Salena’s is proud sponsor of Rochester Youth Culinary Experience.
RYCE is a not for profit endeavor to open a fully functioning, self-sufficient restaurant that will be run by high-school students and a management team. This project allows students autonomy through creating a distinctive and organic product while receiving real time feedback that ebbs and flows with the students’ ideas and work.
The prospect of belonging to the project will engage students in their academic endeavors from the earlier grades, giving them a tangible goal for their learning. It will teach students to be employable adults, and lead them through the entrepreneurial process of business creation, allowing them a lifelong career readiness option. This will have a direct impact on students that are impoverished to be able to earn a living wage and gain skills and connections to continue an impactful lifestyle upon graduation.
Students are already involved in every aspect of the development of the restaurant, from menu development and design, architectural layout for equipment, and the overall décor plan. Students will continue to be an integral part of the overall running of the business, giving them the opportunity to expand on what they are learning in their culinary arts program through development of training manuals, bookkeeping, budgeting, banking, permit processes, license requirements, taxes, payroll, employee hiring and firing, and any other topics that come up through the business day.
Students will have a matrix to be signed off on by their program to show initiative, progress, and dedication to the program. Once that is complete, they will become a paid employee on site. Because of the ages of the students, many of them are expected to be part time, but they will be paid a living wage. Once employed, students will have basic employment expectations that are found throughout the workplace environment (ie. Showing up for scheduled shifts, dependability, attitudes towards guests, food safety).
Once a part of RYCE, as long as their program matrix and employment expectations are maintained, they will remain employed until the end of August following their senior year. Upon leaving RYCE, students will have on site experience in various levels of restaurant and customer service fields, positive connections to other employers, and positive referrals to take with them.
The incoming students will be able to make their mark on RYCE by offering new ideas in how to best serve guests, menu development, and basic business fundamentals. This constant influx of new ideas will allow for the business to remain relevant to needs of the students to ensure they have access to the necessary experiences to prepare them for entrepreneurial endeavors, or if they choose not to go that route, for successful employment in the workforce outside of school.
At the end of each year, profits will be distributed to local organizations that assist in combating childhood hunger in Rochester.