We believe that hospitality
can transform lives.

Here’s our story.
Be part of it.

We believe that hospitality can transform lives.

In 2010 we cooked up a way to make that happen.

We knew heaps of young people hungry for hospitality jobs but facing barriers to getting them. We brought them together with mentors keen to share knowledge and networks, then mixed in sponsors and restaurants ready to create a new kind of dining experience.

We created the first Scarf Dinners season. It was a recipe for success.

Now Scarf pops up in a new Melbourne restaurant every season. Young people get hands-on experience and real confidence to get real industry jobs. They do it in a space where creativity thrives, individuality reigns and high fives are just part of the process.

Diners love seeing the training and mentoring first hand, love being part of something much bigger, and love the moveable feast that is Scarf.

We’re Scarf. Join us for dinner, and do more than dine.


Watch Scarf on video


Our mission, values & FAQ



Scarf is proud to be a certified social enterprise.

Book a Scarf Dinner and do more than dine.

Scarf Dinner ‘Pop Up’ at Copper Pot Seddon

Monday 26 November

Scarf is running a very special ‘Pop Up’ Scarf Dinner at Copper Pot Seddon (105 Victoria St, Seddon) on Monday 26 November. Sascha Rust and his team at Copper Pot have designed and will be cooking a fabulous two course set menu ($45 per person) including entrees such as ‘Kingfish tartare, sorrel, pine nuts’ and ‘Burrata, shaved nectarine, almond’ and mains like ‘Aylesbury duck, lardo, shiitake, broad beans’ and ‘Potato gnocchi, stracciatelle, braised chicory, hazelnut.’ The front of house will be staffed by recent graduates from our Tasting Plate ’18 short course, with support from Scarf mentors. Spaces are extremely limited, so book now if you’re keen to join us.


Spring Scarf Dinners ran on Tuesday nights at Higher Ground between 25 September – 20 November

The Higher Ground team created a two course set menu ($45 per person) with signature flair including entrees of ‘Ceviche of seasonal fish, green tomatoes gazpacho, chorizo picanté and New season broadbean leaves agrodolce, egg yolk, almond, shaved manchego’ and a main dish of ‘Slow braised flat iron steak, dashi stock, parsnip purée, pickled carrot, parsley.’ 

Eight new Scarf trainees engaged in weekly training sessions throughout the 10-week Spring Scarf program, spanning formal service, wine, cocktails, beer, coffee, resume-writing and more. Then, during Tuesday night Scarf Dinners, the trainees gained paid work experience as they learn the ins and outs of front of house service whilst supported by mentors (hospitality professionals). Scarf programs allow trainees to build their knowledge, skills, confidence and networks, whilst training and working in some of Melbourne’s best venues.

As always, we offered a fabulous drinks list thanks to generous support from Punt Road Wines, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, STARWARD Whisky, Four Pillars Gin, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co, Campari Australia, Vertue Coffee and Larsen & Thompson tea. Please note Scarf Dinners are not BYO.

Previous Scarf seasons have been held at Bhang, Stomping Ground Beer Hall, Auction Rooms, The Grace Darling, The Lincoln, The Robert Burns Hotel, Higher Ground Melbourne, Rupert on Rupert, Mesa Verde and Top Paddock.

If you have a Scarf Dinners Gift Certificate and would like to book a Scarf Dinner, please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org.

If you have any difficulty making a booking, please call Scarf Restaurant Manager Jonny on 0420 735 802.

Dine with us

We recommend making your booking on a computer/laptop/tablet, rather than a mobile phone.

Bookings for our special ‘Pop Up’ Scarf Dinner at Copper Pot Seddon on Monday 26 November are now open – use the button below to book.

If you have a gift certificate you’d like to redeem please email bookings@scarfcommunity.org with your name, contact phone number, number of people, and your preferred date and time.

Book Online - Free, Instant, Guaranteed.

Meet some people from Scarf. They’re what it’s all about.





Winter Scarf 2012

No35 at Sofitel

“After Scarf, it’s all different. I feel ready to get a job because I gained more confidence. I would say to friend if you really want to get more experience go to Scarf.”



Autumn Scarf 2014

Bar person,
The Penny Black

“It’s less stressful working with mentors during dinner, they stand to the side and watch me lead. Sometimes I laugh—these skills are so hard at first, but get easier with practice at Scarf.”



Winter Scarf 2012

Waiter and wine buyer,
Cumulus Inc

“We all started out somewhere. It feels great to help young people come out of their shells and show their personality. At the end of it all, such heartfelt thanks… you see it in their eyes.”



Autumn & Spring Scarf 2014

Cellar Door,
Oakvale Wines

“Trainees get far more than a skill set from the program. You see confidence build, friendships flourish, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in 10 weeks.”

