Business class puts learning into action.
Pratt's newest restaurant will hold its grand opening and closing on the same day, and that's all right — it's spelled out in the business plan.
Pratt High School students in Crystal Kohman-Smith's business essentials class will serve a dinner at Ribberto's Little Italy, demonstrating what they have learned from the beginning of the semester. They decided on an Italian restaurant, because Pratt doesn't have one, except for pizza shops, and everybody likes to eat.
They wrote a business plan, eight to 10 pages worth, with each of the 15 students having responsibility for some part of it.
"It's definitely a teamwork activity," Megan Kelling commented.
There is a lot to a business plan — it was a "holy cow" according to Paige Freund, who took the class because she wants to open a coffee shop after she graduates.
"You have to be very detail oriented, down to the sugar packets," Jamiah Roskow said.
The details have included working out a marketing plan, diagramming the Municipal Building for the efficient flow of wait staff and figuring out how to get the food from the Pratt High kitchen, where it will be prepared, to the Municipal Building.
Corbyn Crump was chosen as the boss, based on a strong resumé, demonstrated leadership as president of the school's National Honor Society and good interview skills.
Shivan Bhakta is the financial director. He has worked on accounting forms and cash flow and balance sheets.
As production director, Kelling has figured costs down to the last penny per serving.
If all goes well, the students will make a profit, which they will put towards a class trip. The ultimate goal is to go to New York City to explore business in a big city. It may take a few years to raise $350 per student plus transportation, Kelling said, just as the band works for two years to go to Disney World.
This is the first year for the project-based class, Kohman-Smith said. It's a combination of individual classes in entrepreneurship, business economics, marketing and accounting, all with the goal of providing real-world experience.
Saturday night could be considered as a final exam in the semester course; however there have been other activities for grades during the course. But no paper-and-pencil tests, which has been popular with the students.
Every day is a test, Roskow said, as they solve problems and learn to work together.
They have contingency plans if the weather is bad, or if they have too much food, or even if a classmate fails to show up for a day that begins at 9 a.m. and ends when everything is cleaned up, probably around 11 that night.
Gage Angood is the head cook. He has some experience in the kitchen and he's very good at delegating, Kohman-Smith said. The tasks for the day include cooking up 60 pounds of meat, 4.5 gallons each of marinara and alfredo sauce, 45 pounds each of three types of pasta, baking 10 chocolate and 10 peanut butter sheet cakes, tossing tubs full of salad and adding the finishing touches, right down to the last sugar packet for coffee or tea.
It will be worth the effort.
"If we are not financially successful we have learned a lot," Roskow said.
"Whether the business fails or succeeds, it's my favorite class," Kelling agreed. "We've learned that three of five entrepreneur businesses fail. It's something we're aware of."
Clearly, however, the students are expecting a successful one-night run. They've worked hard to make it happen.
If you go
Date: Dec. 8
Place: Pratt Municipal Building
Times: 5-9 p.m.
Cost: $8, $6 for students, PK-12
Reservations: Call 672-4540, walk-ins welcome.