all pallets, whether one may be looking for coffee, a smoothie, or a bite to eat.
“Yes, we’re trying really hard to control traffic and safety for the students and eliminate the time they have to spend away from the building to get things that they may want,” said Richard Reed, manager of the Raider Way Cafe.
The cafe serves as a great alternative for students who leave the building for lunch or breakfast before school, serving salads, chai, hot and cold coffee, smoothies, and more. However, a few problems have struck the cafe within its first days of operation. A shortage of products has pushed many students away, as a lot of the more popular items are sold out by 9 am.
Another issue is the sheer amount of business that the cafe gets throughout the day. There are simply too many people in line for everyone to get their food or drinks within the 5 minute passing period. Though these issues are plaguing the shop as of now, the Raider Way Cafe is still new, so they are likely to be resolved.
“The line in the morning is way too long and disorganized, but the service is good and I think it is a great addition to the high school,” said Junior Caden Saldana.
Saldana holds a common opinion on the cafe, which goes to show just how important it is to Huntley’s school culture. Although it serves as a viable substitute for students throughout the school day, many students do not have time to access the Raider Way Cafe before many items are sold out.
The cafe may also be a place where internships and part-time jobs are given, providing opportunities for not only consumers but employees as well. Qualities like this go to show that the inclusion of the cafe benefits the high school far more than it disrupts it.
Overall, the addition of a coffee shop has proved to be a great one, and like any business, there are still some things that need to be figured out.