Hi, my name is Riina Kankaanperä, and I am a final year student in the Tourism Management programme. I did my last practical training at Restaurant Priimus between April and June this year (2022). The purpose of the restaurant is to serve as an authentic learning environment for (mainly) Gradia students. Apart from having their lunches at Priimus, the students participate in on-the-job-learning episodes where they have different roles at the restaurant. The students wait tables, take care of the café and cook the food in the kitchen, all with the guidance of Priimus staff. For the customers, the restaurant serves many purposes. The customers range from meeting customers who have their meetings in the building’s various conference spaces to families who arrange smaller or larger events, such as weddings. All events are planned and executed with the customers to their liking – no event looks the same.
I chose this restaurant as my practical training place because dining experiences and events are a big part of tourism industry, and I am a very eager home cook myself. I participated in the same activities as the Gradia restaurant and catering programme students – I served customers at the café, was a waitress in different types of lunches (Priimus lunches are very popular, it is a 2 or 3 course menu that changes weekly, available to any customer) and events (I got a glimpse of an 80´s themed birthday and a wedding), took care of meeting customers, handled the buffet, and saw how the events are planned and arranged. Most of the work happens pre-event, and it is important that the customers are oblivious to all the background work that is required. I was always amazed at how beautiful the restaurant looked for events – the flowers, colours, the lake view from the terrace, and the amazing food! The work was truly professional, yet the staff was warm and definitely the heart of the restaurant. I appreciate how much the employees use their time in helping the students – everyone has a teaching role.
Writer: Riina Kankaanperä, Bachelor’s degree programme in Tourism Management