Young amigos try running restaurant

The Cromwell Youth Trust took over Amigos restaurant for two nights last week. From left are Jack...
The Cromwell Youth Trust took over Amigos restaurant for two nights last week. From left are Jack Rogan (11), Carli Hutchinson (12), Will Stephenson (11), Amigos restaurant supervisor Anderson Horler, Olivia Kihi (11), head chef Kunal Nerurkar and sous chef Antonia McNair. PHOTOS: SHANNON THOMSON
Amigos Cromwell spiced things up last week when its team let local youth take over the restaurant.

"Youth Take Over Amigos" is a Cromwell Youth Trust initiative in which young people are given the opportunity to run the front-of-house operations of the restaurant for two nights.

This year, seven youths volunteered for a range of tasks, from taking orders and serving customers to making non-alcoholic drinks behind the bar.

Amigos Cromwell site manager Andrew Clearwater said the participants did an "amazing" job.

Carli Hutchinson prepares drinks at Youth Take Over Amigos in Cromwell last week.
Carli Hutchinson prepares drinks at Youth Take Over Amigos in Cromwell last week.
"Everyone had a ton of fun, between the kids, guests, and us as well.

"They followed directions very well and had a level of confidence I wish I had at that age."

Jack Rogan works behind the bar at Amigos last week. He was one of seven people who took part in...
Jack Rogan works behind the bar at Amigos last week. He was one of seven people who took part in the Cromwell Youth Trust initiative.

Youth trust manager Rhys Smith said the "takeover" happened twice a year and was a "confidence-booster" for the young people.

"They are typically nervous before they serve their first customer and by the end of the evening they basically know how to run the whole front of house and it shows them that they are capable of going outside of their comfort zone and experiencing what it is like to be in a working environment."

The response from both the youths and customers was positive, Mr Smith said.

"Every young person who has taken part has expressed how much they loved doing it and how they will definitely be wanting to do it again in the future.

"We received a great response from the customers who really enjoyed the interactions with the kids and how well they performed," he said.

The event served as a fundraiser, half the income from the two evenings going directly back to the youth trust.

"We could not have done this without the amazing support from Amigos Cromwell and their staff - they continue to support our youth community no matter the challenges we are all facing in today’s environment," Mr Smith said.

shannon.thomson@odt.co.nz

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