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NYC Restaurateur Started Language School for His Kitchen Staff

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Danny Carabano taught himself Spanish and is now teaching English to his Spanish-speaking employees

Danny Carabano and a student
Danny Carabano and a student
ZSPOT

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.”

Carabano with some employee students
Carabano with some employee students
VSPOT

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.

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