Our café was created from donations. The students upcycled furniture in the workshop during enterprise lessons. They painted, decorated or adopted the shabby chic look to the chairs. All mismatch crockery and cutlery was donated too and soon the café was ready for customers.
The college invested in a panini grill so the students could learn how to use industrial equipment rather than the household equipment we use in food tech lessons. Due to the kind donations of the Lions Club in Cranleigh we also invested in an industrial griddle to fry food on.
The majority of the ingredients for the café are sourced through our catering team each week. As the students become more confident in running the café they are asked to help with stock taking and ordering each week.
St Nicholas run a Panini and Toasted Sandwich Café once a week. The students decided upon the initial filling options and we have adapted these along the way according to customer’s tastes. Cheese and bacon being the definite top seller!
All the class help with the preparation of the food and get the café ready for service. Students do this on a rota basis so everyone learns all of the skills required to run an effective café. Two students take control of the toasted sandwich maker and the panini grill which is a hot problem solving experience each week. Another will plate up and work at the servery. The fourth student takes the orders and brings them up to the chefs and will serve customers when the order is ready.
We have added games and mindfulness colouring to the cafe for those students who love coming to our café but find waiting for food a bit challenging.
We also now have employed a helpful Kitchen Porter who empties the café’s dishwasher the following morning.
Joe’s burger café is run every week by St Martha’s students. They have responsibility for creating a menu, preparing the food, drinks and the cafe ready for service and clearing up afterwards. The students then take turns in taking on the responsibility for greeting their guests, taking their orders, cooking and plating them whilst always providing good customer service.
The only thing students don’t do which you would do in an external cafe is deal with money, as currently all staff and students have a free lunch at the college.
Two students invented the recipe for the lamb and beef burgers which are made freshly each week. A coleslaw is also made from scratch with apple and brown sugar for extra luxury. Each meal is served with a salad garnish and some crisps. Many of the students that work and Joe’s Burger Café will go on to work and cafes in the Cranleigh area. This safe cafe also provides a cafe experience for our younger students to enjoy and learn in and is very popular amongst staff and pupils.
CoffeeEsta Enterprise is our hot drinks delivery which was the idea of a former pupil which runs once a week. The students take on specific roles within the drinks Enterprise such as taking responsibility for orders and loyalty records, deliveries, making the drinks and checking orders, dealing with the money to ensure profit is being made and stock taking. These are all useful transferable skills which serve the students well in external placements.
We also have students taking on the responsibility for baking sweet and savoury treads to sell alongside the drinks. They work towards following the recipes independently and they bag up the treats ready for service. Our Speech and Language and Occupational therapists work closely with the students helping them deliver excellent customer service, problem solve take and make phone calls and ensure they provide a safe service considering we are dealing with hot liquids. The students rotate the roles so their skills base increases as does their self-confidence. Students have made many suggestions to improve the service which have been implemented.
The students are very proud to wear a full uniform. This has reinforced their recognition that they are going to work and are undertaking responsible jobs. We are now an eco-friendly service as we have purchased bamboo cups that are washed each week. This has opened up a new work experience as the cups have to be run through the dishwasher and be dried carefully ready for our next service.