Our Food and Beverage classes in the Service Excellence for Business program went to help at St. Felix Centre, a non-profit community.
“Be Humble, Help and Learn” is the message to summarize the amazing experience I had. By giving, you receive more than you think. Our class of SEB students helped to prepare a dinner for people in need at St. Felix Centre.
Located downtown at 25 Augusta Ave, this establishment is dedicated to providing compassionate service. They have two Meal Programs: the Lunch Program from Monday through Friday (9:00 AM to 1:30 PM) and the Dinner Program from Monday through Thursday (3:00 PM to 7:00 PM). No matter the religion, gender, culture, or ability, all are welcomed with the same respect.
What a good sensation to feel useful and proud. We put our heart and soul into the dinner preparation. On the Menu? Fresh salad with Tuna gourmet sandwich, accompanied by roasted potatoes. The dessert was a delectable homemade chocolate and coconut brownie with peach yoghurt. It sounds yummy, doesn’t it? And it was.
We tried to use many skills we learned in class. Being a volunteer there was definitely a learning opportunity. An element we got to experience first-hand was the timing and sequencing of running an F&B, Food and Beverage operation. No time to waste, it had to be prepared and ready to serve by 5:00 PM.
Cassandra Wahn, our teacher in food and beverage showed us some chopping techniques to make the preparation timelier. According to her to work in F&B you need to have superior time management. It is also crucial to be able to deal with others to ensure smooth service. I really felt that we connected with each other. No need to wait for a meal to be served or a plate to be washed, we all had the sense of duty.
Mission accomplished! All tasks were done as a team and on time: cutting the bread and vegetables, wrapping up the brownies, laying out the meal on the trays, or washing the dishes.
Cassandra was proud of us. She expressed: “I saw the level of participation from each of you and you all helped out wherever was needed. It is a humbling experience. You were given the opportunity to give back to the community. It brought you a glimpse of Canadian culture and a look at the values we hold important.” That’s one of the reasons that make me love Canada. We stand for the same values: honesty, equality, kindness, and compassion.
Service Excellence for Business at St.Felix Centre ©M.G
Time to serve
We looked at the different dynamics it takes to work in BOH, Back of House but FOH, Front of House as well. We got to use several kitchens’ equipment as well as follow certain elements of the steps of service. Heart beating, eyes sparkling, we served all guests with enthusiasm. I could see gratitude in the volunteer and guest eyes. That’s the most precious award.
Thank you St. Felix Centre for opening your doors for us! You taught us that “everyone is our neighbour”.
Quote of the Day: “Generosity is the heart of humanity.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita, founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation.
Vocabulary of the day: BOH, Back of House: refer to the kitchen / FOH, Front of House: refer to everything in front of the kitchen (bar, dining area…).
Advice of the day: If you are interested in being a volunteer at St. Felix Centre, click here.
Written by Marine Gas, student blogger for the ILAC International College.