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5 Steps to Set Up a Training Restaurant

5 Steps to Set Up a Training Restaurant

Stuart Watson | Regeneration & Renewal

Step 1: Know what the restaurant will offer. “Get the business model right because passion alone won’t run a successful business,” says Gordon D ’Sil va, chief executive of charity Training for Life, which runs two apprentice restaurants, in Hoxton and Dartmouth. “Decide what sort of restaurant you are – driven by footfall or destination – and get the location right, then devise a marketing strategy that gets people in.”

Step 2: Stick to the budget. Micheal Pyner, chief executive of charitable regeneration agency the Shoreditch Trust, and founder of two London training restaurants, Water House in Shoreditch and the eco-friendly Acorn House in King’s Cross, says: “Stick to a budget for capital expenditure, come what may.” He adds that links with a training college or NVQ course can help in winning funding, as can the nature of the restaurant -Acorn House received money from green organisations.

Step 3: Make it work for the community. “Children come to our restaurants to learn social skills and for healthy eating classes and cooking demonstrations,” says Pyner. “In France and Italy, lawyers and workmen go to the same restaurant. That can help community cohesion by bringing different communities together.”

Step 4: Make sure it’s also a bussines. “If it’s just to make money, then you’re not a social enterprise, but if it’s just there to train, you won’t make a profit,” warns D’Silva. “Get your sums right. Keep staffing costs and overheads down. Make sure you have a working capital base and income coming in.”

Step 5: Treat everyone equally. Penny Newman, chief executive of charity the Fifteen Foundation, which runs training restaurants in London, Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne, says: “Don’t separate the business and the trainees. Our apprentices are at the coal face, working with our chefs and front-of -house people, and they all attend the same meetings.”

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Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Aug 3, 2009

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