Eating out to help train local hospitality students

Local people have an opportunity to directly support South Gippsland students – by enjoying an evening of fine dining or a cafÉ-style luncheon.

GippsTAFE has just opened its training restaurant, the Wildflower Training Cafe, at its new Leongatha Campus.

The Cafe has been established to provide realistic training in the Food and Beverage Service and Cookery, which is where the general public comes in.

Head of Hospitality at Leongatha, Linda Austin, said the students gained great benefit from working in a real-life situation with patrons from outside GippsTAFE.

“We have restricted opening times as we don’t want to take patronage away from local businesses,” Ms Austin said. “It is important however that we train the next generation of hospitality workers well.  In order for this training to be as realistic as possible, it is imperative that the Wildflower is well patronised each week providing the students with adequate customer numbers to simulate a real life situation.”

The Wildflower Training Cafe has started operations on Thursday evenings from 6.30pm until 9.00pm, offering a three course menu at $28 per head plus beverages. Dinner will be offered throughout terms 2 and 3, concluding on Thursday 22 September, 2011. It will not operate on school holidays.

The Cafe will also provide a state of the art training venue for first Year VET in Schools students. They will operate more of a cafe style service on Wednesdays for lunch until the 2 September, 2011. This will consist of a 2 course menu for $15 per head plus beverages.

“We think this will be a good experience for the public who, by enjoying a meal, can help us train a hospitality student!” Ms Austin said.

All reservations will be taken through reception at GippsTAFE Leongatha and can be made by phoning 5662 6800. The Cafe is part of the new and exciting GippsTAFE Leongatha Campus in Nerrena Road Leongatha.