Raider Café feeds thousands

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hailey Staker
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
From sun-up to sun-down, Raider Café employees chop, simmer, fry, grill and sauté, all in an effort to serve Team Ellsworth personnel.

In order to provide four meal periods a day for more than 20,000 customers a month, a staff of more than 35 people work to keep the restaurant running smoothly.

"The purpose of the Raider Café is to provide [nutritious food] for enlisted members living in the dorms, a training environment for food service personnel to meet our war-fighting mission, and the flight meals service in support of our daily operations," said Tech. Sgt. Jeanne Candau, 28th Force Support Squadron food services accountant. "We have six stations [including] the deli, main entrees and u-food, which is a healthier option that provides customers with meals like bison and turkey burgers, a smoothie and salad bar and much more."

Typical meal periods, along with the midnight meal, are available for anyone who has base access.

"Midnight meals are specifically for Airmen who work late shifts to have a place where they can eat, as most food facilities do not stay open late enough," said Staff Sgt. Sylvia Dixon, 28th FSS Raider Café shift leader. "I've worked at a facility where [it] didn't exist and this is the first facility I have been to that it is available. [At a previous base] there were daily complaints from Airmen on late shifts, and after several years, the base commander finally approved the facility to provide that service."

Outside of those meal periods, refrigerated pre-made snacks and meals such as salads, fruit cups and sandwiches are available. 

"A typical day here is extremely busy with meal prep for the next day, cooking and serving meals, as well as ordering food," Candau said. "[Events] constantly arise and remove people from the facility, but we work well as team -- when one person is down, [individuals step up] and take care of each other. I've never seen a team like what we have here."

She added that staff members constantly rotate stations, which allows them to train on all areas for when manning is limited.

In addition to healthy meals, the DFAC staff provides wireless internet, two computers available for use in the dining area and a conference room, which can be reserved for special occasions by emailing

For more information or hours of operation, contact the Raider Café at (605) 385-1620.