Winning team announced in the Gastro Card Restaurant Challenge

30th March 2012

Since September 2011, 24 Year 11 BTEC Hospitality students have been working hard with Dawn Tate and Elaine Thompson (Teachers of Food Technology at Small Heath School) towards the grand final of The Gastro Card Restaurant Challenge.

Students were tasked by The Gastro Card Team with designing a themed restaurant of their choice after visiting an empty restaurant site in Birmingham and planning a launch event, which also included a lesson from top chef Andy Waters about menu planning for running a successful restaurant.

Over four days the five teams firstly, cooked a 3 course lunch for especially selected members of Small Heath School staff and then presented to The Gastro Card Judges Trevor Land, Director of The Gastro Card and Sally Bowen, Business Development Manager their plans for their restaurant idea using mood boards and power point to demonstrate their proposed business model.

The competition was tough, with all of the pupils producing food of a very high standard and showing a keen interest in demonstrating their knowledge of marketing and running a successful business.

Ideas from pupils included fine dining, Indian cuisine, Italian, food for teenagers with music and even space food for those fans of Sci-fi!

The Judges were so impressed with “Area 51” Team who produced a delicious menu of alien-shaped bread, small alien burgers with a delicious potato side and homemade brownie sundae, which was complimented with space poppers and flying saucers.

Their presentation included designs for an alien-themed restaurant, near to Birmingham’s Science Museum and the team had even produced their own website. The winning team were presented with Gastro Card certificates and received a £10 cinema voucher.

Trevor Land, Director of The Gastro Card said “All of the pupils showed a keen interest in The Gastro Card Restaurant Challenge and I have been impressed with the high standard of food and the hard work that was evident over the four days of judging. Our thanks go to all of the staff and pupils involved at Small Heath School for their time and commitment to the project”.

For more information about The Gastro Card Restaurant Challenge, please contact Geoff Abbott, Director of The Gastro Card on 0121 707 3007 or contact us at