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The Dinner@8 restaurant was the creation of 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds from room 8, Port Chalmers School.
Teacher Marnie Waaka said the one-night restaurant was the culmination of a term-long inquiry to find ways to thank the pupils’ parents for their love and support.
Pupils each invited two members of their family to the restaurant in the Port Chalmers Town Hall.
The pupils did everything from designing a logo, menu and uniforms for the restaurant to making the food with the assistance of a chef, Ms Waaka said.
"Before doing this we went and visited the Esplanade restaurant to see what a working kitchen looked like. The children learnt the basics of what was involved in running a restaurant, which was fabulous."
Prior to opening, the pupils were both excited and nervous, she said.
The pupils treated their parents and caregivers to sweet and salty popcorn, three-bean nachos, hand-rolled pasta with either roast chicken or roast mushroom and cream-filled pavlova, Ms Waaka said.
Planning for the restaurant had been under way since last term, and included children each raising $10 by doing chores at home to fund the restaurant, writing letters to generate support and researching how to cater to dietary needs.
Their passion for the project was driven by wanting to repay their parents for looking after them so well, she said.
"They all really want to acknowledge their parents for all that they do for them every day."