Pathways to Employment
As our restaurants operate on a donation based model, many people who walk through our doors are experiencing food insecurity or vulnerability. The non-judgemental environment of LAA often inspires people to volunteer, which gives people a chance drive change in their own lives.
Many people who have struggled to learn in other settings have been able to shine at Lentil.
Some volunteers might take two weeks to complete their barista training, while another volunteer might need six months while transitioning gender or moving into a stable house.
We get that people are unique and learn in different ways. Some volunteers contribute via making coffee, others might fold tea towels or perform for the customers. There are various platforms for our volunteers to participate or share their talents.
We are able to provide hands-on training based on individual needs and capabilities, both in front and back of house operations, and in both a la carte and Buffet services.
Volunteers learn a variety of tasks step by step, ranging from Hosting and Floor Service roles to Food Preparation and Back of House tasks, such as, Event Planning.
As a mutual exchange we are able to provide food, mentoring and references for our volunteers. Many of our volunteers credit this experience as a pathway to paid hospitality employment.
We are also fortunate enough to be able to offer a quality Barista Training experience where volunteers commit to shifts in the Lentil cafes and learn all aspects of coffee making.
Our experienced Baristas mentor and guide volunteers during their volunteer shift in all elements of cafe service. From quality and efficient coffee making, to plating up, serving drinks, cashier skills and making speciality beverages, such as, chai lattes, matcha and juices.
Our cafe training program has a high rate of participants gaining employment following training at a Lentil cafe.