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Cove High students open and operate in-school coffee shop

Posted Date: 01/10/2023

Cove High students open and operate in-school coffee shop

COPPERAS COVE, TX (January 9, 2023)—Copperas Cove High School junior Leilani Velazquez serves up a Strawberry Frappe Smoothie for a customer as sophomore Tiara Barker adds the whipped cream topping. The pair are working in the school’s new in-house coffee shop, Bulldawg Brew, to earn credit in the Hospitality career pathway.

Teacher Lindsay Lenk teaches the class that is popular both among students and staff.

“In Restaurant Management class, students have been learning the ins and outs of a working restaurant,” Lenk said. “These include customer service, inventory, pricing and food cost, budgeting, business plans, money handling, food safety, and basic marketing.”

In order to make it as realistic as possible, Lenk opened the coffee shop for students to employ hands-on applications by providing drinks purchased by staff.

“Daily, we run the restaurant by filling orders, counting inventory, cleaning to health inspection specifications, and exploring customer service interactions,” Lenk said. “Students have collaborated with students enrolled in graphic design and other media- based classes to create flyers as well as a television commercial.”

Velazquez said the class has taught her how to professionally respond to both her supervisor and customers who could be challenging to interact with.

“This helped me build a respectable attitude and mentality for the workspace,” Velazquez said. “I learned how to take orders and deliver them to customers. This helped me build strong customer service skills."

Lenk invited the city health inspector to conduct a routine health inspection. Though it is not required, Lenk wanted students to have the experience and learn ways to improve operations. The coffee shop passed the inspection with a score of 91. This was an exciting outcome for the students including senior Raeden Trevino.

"This course has taught me communication is critical. Regardless of the situation, always communicate with the people around you. I feel as if customer service would fall under communication skills. Without exceptional communication, a lot of things would be misinterpreted and that’s not something that’s the best for a restaurant,” Trevino said. “Budgeting would be the same. We learned how to budget properly, or you could go bankrupt."

The success of Bulldawg Brew has resulted in the restaurant management class becoming a culinary practicum course for the 2023-2024 school year. The funds generated from sales are reinvested for Bulldawg Brew to become a self-sustaining business.

"In restaurant management, I've learned to work together in a team and this class has prepared me for a lot of the future jobs I'm considering,” Barker said. “It's provided me with lots of experience of what it's like to work in an actual restaurant and it's prepared me for real life situations that could occur while I'm working.”