The Creek Cafe
|The Creek Cafe
is a full-service cafeteria operating from 7:00 a.m. to 2:45
p.m. during the school week. Opened in January of 1991, the
Cafe succeeds a cafeteria closed by the school district due
to poor sales and an annual operating loss.
The business philosophy of our enterprise is to "give the
students what they want." We do not serve (or prepare)
the typical school lunch. Local businesses deliver our entree
items (pizza, subs, chicken sandwiches and nuggets, Chinese
items, and smoothies) each day. Our task is to keep the food
at the proper temperature and serve it to our hungry fellow
students. We complement entree items with other snacks such
as candy, chips, soft drinks, cookies, ice cream, muffins, soft
pretzels, bagels, milk and fruits. We do not receive any federal
funds so we are not restricted as to our food selections.
The Creek Cafe seats approximately 450 students with
a serving area of only about 600 square feet. In addition, we
have two offices, a dry storage and a walk-in freezer and refrigerator.
We are inspected semi-annually by the health department and
we are a fully licensed food establishment.
The business is wholly owned and operated by the Cherry Creek
DECA Chapter. We employ one full-time adult manager and four
student managers who are selected by marketing department teachers.
All marketing students work in the Cafe in their free periods
during the course of the year. Only the student managers are
compensated financially; however, profits from the enterprise
are partially used to fund student activities and DECA competitions.
Many of our senior students receive their work experience credits
through their hours at the cafe. The Creek Cafe makes it easier
for advisors to schedule work experiences for their students
since our marketing program is large (approximately 300).
Cherry Creek High School, located in a suburb of Denver, Colorado,
has an enrollment of approximately 3,500 students, grades 9-12,
with an open campus policy. During their 48-minute lunch periods,
the student population can flood the many nearby fast food restaurants
that offer a variety of food choices. Consequently, we attempt
to be very competitive on our prices. Fortunately, because we
buy in large quantity, our vendors offer us a substantial discount
besides furnishing daily deliveries. Our food costs average
50% for most items.
Annual sales will exceed $270,000 this year. The first $35,000
of profits are paid directly to the DECA chapter, with the balance
split 50/50 between the chapter and the high school.This operation
has been exciting, successful and rewarding. However, like any
student store operation, it is also demanding and time-consuming.
of the Creek Cafe.
form a line for check out after making their selections.
I: Learning Value of the Enterprise Project
The Creek Cafe
serves as an actual lab for our marketing students. This real-life
business provides an opportunity to "practice what we
preach." Customer service, cash register operation, buying,
salesmanship, pricing, advertising and promotion, display,
market research, employee relations, financial statements
and inventory control are some of the units of study having
a direct correlation to the operation of this enterprise.
The teachers continue to use the actual experiences of the
students (both good and bad) as a complement to curriculum
and instructional units. Direct and immediate feedback to
individual students on their performance occurs regularly
from both the teachers and managers. That our students can
actually apply what they learn in the classroom is of great
value in validating both the need and purpose of our curriculum.
II: Value of the Enterprise to the School
With our open campus, the Creek Cafe provides our students with
a choice, that of staying on school grounds over lunch periods.
We feel that our parents, teachers, administrators and the community
are very appreciative of this fact. A strong sense of pride
that our students have succeeded with this operation also exists
within the school. We also offer school clubs, teams, parents
and community-members-at-large the opportunity to use our facility
during evenings and weekends. Even though this often requires
additional effort, the public relations benefits gained are
worth the price. We also provide complimentary food to our faculty
(on special occasions) and to special guests throughout the
III: Relationship of the SBE to the Community
the strongest relationship, and most obvious, is with the businesses
that supply the Creek Cafe with supplies each day. We feel we
enjoy a classic win-win situation. Many of our vendors go beyond
the basics by providing us with extended service and helpful
instruction. Many have even expanded their commitment to our
program by serving as advisory board members, guest speakers
or as judges for DECA competitions. We naturally savor the positive
responses we receive from the school board, central administration,
parents and the many members of the community that we come in
contact with. Without their support it would be impossible to
maintain our operation at its current profitable level.
IV: Vendor Sources
Spunkmeyer Cookies and Muffins
'n Dots Ice Cream
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