Students from TAFE Queensland's Bundaberg campus were given a unique opportunity last weekend, serving diners at the Banquet on the Bridge event.
TAFE Queensland Faculty Director of Business, Hospitality and Language (East Coast region) Joanne Charters said 10 current and past hospitality students from the Bundaberg campus participated in Council’s first bridge dinner event.
“The students put the skills they’ve developed during their studies into practice by providing assistance in setting up the event, laying the table settings, offering drinks and canapés to guests upon arrival, serving the meals, and ensuring the event was packed down by midnight,” she said
“This was just one of the Taste Bundaberg Festival events our students have been involved in, with our students also assisting in some of the pop-ups as well as Mon Repos the First Nations Dining Experience.
“These events are a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their skills to the public and potential employers, as well as build their confidence in their own abilities.”
Joanne said participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience and having the chance to be a part of such a prestigious event.
“Our students are committed to improving their skills and service, and are highly receptive to taking direction,” she said.
“Banquet on the Bridge has given them the opportunity to not only engage with customers and put their skills into practice, but to learn from other professionals and polish their service and delivery.
“We received fantastic feedback from both Council and the community about our students’ professionalism, and though it was a voluntary event, it has resulted in offers of paid work, which is obviously a wonderful outcome.”
The bridge dinner showcased the region's delicious local produce over three-courses, catered by Hervey Bay-based Bay Fusion Food Design which was the only company to submit an expression of interest for the bridge dining experience.
Elisha Taderera was a waiter and cocktail maker at the Banquet on the Bridge and said it was a fantastic event for all involved.
“I have worked in hospitality for about five to six years across a wide range of venues so I have quite a lot of experience working at similar events, it was however my first time working on an event held on an actual bridge!” he said.
“My main tasks for the event were assisting with the setup, creating the cocktails for guests on arrival, helping run the bars during the night and assisting wherever else needed during service.”
Elisha said the Banquet on the Bridge was a unique experience and one enjoyed by all involved.
“It was great seeing people from the community enjoying each other’s company and having a good time,” he said.
“I think the event did a good job of showcasing a lot of local products and produce and turned out quite successfully!”