First Service for NorthTec Trades Academy

April 9, 2024
April 9, 2024

The 2024 Food and Beverages Trade Academy Students at NorthTec have survived their first service in the Apprentice Restaurant at NorthTec’s Raumanga Campus. The set service lunch took place on Monday the 8th of April and saw the full class putting their new skills to the test.

“This was the first service of 15 that they will undertake throughout the year,” explains Amanda Turner, NorthTec tutor for Food and Beverages. “This one was a set menu, so everyone was served the same meal. It was only open to the student’s family members as a way to ease them into their first service.”

As part of their academic year, students from Northland’s high schools in years 12 and 13 can take part in the Trades Academy getting hands-on experience in an industry of their choice. The Food and Beverage students learn all things service-related, which helps set them up for careers or further study in the hospitality industry as well as helping them gain credits for NCEA.

The lunch allows the students to practice various skills including front of house, wait service, serving beverages, and more. Each student will get to try out the different roles in the service industry, switching places with their fellow students each time they run a service.

“It was a good service,” says Kyle Jenkins, a trades academy student. “The service we ran today was a lunch service with a set menu, so we didn’t need to take orders, just serve. I was a little nervous at the start of the day, with it being the first time, but once people were here and we started I was fine. It’s a good learning experience.”

Kyle was one of the wait staff on the day. His fellow student, Deevon Litten who was given the role of maître d’, also had good things to say.

“In this role, you have to greet everyone at the door and get them seated. You’re the first one they see,” Deevon explains. “It was pretty easy today because everyone came in all at once and when they were seated that was the most important part done. But I can see how it would be a really full-on job in an actual restaurant. People would be coming and going all the time and you would have to make sure everyone was in the right place and your servers were all ok. It would be a lot to do. It’s cool to try it out and see how it all works.”

The first service for the Trades Academy students was supported by NorthTec students undertaking the NZ Certificate in Cookery (Level 4). The cookery students ran the kitchen, with their tutor Hughie Blues as Head Chef, providing the three-course meal the Trades Academy students served their guests.

“The next services they do will be À la carte (ordering from a menu) rather than a set menu,” says Amanda Turner. “So, they will have more skills to put to the test. This was just their first service, and a set menu is easier.”

The next services, all of which will be run out of the apprentice restaurant, will be open to the public. If people are interested in booking a lunch or dinner service, then please contact Amanda at

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