A pop-up restaurant run by children has become a recipe for success in Tauranga.

Year 5 students at Greenpark School this week set up their own restaurant, complete with paying guests. The children prepared, cooked and served food from a menu they created in a restaurant they set up.

"Absolutely everything has been done by the kids," senior teacher Ben Brock said.

"All of the measuring of ingredients, designing the menu, service ... even their bandanas they are wearing have been individually sewn and put together."

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The restaurant, named Ruapehu, has already made about $400 on its first day from 16 guests paying what they thought the three-course meal was worth. On its second day, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy was among diners. On Wednesday, Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless was invited to join in.

Greenpark School's
Greenpark School's "chefs" busy in the kitchen. Photo/George Novak

Mr Brock said the idea came about after an exercise last year where the children from different cultures cooked at home with their parents and brought it into school the next day. Students learned about service, presentation, and food hygiene.

Mr Brock said most of the children were "foodies" and if the restaurant inspired at least one child to take on hospitality as their career, then he was happy.

"Most importantly for me is that they are having fun doing it. Some of them will learn what it's like - hard work. I know some of them who spent their entire day doing dishes. That was their job, but they still loved it."

The restaurant was created in the school's newly built technology department, which offered cooking facilities and a dining area.

Pupils at Greenpark School go over the service plan as they put on a pop-up restaurant as a fundraiser. Photo/George Novak
Pupils at Greenpark School go over the service plan as they put on a pop-up restaurant as a fundraiser. Photo/George Novak

Teams of 30 children from five classes run the restaurant while their teacher acts as head chef. Money raised goes towards a school surfing trip at the end of the year.

"For that kind of thing, it's not cheap and the whole idea with this was we didn't want to ask parents to contribute too much money just before Christmas."

Dame Susan said she was delighted to receive an invitation.

"In my role, I have to deal with the less tolerant of our society I think our future is in good hands when you see the work these kids are doing. I think it's great that young people get opportunities like this."

Deputy principal Jason Michewski said all curriculum subjects had been covered in the exercise including literacy, numeracy, and home economics.

Blake Dunn, 10, said the experience was "pretty scary" but he enjoyed it.

Greenpark School schoolchildren host a pop-up restaurant at their school as a fundraiser. Photo/George Novak
Greenpark School schoolchildren host a pop-up restaurant at their school as a fundraiser. Photo/George Novak