Restaurant Job Training

The Restaurant Job Training Program (RJTP) gives teens at My Place Teen Center a unique real-world opportunity to train as cooks, servers, bussers, hosts, hostesses, and dishwashers in a restaurant-like environment, preparing meals in the teaching kitchen, and serving meals to their fellow teens in MPTC’s dining room.

It’s working with food, but so much more

In an inquiry-based lesson plan, we’ve learned that engagement is the first step – and culinary arts integration elicits a high level of engagement because it’s food!

Along with providing teens with essential job readiness skills, our incredibly popular restaurant training program emphasizes and encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, structural principles, and creativity. It’s also a rewarding atmosphere to expose teens to valuable STEM skills including collaboration, inquiry, logical reasoning, and the measurement systems and chemical reactions that occur in recipes and their ingredients.

How it works

Under the supervision and guidance of the Youth Culinary Program Instructor, each student has a chance to work in one of the five restaurant positions for two weeks for the duration of the ten-week program.

RJTP operates as if teens are employed in real-world restaurant jobs, with the expectation teens are present, punctual, and willing to learn.

RJTP students are required to fill out job applications, prepare for interviews, fill timecards, complete kitchen and dining room chores, shop for ingredients within a budget, precisely follow recipes and prep lists, prepare healthy snacks, meals, and desserts, and take and deliver meal and beverage orders to teens and MPTC staff.

Through its design, RJTP provides teens with the skills, knowledge, and sociability needed for future employment in the restaurant industry, as well as a certificate of achievement to help students succeed in their culinary and hospitality endeavors.

How we teach science and real-world job skills.

Accountability and responsibility are some of the important leadership building blocks our students gain from the Restaurant Job Training Program.

The STEM goals of collaboration, inquiry, and logical reasoning are also fostered in RJTP. Science standards are targeted and youth are exposed to: 


  • measurement systems
  • critical thinking
  • chemical reactions
  • problem-solving
  • structural principles
  • creativity
  • real-world contexts
  • health and nutrition
  • financial literacy
  • time management skills