Students at Tartan High School are taking business into their own hands.
Students who are involved in the school's marketing class and the DECA School Store are partnering with a local restaurant and have launched their own business.
The idea formed in an advertising class last year where students had to pitch advertising ideas to local businesses, said Marketing Teacher Craig Spreiter who is overseeing the co-curricular project.
Students in the advertising class formed a relationship with the owner of D Spot Wings in Maplewood. The business relationship carried over to the group's new project for this fall. Now the students have created a partnership with D Spot for their new business project.
"We have done a lot of planning and are confident this will be a success," Spreiter said in an email introducing the program to fellow teachers at the school.
Here's how it works:
Students will be selling D Spot Wings through the school store on a pre-order basis. The students' plan requires $1,100 for start-up costs. To generate the money for the equipment and start-up supplies students are selling shares of the company's stock at $2 per share. The students have also put a cap of five shares per person.
The students need to sell 550 shares to reach their goal. So far they have sold 419 since the first started selling shares last week.
"I was shocked at how fast we started selling shares," said Annelise Wackerfuss, a 11th grader who handles the marketing for the students' business.
The students' overall goal is to increase shareholder value by the end of the business project. The students will liquidate the business on Jan. 31 and all profits will be paid back to shareholders in the form of a dividend.
Students hope to begin selling the D Spot wings in the next week, said Marco Buchmayer, the president of the students' business venture.
Buchmayer said most juniors and seniors can leave the school campus for lunch, but the rest of the students are stuck with school lunches.
"Based on our school lunches, well, they're not always the best," Buchmayer said. "This gives students another option."
Students will be able to visit the DECA School Store to place an order. They will pay $6 for six wings, which is what D Spot also sells in its restaurant. The DECA students will take the food orders to D Spot that night and then deliver the meals the following day during the three different lunch periods.
As with any business, the students taking the orders, making the deliveries and working in other areas like human resources, production, finance and marketing are paid employee wages, Buchmayer said.
"It's not just about the marketing," Wackerfuss said. "It's about the real-life experiences."
Student Michelle St. Martin who handles the human resources for the business said she has taken away more from the class than just business concepts.
"This has really helped me be a leader and open up," she said.
Any student, parent, school staff member or community member interested in purchasing a share of the students' business can contact Craig Spreiter at email@example.com.