ESCANABA – What does it take to own and operate a restaurant? Scouts from Troop 411 took a tour of Bobaloon’s Cafe in Escanaba to find out.
The kids were learning more about cooking by working on the Cooking Merit Badge, an advancement award in Scouting. The tour of Bobaloon’s exposed them to the possibility of a career in the restaurant industry. Bobaloon’s Cafe primarily serves hot dogs and specialty sandwiches and is described as an eclectic lunchtime eatery.
Owner Mark Ammel started the tour in the dining area of the restaurant to talk about the importance of satisfying the customer. He then took them to the counter to show the restaurant from his point of view.
He stopped at the entrance to the kitchen where there is a small sink, soap and paper towels. Ammel told the Scouts he washes his hands “a hundred times a day” because he handles food. The kids saw the grill, deep fryer and line where most of the orders are filled. At the wash basins, there were three sinks for cleaning utensils.
In the storage room, Ammel talked about his love of cooking that he has had since he was kid. He worked in a butcher shop before joining the staff at Bobaloon’s. Today, he owns the business and employs several employees.
Ammel made a point about monitoring costs in order for a restaurant to succeed. He took a potato and talked with the kids about all of the different things that costs money in order to turn that potato into fries.
In the end, the Scouts had a better understanding for the next time they enter a restaurant and someone asks them, “can I help you?”