Darlington College has a proud history of helping young people gain the skills, experience and confidence to achieve their dreams and its catering courses help students learn everything they need to excel in the industry.
As part of their training, the students work in the “The Glasshouse”, a restaurant open to the public, where each day 14 students, seven front of house and seven in the kitchen, cook and serve food to the highest possible standard, taking the lessons they learn in the classroom and applying them directly in a professional environment.
The disaster struck. In October 2016 a fire engulfed the Glasshouse’s two kitchens and left them unusable. It looked like the kitchens would be out of action for months, leaving the students without a place to apply their skills.
Donna Joyce, lecturer on the catering course, said: “It was devastating to see the results of the fire. Two of our kitchens were destroyed. We were worried the students wouldn’t be able to finish their courses.”
Luckily the college had already identified PKL as a potential partner in solving an unplanned kitchen shutdown. A PKL project consultant visited the college within days of the fire, to review the site’s requirements and quickly returned with a temporary kitchen plan that not only replicated the kit and set up the students we used to, but also connected to the building allowing the Darlington team to set up a new, unobtrusive home for the Glasshouse.
In less than a month the restaurant was up and running, minimising the loss to its regular business,
Donna said PKL’s sales process had been simple and very easy.
“The kitchens have been brilliant. We’re back up and running, there’s been no disruption of the student’s curriculum and we’ve lost no trade – it’s fantastic.”