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Hospitality Mentor - Front of House (voluntary)

  • Role: Front of house restaurant mentor
  • Program: Winter Scarf ‘19

What is Scarf?

Scarf is a social enterprise that gets young people into jobs while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. We partner with great Melbourne restaurants to run awesome, hands-on hospitality training, mentoring and paid work experience programs. Scarf trainees are keen, resilient young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have faced barriers to employment. Participating in Scarf builds knowledge, skills, networks, and confidence.

During weekly Scarf Dinners, volunteer mentors work closely with trainees, supporting them to run the front of house. The chefs from our seasonal partner restaurant do the cooking. Scarf volunteer mentors are front of house professionals who bring experience, passion and patience, allowing Scarf trainees to grow their skills, knowledge, confidence and connections. Recent Scarf Dinner seasons have run at Higher Ground, Bhang, Stomping Ground Beer Hall, Auction Rooms and The Lincoln.

Quick Facts About Scarf

  • We’re in our ninth year of operation
  • 215 young people have graduated from Scarf programs
  • We’ve run 22 ten week Scarf Dinners seasons and four Tasting Plate short courses
  • We’ve run 217 Scarf Dinners and served over 15,200 diners
  • We’ve provided 14,790 hours of industry standard training and 7,260 hours of paid work experience to Scarf trainees
  • We’ve partnered with 30 Melbourne restaurants like Higher Ground, The Lincoln and Epocha
  • Our mentors come from venues like Gerald’s Bar, Market Lane and Saint Crispin
  • 70% of graduate trainees have found jobs within six months of completing Scarf
  • Scarf graduates have gone on to great jobs at: Garden State Hotel, Atticus Finch, Sofitel on Collins, Vertue Coffee, Free to Feed, Koko Black, Cumulus Inc, Two Birds Brewing, Bibendum Wine, Sun Moth Canteen and Bar and The Lincoln

Watch our video and read the FAQ on our website for more information.

Inside 7 years of Scarf from Scarf on Vimeo.

Scarf’s Vision

A society which embraces diversity, celebrates connected communities and has equitable employment opportunities for all.

Scarf’s Mission

To create a nourishing, supportive and inclusive space for trainees to gain confidence, skills, knowledge and networks. To foster connections in the hospitality industry to create equitable employment opportunities.

Scarf trainees have said

  • "I like Scarf because I learn more about different things. I feel ready to get a job because I gain more confidence and I enjoyed my time."
  • "Having a mentor next to me was a massive support.”
  • “I was looking for a job for more than one year. At Scarf, they pay you while you train, and I learned to communicate with customers.”

Scarf mentors have said

  • "I've told people this is my favourite thing that I've ever done. Being able to impart the skills that I have learned over the years in a way that actually helps someone fills me with joy. Watching the trainees' progress makes me amazingly proud.”
  • "Scarf is a warm and welcoming family with an innovative approach to empowering young people in our community. Trainees build confidence, make new friends and establish connections within the industry.”
  • "Scarf starts a conversation about the importance of up-skilling young people from refugee backgrounds so they can join the community in a meaningful and productive way."

Restaurant Mentor Position Description

Mentors attend Tuesday night Scarf Dinners for eight weeks during a seasonal program, as well as the program induction and graduation. During staff briefing (which happens between 5.00 - 5.45pm, along with staff meal), mentors are paired with a trainee for the evening. During dinner service (6.00pm - 10.30pm), mentors work one-on-one with a trainee, supporting them to serve Scarf diners in a real, busy restaurant. Mentors are a very important part of our program, offering training, support, social and professional connections in a non-judgemental learning environment. Mentors work with trainees to set 2 - 3 clear goals before dinner service begins. Throughout service, they support trainees to achieve these goals, by providing guidance/assistance, and sometimes taking the lead, depending on the skill and confidence levels of the trainee. Mentors must also keep an eye on the bigger picture, communicating with other trainees, mentors, Scarf’s Restaurant Manager and the partner restaurant chefs to ensure smooth service! At the conclusion of the Scarf Dinner, mentors and trainees spend time reflecting on the service period, recording goals achieved and areas of focus for next week in the trainees’ training booklet. Scarf provides volunteer mentors with training and resources in working with people seeking protection and those from a refugee background during the program induction.


Under the guidance of core Scarf staff, volunteer mentors are required to:

  • Abide by the Mentoring Agreement and Scarf Code of Conduct
  • Be reliable and committed to all eight Tuesday night Scarf Dinners shifts, the program induction and the graduation dinner
  • Ensure a safe and supportive environment for trainees in the restaurant
  • Demonstrate great team work and help create a positive, inclusive learning space
  • Be open, honest and respectful in all communications with trainees
  • Respect the rights, dignity and privacy of trainees
  • Communicate Scarf’s aims to customers (particularly new customers!)
  • Where possible, provide connections to the hospitality industry and identify job opportunities to Scarf staff and via the Scarf trainee/mentor Facebook group
  • Ensure mentor/trainee relationships are contained to the restaurant, unless otherwise discussed with Scarf staff
  • Disclose information that is relevant to the safety/wellbeing of trainees to Scarf staff
  • Protect confidentiality of trainees’ information by not discussing trainees by name with your social networks
  • Sensitively handle trainee mistakes to ensure good service; step in and speak with customers if there are ordering issues, or if you sense there is any misunderstanding
  • Let Scarf staff know of any trainee challenges
  • Serve tables that request immediate assistance if trainee is unavailable

Skills and Experience


  • Strong Front of House hospitality experience
    (at least five years)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • National Police Record Check
  • Current Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate


  • Formal dining experience
  • Currently working in hospitality
  • Experience working with people from refugee backgrounds /
    people seeking protection

Personal Attributes


  • Committed and reliable
  • Patient and calm
  • Enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds


  • Interest in social justice
  • Interest in social enterprise

Core Tasks

  • One-on-one trainee mentoring
  • Looking after a restaurant section
  • Engaging in trainee goal-setting and
    skill development

Mentor Availability

Winter Scarf Induction

Location: TBC

Tuesday 2 July — 5.30pm - 8.30pm

Winter Scarf Dinners

Location: Uncle, 1/15 Collins St, Melbourne

Tuesday 9 July — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 16 July — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 23 July — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 30 July — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 6 August — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 13 August — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 20 August — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Tuesday 27 August — 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Winter Scarf '19 Graduation: Tuesday 2 September 6.00pm


How to apply

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