“Student-managed restaurant” is not a new concept for the world, but it is to Sri Lanka. The Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya is more than proud to take the first step in the course of introducing “The Kiosk,” the first-ever student-managed restaurant in Sri Lanka.
The Kiosk is not just another typical food experience you’ll get. From the name itself to the delicious cuisine you’ll get served on the table, it carries its unique identity. There’s a massive project behind bringing The Kiosk into life, that underlies the main objective of supporting the financially vulnerable students in the faculty. As a result of a letter received by the 92/93 Batch of the Faculty of Agriculture issued by AAFAUP dated 18 July 2022, requesting financial support for the needy students in the faculty due to the prevailing economic crisis in the country, The Kiosk came into action as the best solution. The prime movers of this project implemented the concept of a student-managed restaurant for the faculty as a multi-dimensional conclusion that serves as a platform for the students to enhance their career skills while providing them with the financial support they need at the same time. By making all the efforts behind the project Humming Bird on its way to success, “The Kiosk” opened its doors to the public on 09 January 2023.
Up until November, The Kiosk has completed a very successful journey of 11 months so far, by achieving its objectives one by one, to support the needy students in the faculty by creating job opportunities, to ensure the food security of the needy students, to provide a pre-platform for the students to shape up their career development before stepping into the real-life work world, and also to encourage students to overcome the welfare mentality. The Kiosk has also implemented different community CSR projects of numerous scopes so far, including the complimentary lunch for the staff at the University of Peradeniya, Health Centre, donation of food for the Kandy cancer hospital, and organizing the Business Workshop for the undergraduates of the Faculty of Agriculture.
Success is not accidental, but happens on the go and comes out as the output of all the inputs including effort, courage and time we put in. It was all the same for The Kiosk, which started as a team of only 19 undergraduates of the Faculty of Agriculture, with the supervision of the general manager, head of supply and logistics, marketing, human resources, and finance. Over time it established a “Student leadership team” with a general manager, heads of supply, finance, human resources, events and marketing followed by 20 new recruitments, expanding its scope. There are now 58 Undergraduates from all the 4 batches in the faculty at the moment; 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 batches who are working together at The Kiosk with the help of 3 skilled chefs. The students engage in the part-time shifts, during the free slots they get from the academic work. For the objective of making the needy Agricultural undergraduates of the faculty to be financially sound, The Kiosk has spent over LKR 800,000 for the students so far, for their work in the form of salary.
Whether it’s an undergraduate student, lecturer, professor, outside visitor or whoever, The Kiosk door is open and the cuisine to match your vibe is awaiting on the menu, including beverages like milkshakes, iced coffee, plain tea, milk tea, mojito & cool drinks, cake, donut, hot soup appetiser, crispy chicken burger, hotdog, noodles along with some other specific and special food items that get added to the menu only on special days and occasions to make the vibes change a bit from the monotony. The food at the cafe stands out among the typical food in outside restaurants and cafes, in terms of the quality, freshness and nutritional value maintained at The Kiosk. The open kitchen makes The Kiosk much more amazing, where it lets the customers see how their dishes are made and also a better way to have an experience to remember for the diners, with a perfect visual entertainment. The Kiosk is not only a dining place, as the customers can celebrate their special moments with The Kiosk, while also enjoying the time and relaxing here.
The ambience of the restaurant is still undeniably great with all its atmosphere, decor, and staff, along with the touch of music mingled with the special program series accompanied by The Kiosk; “Beats and Bites.” As an extension of further undergraduate empowerment, Beats and Bites came into the spotlight, where The Kiosk made a stage for the talented undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya, who are skilled in singing and playing to entertain the customers. The first Beats and Bites series concluded with four successful episodes that led to the second series where two episodes of that also have been concluded by now, way better than ever expected.
The KIOSK is projected to be a fully self-sustaining restaurant starting from January 2024. It is serving and continues to serve the students at its fullest by implementing different projects to strengthen the personal and academic lives of the students in order to make them financially sound while also putting a strong foundation for the career life which the undergraduates are about to start.
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