With restaurants being the second-largest employer of immigrants in the United States, language can become a barrier in kitchens. Sensing an opportunity to improve both his restaurant business and test out a new linguistic school concept, Latin vegan restaurant VSPOT owner Danny Carabano has been teaching his Spanish-speaking kitchen staff English through a language computer program he built from scratch.
Carabano taught himself Spanish through immersion techniques, and he is now applying that experience — combined with his own research on linguistics and this computer program he built from scratch — to teach others, starting with testing it on his Spanish-speaking kitchen staff and using their feedback to improve the program.
Providing English lessons for his staff makes business sense for Carabano — it’s a win-win for him in that his employees can better navigate the world they work in by learning English, and he has a testing ground to build a program that he hopes to turn into a full-fledged language school.
“I did free classes for my employees with a standard ‘chalk and talk’ ESL teacher, but I dislike that approach,” Carabano told Eater. “So I’ve focused on building this program on the side, studying linguistics, listening to professors, and building a system. My guys work so much that they feel overwhelmed, so I’m trying to create a version they can do at home.”
The restaurateur has larger intentions for this program, which includes other languages. Eventually Carabano plans to open the program — called The Cyrano Language School — up to paying customers, but for now, the Vspot staff is benefitting.