The Ridges Pizza Café was a busy place recently. Students were welcoming guests, collecting payments, preparing meals, serving food and cleaning up.
The café has taken place four times a year since 2011 as a real-world learning opportunity for students to plan and operate a restaurant at Eagle Ridge Junior High in Savage.
“It’s a student-run project,” said teacher Jeff Webber. “Give them ownership and they take off.”
Students prepare by gathering advice from business people, planning a menu, and selecting a role each time the café is open. Beforehand, students sell tickets and book reservations for customers, who are mostly staff members at the school. “Students gain many skills along the way,” he said. Students have even created a website for the café at www.strowbe.wix.com/ridgespizzacafe.
Café profits go towards field trips that students research and select. They’ve visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Guthrie Theatre. Students calculate their route to the destination via public transportation – bus, train or both – and they receive money for a bus pass.