Taking orders and waiting tables at Texas Roadhouse in Taylorsville isn't the usual field trip for eighth-grade students at Kearns Junior High, but it may have been just the experience that students needed to continue their education.
Susie Myers, who teaches eighth-grade English, came up with the idea of letting students know what it takes to work in a restaurant and get hired at just about any establishment.
"Texas Roadhouse made an obstacle course, had students fill out applications and they also created a test of the menu items," said Myers, whose daughter works as an assistant manager at the restaurant. "We can say all we want here at school, but when students hear what they have to do from others, they tend to listen more."
Filling out applications was an eye-opening experience for many students because of the emphasis on education. Myers mentioned that the field trip to Texas Roadhouse was one of the most impactful ones she has been a part of because it gave the students a peek at how the outside world works.
Eighth-graders such as Stormee Ryan, Rudy Rosas and Kamryn VanKatwyk were impressed with the field trip and how restaurants run their business.
"I liked visiting Texas Roadhouse because I could tell how much the workers enjoyed their job," Stormee said. "I learned a lot about having a work ethic and the importance of showing up to work on time."
Texas Roadhouse is one of Stormee's favorite restaurants, and she always has been interested in working there. After the field trip, she even returned the next day to find out more about the business.
Kearns Junior High students didn't wait on actual customers during the field trip, but they did wait on fellow students and took a tour of the entire restaurant, including the kitchen. They also found out what employers are looking for when they hire somebody.
"It was good to find out the responsibility that employers expect, and they want you to give everything," Rudy said. "It is good to [learn] what it takes to be successful in the workplace."
The experience also helped students realize that there are many things to look forward to after school, but it takes an education to get the desired employment.
"It kind of hit me that we are going to grow up soon and that right now I am prepared for it," Kamryn said. "You have to develop a lot of work ethic to get any job."
Myers enjoys when businesses in the community step up to help students and hopes other opportunities surface to help as much as Texas Roadhouse did.
Principal Kandie Barber knows that this field trip made a difference for at least a couple of students who were having a hard time at school.
"Sometimes students think they are getting tired of listening to their teachers, but a few students had the importance of education kicked into them at Texas Roadhouse," Barber said. "They told the students what they expected out of them and I think it helped them realize their potential."