Mayo High School students get up-close look at hospitality industry

Mayo High School Students Learn Hospitality Business
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Students at Mayo High School got the chance to learn what it’s like to run a restaurant when a local entrepreneur came to speak with them Monday.

The Foundations of Culinary Arts is a class at each RPS high school that serves as a pathway to a hospitality career.

The program was started six years ago in a response the local hospitality community’s desire to introduce students to the industry. It’s a sector of the economy that continues to struggle with staffing issues, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Pasquale Presa owns Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. He is an immigrant from Italy and discussed how hard work, determination and the ability to change game plans has helped him succeed. One way he was able to adapt was branching by selling products outside of the restaurant setting.

“There was time during the pandemic where I would cry,” he said. “That I was scared on how are we going to do this? What are we gonna do? And, that biggest fear is what made me more protective of our home, of our restaurant. And i really dug deep in there. We are gonna make pizza sauce, we’re gonna create tomato sauce. We’re gonna apply for the FDA license so I can import product.”

Presa urged students to get a part-time job and to learn what it means to work hard for dreams.

“I started working when I was 11,” he said. “We were poor, I had to work to help my family. Never give up on your dreams. Find that passion and work hard.”