Cornbread Buffet is Not Just Another Restaurant

August 16, 2018

The idea for Cornbread Buffet began in 2015 when David M. Block, President of Block & Company, Inc., Realtors, Ivan Marquez, a successful Kansas City area restaurateur, and Tony Mendes the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), joined forces to create a unique new restaurant concept the community could get behind.

At Cornbread Buffet students and young entrepreneurs will learn the restaurant industry in a fully functioning restaurant. The 7,700 square-foot restaurant will be located on the east end of the 131,500+ square-foot Landing Shopping Center at 1336 Meyer Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri and will join tenants such as Citi Trends,Transformed Barber & Cosmetology Academy, Payless Shoe Source, Foot Locker, Rent-A-Center, Subway, Rainbow Fashion, Gen X, Wendy's, Fashion in Motion, and many more.

After numerous discussions about this unique concept, The Full Employment Council (FEC) has partnered with the UMKC and the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to establish a "Restaurant Management Internship" program as part of their curriculum. Students who attend class at the Cornbread Buffet restaurant will learn all facets of operating a restaurant first-hand by managing a fully functioning restaurant from Ivan Marquez, who operates several restaurants in the Kansas City area. Marquez will also bring in representatives from the community to teach the students how to negotiate and work with food and equipment providers, as well as give them experience in more than one type of restaurant. Students will attend class a minimum of two hours per day, five days per week at the restaurant and earn 3 credit hours for the class as well as $10 per hour. FEC has partnered with UMKC, and the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to fund work-based learning activities for up to ten students through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which is funded by the Department of Labor. This innovative partnership approach is a cornerstone for FEC who has been commended by state and national authorities for its cutting-edge initiatives.

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) shows that Hospitality and Food Service represents 13% percent of total private sector employment, employing nearly 300,000 workers in over 14,000 businesses in Missouri for 2016 with average wages for a Food Service Manager at $49,150 per year. Food Service and Hospitality has a set of industry-wide technical competencies that represent the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in this industry including Quality Assurance and Cost Control, Marketing, Sales, and knowledge of operations and procedures. Students at UMKC will have the opportunity to experience these aspects of the industry first-hand.

"We are very excited to be involved in such a worthy project," said Ivan Marquez, "We are not only providing our community a new quality dining option but also teaching young people restaurant management."

The new Cornbread Buffet will be opening the last week of August and will serve some of the best "down home cookin' in town". The restaurant will be open seven days a week from 7:00am - 2:30pm for breakfast and lunch and will serve brunch on the weekends. The restsaurant will also be available for private parties and special events.

Block & Company, Inc., Realtors is responsible for leasing and property management of the Landing Shopping Center and negotiated the Cornbread Buffet transaction.

Here to learn more about Cornbread Buffet

For more information please contact: David Block

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