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

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 12:06 PM CST
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) - Copperas Cove High School students are applying their classroom skills by running a coffee shop for the school.

The coffee shop, Bulldog Brew, opened in early October after the Restaurant Management class decided to take their learning to a hands-on level.

“I was really kind of shocked that it was super hands on,” student employee, Luca Garcia, said. “It was nice to have a class that you were able to get the real world experience from.”

Staff at CCHS can order with a Microsoft Excel form. The order will then go to the students, and they will make the coffee or smoothie requested. Then, a student will deliver the coffee to the staff member.

The business allows them to learn financial, communication, business and restaurant industry skills.

“With money management, the mathematical aspect of it is extremely important,” restaurant management teacher, Lindsay Link, said. “We learn labor costs and how to manage that based on what you’re making that day, food costs, how to budget taxes, all the things that I wish I learned in high school.”

Student employees at the Bulldog Brew also collaborate with other organizations and courses, including the culinary class and student-led news station.

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

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

Even though some of the students may not plan on going into the service or business industry, they said they have learned skills that will help them in their future careers.

“It helps me with my job out of school,” senior student employee, Martrice Greene, said. “Whether it’s you have a quick order and you need to get it out as soon as possible, whether it’s somebody places an order but wants to at a later time...having that connects with me out of school, it definitely helps make things a lot smoother for me.”

Bulldog Brew is open during the entire school day with different students working each class period. They said they usually organize shifts in assembly-line fashion with each person designated to a specific task.

The money they make from purchases goes back into the business to keep it running for future students.

Link hopes to make the course strictly hands-on next year.

“I would like to make sure that the students know how to really run it themselves without me, so that when they get out into being a manager themselves or even owning their own business, whether it’s a restaurant or whether it’s any other business, they’ll be able to know the steps to take in all aspects of business,” she said.

Students are also working on meeting the budget for a walk-up window for staff to order from. The students are excited to continue applying their skills with the coffee shop.