The unprecedented challenges of 2020 have driven businesses in the foodservice and hospitality industry to drastically modify their offerings and service models. Now, George Brown College Chef School students are getting real-world experience adapting to this historic shift in the industry.
George Brown’s student-focused restaurant, The Chefs’ House, has been transformed into the TCH Marketplace, offering grab-and-go food and beverages. Customers follow a one-way path to browse and purchase a range of items, including meal kits, pre-made meals, sandwiches, café-style snacks and beverages, as well as beer and wine and other items.
TCH Marketplace grab-and-go service launched September 14 and operates Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. at 215 King St. E.
“We’re giving our students the opportunity to learn how to adjust and rise to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in a safe environment guided by our instructional team of industry professionals,” says Eoghan Banks, Manager, Food and Beverage Events at the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.
“With this conversion, we’re prepared to respond to and navigate changes in the market.”
Another one of these changes includes a new TCH Marketplace patio, on Frederick Street, as part of the City of Toronto’s CafeTO program, which allows restaurants to expand outdoor dining spaces to accommodate physical distancing. Banks said while it’s not a serviced patio, the outdoor seating area offers people a spot to enjoy their takeaway items while respecting social distancing with seating for about 20 people.
“It allows customers to enjoy the fall weather, and also gives us a great street presence,” Banks said.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR STUDENTS AND CUSTOMERS
Physical distancing and masks are mandatory for students, George Brown employees, and customers at TCH Marketplace.
All college employees and students working at TCH Marketplace must also complete COVID-19 awareness training and undergo health screening before being permitted on campus. There are also strict limits on how many students are permitted inside the building to prepare and sell the grab-and-go offerings.
SERVING THE ST. LAWRENCE AND KING STREET EAST NEIGHBOURHOODS
TCH Marketplace provides a convenient takeout and shopping option for residents in the King Street East and St. Lawrence neighbourhoods. Pre-COVID-19, The Chefs’ House and George Brown’s other food service operations, including The Cafe and Chef on the Run, were popular spots for people working in the nearby area. But with many people working from home, Banks is certain combining these operations under one roof will attract locals looking for a new takeout dining option this fall.
“We’re offering a wide variety of high-quality meal options sold in a safe environment,” Banks said. “This provides invaluable opportunities for our students and great value for our customers.”