By: Sveta Soloveva
Culinary and hospitality students need more hands-on experience at The Humber Room, but that can only happen if enough people dine there, faculty members told Humber News this week.
The Humber Room is the main space for students in Culinary Management and Hospitality programs to practice their fine dining service skills. However, the on-campus restaurant doesn’t have enough customers for the students to train, said culinary instructor Trevor Meynert.
“We have so many students waiting to serve. We have so many students waiting to cook. And we have more than 500 people walking up and down. But for some reason not a lot of people come here,” said Meynert.
Knowing that the students are usually very busy and they need to grab something quickly, the restaurant added Gustropub menu that allows the guests to dine in 30 minutes.
“You can get a full pizza in ten minutes. You can get short ribs in ten minutes,” said faculty of The Humber Room Robin Fraser.
The new service brought some more guests to The Humber Room, but it still looks empty.
Some hospitality students said their fellows find the place too upscale for a casual lunch on their breaks between classes.
“They think it’s too formal just because they see us wearing the tie,” said hospitality-event management student Roxanne Figueiredo.
However, only the service is upscale there, not the prices and dress code, said Fraser.
“They [the students] can’t really see into the room that we are a little bit more student-friendly,” she said. “I had two girls came in their pajamas’ bottoms. And we served them.”
The students can have a lunch at The Humber Room under $10. They pay the same amount of money going to fast-food places such as Tim Hortons or PizzaPizza, said Meynert.
“Where else can you get a nice meal such as chicken or pizza for ten bucks prepared every day with fresh, local ingridients,” he said.
The faculty always thinks about benefitting the students through changing the atmosphere and the menu. For example, this year they started hosting an event called ‘Snap Friday’, transforming the restaurant to a pub during the dinner every week.
“Snap Friday is the culmination of your whole week,” said Fraser. “We change the music. We dim the lights. We put on a Raptors game if we have to. You can have beers, wine, soft drinks. You can get a pound of chicken wings for like $7.99.”
Most students who come in for Friday dinner are shocked because fine dining is usually way more expensive, added Fraser.
Faculty members are hoping more and more students will share Snap Friday in Snapchat, one of their favourite social apps, to help The Humber Room become more popular.
Some students in the Hospitality-Event Management program say they prefer The Humber Room to any other eatery on their campus.
“At lunch time it’s pretty good,” said Sarah Booth. “It’s pretty quick.”
“It’s fresh here. The chefs make it every day,” said Figueiredo. “And we have stuff that we grow at humber. For example, the honey is made here.”
“You not only benefitting the school. You are benefitting your fellow peers giving them experience they need to go into the industry they are trying to work towards,” she added.
The Humber Room is open for lunch from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m and dinner from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. Reservations are recommended for large groups.