English for the Restaurant

Ricardo Demo

The restaurant industry is the 5th largest employer of Latinos in Philadelphia, according to the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of Philadelphia. Additionally, 25% of restaurant workers in Philadelphia are Hispanic. As a result, there are unique needs both the industry and Hispanic restaurant workers face.

The Garces Foundation developed an English language and skills program to support the unique needs of this community. In this program, students attend class for three hours a week over a twelve-week session. This time is used to increase communication skills through language acquisition and learner confidence. Additionally, we provide students with the option to participate in skill building workshops with chefs throughout the city. In doing so, students gain additional job skills, which promote advancement in the workplace.

In 2014, nutrition education classes and computer literacy classes were added to provide a more comprehensive experience. In the same year, over 150 students have been served, representing more than 50 Philadelphia restaurants.

The English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living program is not only an adult ESL program, but it also serves as a fieldwork site for in-service and pre-service teachers. Teachers-in-training from the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Arcadia University regularly serve as interns in the areas of instruction and curriculum design. We are proud to be approved fieldwork sites with these university partners. Since beginning in May 2013, more than 30 intern teachers from these universities have completed coursework and service hours with the English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living program.


Class Information

Winter Session

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 – Thursday, March 23,2017

Click here for the class schedule.

Click here for the online application.