Copperas Cove High School students learn business and life skills at a student-run coffee shop

COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) – Students at Copperas Cove High School are putting their skills to use in the classroom by running a cafe for the school.

The cafe, Bulldog Brew, opened in early October after restaurant management students decided to take their learning to a practical level.

“I was really shocked it was great,” said student employee, Luca Garcia. “It was nice to have a course that you could get real world experience from.”

CCHS staff can order via a Microsoft Excel form. The order will then go to the students, and they will make the coffee or smoothie as desired. The student will then deliver the coffee to a staff member.

The job enables them to learn financial, communication, business and hospitality skills.

“With money management, the math aspect is extremely important,” said restaurant management teacher Lindsay Link. “We learn labor costs and how to manage them based on what you make that day, food costs, how to budget for taxes, all the things I wish I had learned in high school.”

Student employees at Bulldog Brew also collaborate with other organizations and courses, including a culinary course and a student-run news station.

In order to serve, course participants had to obtain a food handler’s license. Link said they took a course to get their licenses and even got a health inspection from the city.

“With the inspection, I wanted to be able to simulate that … so they know how to keep the restaurant safe and know what cleanliness and food safety specifications they need to have in order to have a successful and clean business,” Link said.

While some of the students may not be planning to go into the service or business industries, they said they learned skills that will help them in their future careers.

“It helps me with work outside of school,” said Martrice Greene, a senior student employee. “Whether you have a rush order and you need to ship it as soon as possible, whether someone has ordered but wants it later…having it here…it connects with me outside of school, it definitely helps keep things much smoother.”

Bulldog Brew is open throughout the school day with different students working each class. They said they usually organize shifts on the conveyor belt with each person assigned to a specific task.

The money they make from the purchase goes back into the business to make it available to future students.

Link hopes that next year the course will be only practical.

“I would like to make sure that the students know how to really run it on their own without me, so that when they become their own managers or even own their own business, whether it’s a restaurant or any other business, they will be able to know the steps to take in all aspects business,” she said.

Students are also working to meet the budget for the storefront for the staff to order. The students are excited to continue applying their skills in the cafe.

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