George Town, 26 July 2018 - THERE is room service on the campus of KDU Penang University College, and the 200-odd staff members absolutely love it.
There are also tables laid out at the cafe for students. This happens twice a week when KDU Penang's Diploma in Professional Chef Training is on tfiis project module.
KDU Penang's culinary arts lecturer Chef Chuah Lay Yen said a class of 15 diploma students run the cafe twice a week, and they must run it for profit.
'Each week, two students become team leaders, each heading the service and kitchen teams.They plan the day's specials, calculate the costs and selling prices, promote their offerings, cook and make sure they make a profit." she said.
The class scores high if they consistently achieve a gross profit of 50% to 100%. As for the room service element, she said, up to 30 staff members at the campus can order in a day, sending students trooping around with trays of food in hand.
Between the service and kitchen teams, Chuah said many students like their turns in the kitchen more. But Chuah said, "Once you understand the role of the waiter and meet customers, you become a more understanding chef"
The profits go back to the campus bursary to keep the cafe running. She said after a semester at Bar 91, students learn the inner secrets of running a cafe, bistro or fast food restaurant to hit the ground running when they graduate and find work in the food service industry. Real-world learning environments such as this abound for culinary arts students in KDU Penang's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (SHTCA).
Another restaurant facility on the campus, Bon Appetit, serves to drill students of hotel management and other SHTCA courses the challenges of running buffets and fine dining outfits. The effort at KDU Penang to take culinary arts students beyond academia earned the campus the recognition of the World Association of Chefs Societies' (WACS) Recognition of Quality Education Programme in May.
SHTCA Head Cindy Loh said this meant those who earn one of KDU Penang's culinary arts degree graduates also become WACS certified chef de partie.
Loh said in KDU Penang's upcoming flagship campus in Metropolis Batu Kawan, SHTCA will grow larger with hospitality training suites for hotel management students to learn the ropes of running a hotel.
The 30-acre (12.4ha) Batu Kawan campus is nearly complete and is targeted for opening in 2019. This campus is set to start offering a comprehensive range of courses by 2020.