The annual charity luncheon put on by the Bachelor of Business Administration – Hospitality program satisfied the appetites of many and was a resounding success, raising $644.20 in support of NCSAC’s Nourishing Minds program.
The event at the Benchmark which took place January 8 was coordinated and run by second-year students of the BBAH program, who showed off their culinary and customer service chops in working both behind-the-scenes and front-of-house at the restaurant.
“What we are trying to do here is giving them real exposure to an event you’d find in the industry,” said Osvaldo Avila, professor at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport. “We got a great response today with the professors, not only from the school of study but everybody from the College came out today.”
Students spent the day prior prepping for the event, splitting the roles from kitchen to customer service.
Rasa Burrows, one of the students who worked the luncheon, is no stranger to the environment as she had worked in a restaurant prior to coming to NC and grew up in the restaurant business. She came to NC all the way from the Bahamas.
“I always wanted to come to Canada for school,” she said. “I had done thorough research and Niagara College was one of the best school’s for hospitality in Canada.”
Burrows covered as the assistant manager, supervising and leading other students throughout the event. Though she’s had years of experience with front-of-house operations, the College has provided her with a broad scope of knowledge to prepare her for the industry’s various functions.
“It’s a full overview,” she said of the program. “We have cooking classes for the Hospitality program as well so I’ve learned more in the back of the house work.”
As part of the culinary management class, the charity luncheon gives students hands-on experience of operating in the often fast-paced dining setting.
“It taught us that you should always be working interactively and communicating no matter where it is because it’s how you get around the job successfully,” said Rochea Hamilton, who also worked at the luncheon. “It also prepared me to work in the front of the house to deal with different personalities and delivering the best customer service.”
Hamilton credits the program for preparing her to work in multiple environments. Since she began the program, she has worked for different hotels in the area and currently supervises at a restaurant.
“It’s also important that we’re working with the Canadian Food and Wine Institute and trying to do everything we can here for the students,” Avila added. “At the end, they are our (the College’s) representation and they are our biggest success.”
The recent Nourishing Minds program, launched by the NCSAC to replace its traditional food bank, provides students with gift cards to local grocery stores, giving them the ability to select the items they wish. Additional information about the program can be found here.