Cafe Project – Resources for Personal Development Skills (VCAL)

If you are lucky like me, then you might have an industrial kitchen at your disposal at school.

My students making coffee under the watchful eye of myself (thanks to Star Weekly for the image)

Read the full article from Star Weekly here

If you do, then read on. If you don’t, still read on as you might be able to take a few ideas from this blog post.

Before I was a teacher, I was a hospitality manager. I managed pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, so I (sort of) know a thing or two about running a hospitality program. I worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, so I decided to combine my ‘real world’ experience with my VCAL program. If you’ve read one of my previous posts (insert shameless plug here) you’ll know that I strive to make sure that my VCAL program is connected to the real world. I also think it’s important to combine your passions with your program, increasing engagement with students (If you are passionate about your program, so will your students).



  1. Ask for permission.
  2. Get your students excited
  3. Take them to cafe’s, get a feel for the project (we’re lucky, we have local excursion permission, so I can take them to the local shops)
  4. Get the students running things, give them a list of things to do.
  5. Get everything donated, so you don’t need to pay for anything (We wrote letters to Coles, Wooolworths and Aldi, Woolworths said they’d donate stock)
  6. Get other teachers involved, you need buy in from other teachers so they turn up at lunch time
  7. Get some publicity (See Star Weekly)


Real world connections

  • Barista Training – I’m lucky that I have a Cert IV in Training and I know how to make a decent coffee with my hospitality experience, so the students don’t have to pay for a course
  • Food Handling Certificates from Safe@Work
  • Letters to suppliers and invoices from suppliers
  • Website creation (students made a website for the cafe)
  • Researching recipes for muffins / cakes and then cooking them
  • Promotions activities to get people into the cafe
  • Shopping for ingredients
  • Organising an excursion to other student run cafe’s like Warringa Park’s Cafe 11
  • Rostering – students needed to create a roster for ’employees’

Resources for the Cafe

VCAL Cafe Checklist – Word Doc

Café Program Outline

  • Explain Learning Outcomes (PDS and WRS) – QA document
  • Relate back to students lives – Authentic Learning
  • Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do is a sign of intelligence
  • Explain that this will be student run, and that there will be little teacher involvement, after the brainstorm sessions, students will be expected to work independently and to a time frame
  • Give dates of café
  • Find out what students are good at (could be anything, then we can relate to café)
  • Find out what interests them and what’s important to them (could be anything, then we can relate to café)
  • Brainstorm all the positive outcomes of running the café will bring to the school / the students / parents / teachers / community
  • Mind map/Brainstorm – what do you think we need to do to run a café?
  • Ask students to form working groups – brainstorm what groups they need (Front of House, Back of House, Management, Documentary Team) and define roles
  • Discuss / brainstorm the employability skills students will be meeting running the caféAre there any outside resources we need to get done ASAP?
  • Exec Letter for approval needs to be done ASAP
  • Use the goals for the day sheet from next lesson

Things students needto brainstorm to run the café

  • Name the café
  • Uniforms
  • Coffee Training
  • Ordering
  • Recipes
  • Food Handler certificate
  • Risk Assessments
  • Posters
  • Invites (parents, teachers, students, local newspaper)
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Cleaning
  • Opening and closing procedure
  • Menu
  • Advertising
  • Ingredients
  • Exec Approval
  • Prices
  • Surveys



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