Learning through Lunch Evaluation

When: 26 May 2020

When Ardoch engaged our strategic Partner, ORIMA Research, to evaluate the 2019 Learning Through Lunch program, the results were very rewarding and a testament to the strength and value of the program.

Learning Through Lunch is an inspiring program that sees primary school students from areas facing disadvantage experience hospitality in a way they may have never experienced before. Students visit a hospitality training college or social enterprise restaurant and are introduced to new experiences and food in a supportive learning environment.
As with many of Ardoch’s programs, volunteering is key. Children learn how to navigate the dining experience from role-modelling adult volunteers, while also learning about paid employment and further education.

While seeking to identify the program’s effect on student confidence, academic progress, aspiration, social skills and wellbeing and engagement in learning, ORIMA’s evaluation found that Learning Through Lunch delivers impact across the board.

85% of students reported that they had enthusiastically taken part. Even greater was the impact on students’ social skills, with 91% of teachers observing that all or most students participated in conversation with adult volunteers.

Six weeks after the lunch, 73% of students had increased confidence to try something new, whether it be a new food or new venue. Looking to the future was also a prominent outcome – with 71% of students searching for information after the program, including the new food they had tried, cooking skills needed, and jobs within the hospitality industry. 1 in 3 students learnt of jobs that they never knew existed prior to the lunch, including different types of chefs, waiting staff, and hotel management

This evaluation demonstrates that Learning Through Lunch provides an ideal opportunity for students to grow confidence, academic skills, social skills and engagement in learning, while expanding their aspirations and knowledge of what may be possible in their adult lives. It’s a win-win for the students. After all, what better way to learn than in a shared social environment while enjoying good food? Yum yum!