Somehow, in the hustle and bustle that is the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids and this blog that accompanies it, I have yet to talk about one of our most exciting events. It truly is a travesty to have gone this long without mention of it, and for that I apologize. In reality, each week I could talk about just this aspect of the summer lunch program and never run out of things to say. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to
Taco Bell Jr.
Every Friday, the kids at one of our camp sites invite members of the site staff, our administration and the larger Hilliard community to lunch. Yes, we serve lunch every day. That’s what we’re all about. But this is different.
Taco Bell Jr. is a child founded and operated restaurant within the Hilliard Free Summer Lunch Camp for Kids. Everything is made by the kids. Place settings, decorations, centerpieces, FOOD. Everything.
The menu is ever expanding. The kids have made and served chicken fajitas, beef tacos, beans, rice, torta, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole and flan. They’d give any restaurant chain a run for their money.
It’s truly a sight to see. There are weekly planning meetings lead by a “manager” (a sixth grader with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry who has spent years climbing the corporate ladder) and every position is filled by the campers. We have hosts and hostesses, waiters and waitresses, staff behind the counter, chefs and two managers.
During opening week for the restaurant I was fortunate enough to be served by our kids (seating is limited and reservations are preferred. I was lucky to get in). So much stood out in the form of sights and sounds and experiences that it’s hard to write about them all. Imagine each of these coming from a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grader:
“Hi, welcome to Taco Bell Jr. How many will be in your party today?”
“How are you enjoying your meal, sir?”
“I need a beef taco, no rice, no beans at Table 3.”
“Have you tried any of our homemade guacamole? Let me go and get you some, on the house.”
Sure, the whole operation is “on the house” – Taco Bell Jr. accepts donations but charges nothing for their services – but hearing one of our kids say that still made me smile.
Each week I get to witness this incredible event and it never stops being amazing.
P.s. If you’re interested, TBJr is open on Fridays from 11:30am to 12:30pm through August 9th. RSVP to email@example.com to make a reservation.