The Scarf Team

Hannah Colman, Scarf community cofounder and Manager

Hannah Colman

& General Manager

Liz, Scarf community

Liz Grady

Partnerships &
Communications Manager

Jonny Ainscough, Restaurant manager

Jonny Ainscough

Restaurant Manager

Ruth Langley, Training Manager

Ruth Langley

Training Manager

Mae Vincent

Wellbeing Manager

Jen Conroy Smith

Project Support

Neil Baxendale profile - photo bw SML

Neil Baxendale

Job Readiness Mentor

Jess Colgan

Finance Manager

Mel Ross

Volunteer Bookings Manager

Gabs, lead mentor

Gabriel De Melo Freire

Volunteer Mentor & Trainer


Meet Scarf’s Board of Directors.


Our volunteers transform lives.
Here’s how it works.

Hospitality mentoring

Scarf simply wouldn’t exist without our incredible volunteer mentors.

Hospitality professionals with big hearts take on this important role, to share their knowledge, skills and networks with Scarf trainees to help them increase their confidence and job-readiness. When you sign up to mentor for a 10-week Scarf season, you’ll spend about six hours per week mentoring during Scarf Dinners. We have eight trainees in each program, and the same amount of mentors. This one-to-one ratio allows trainees to learn practical skills from industry professionals in a supportive setting, whilst they gain valuable paid work experience during busy Scarf Dinners. Mentoring at Scarf is an empowering experience for all involved.

We are currently recruiting volunteer mentors for Spring Scarf ’18. 

Read the Spring Scarf ’18 mentor PD here.

Got a skill? Get on board!

Scarf works with all kinds of professionals as volunteers. From photographers to filmmakers, from makers to marketers, from designers to dogsbodies. Whatever your skill, you can be part of something bigger and help hospitality transform lives.

Our partners are the bee’s knees. And we’re pretty good partners ourselves.


Become a Scarf partner restaurant—it’s a great move. You’ll join over 20 restaurants like Higher Ground, The LincolnEpocha, Mesa Verde, and Top Paddock who’ve proudly served thousands of loyal Scarf diners.

Partnering with Scarf means showcasing your food to over 700 Scarf diners over 8 weeks. It means the kind of media you can’t buy, in places like The Age, Broadsheet, Time Out and Peppermint.

It’s a top shelf operation. From the calibre of sponsored product, to the mentors from Melbourne’s best restaurants. Partnering with Scarf creates real industry buzz. And you’ll find out why your restaurant is better than any classroom to the young people whose careers you’ll ignite.

Why partnering with Scarf is such a great move…


Sponsoring Scarf means more than just supporting a worthwhile social enterprise. It means your product served in Melbourne’s best restaurants, and a media profile with a difference. Your products make Scarf possible, so you get a mountain of gratitude. But they do more than that. In the hands of passionate learners, your products become touchstones for a new generation of hospitality professionals.

     Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.09.05 PM  Four Pillars - logo copy SML          DHMSCO_Logo_Web  stomping ground beer  Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 11.43.13 AM Campari Logo
sponsor-mountzeroolivesLoaferBread   vermut Melbourne   larsen and thompson logoStarward logo


These amazing businesses also help Scarf to achieve our mission. Legends, all of them!


sponsor-dimmi  typsy logo for website  sponsor-KelvinLogo  RVB de base ladro restaurant melbourne   Kitty Somerset Melbourne
tuft     worksmith_combo_black (4)   CHT logo  Square_Logotype_black (4)


Big thanks and big ups to Scarf’s funders, who know where to put a dollar to make a difference.

 accor    Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.49.01 PM   Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 4.50.05 PM gandel-logo-200x200

Real knowledge. Real experience.
Real jobs.

Training at Scarf

Scarf trainees are amazing young people. They face barriers to employment but haven’t given up. They’re keen to learn, keen to bust into an industry that they know can change their lives.

Scarf’s approach to training is simple: real knowledge and real experience gets real jobs.

The trainees get real knowledge at training sessions in industry hotspots. They learn beer at Stomping Ground and coffee at Vertue Coffee Roasters, they learn bar and cocktails at Kelvin and Kitty Somerset, and they learn wine from Jenny ‘The Wine Whitch’ Polack.

Trainees then serve real diners at killer Melbourne restaurants, with on-the-spot support from heavyweight hospitality mentors who volunteer with a passion to share their skills.

After 10 weeks Scarf trainees are ready for real jobs, and with industry training at Ladro to beef up their interview skills, 70% of Scarf graduates go on to employment.

It’s a model we’re proud of.


If you’d like to receive our newsletter which outlines Scarf training opportunities as they present themselves, please enter your email address below.

See what training at Scarf looks like…

Who are the trainees at Scarf?
Read our FAQ to find out more.

What kinds of outcomes does Scarf get?
Watch our evaluation videos to get a deeper understanding.

Spring Scarf ’18
Scarf’s 10-week Spring Scarf season will run from 18 September – 16 November. Read all about Spring Scarf ’18 program details and eligibility here. If you’re keen to refer yourself or someone else to Scarf, please do so here. For any enquiries about training, please contact Ruth Langley – training@scarfcommunity.org / 0428 397 785.

See what training at Scarf looks like…

Who are the trainees at Scarf?
Read our FAQ to find out more.

What kinds of outcomes does Scarf get?
Watch our evaluation videos to get a deeper understanding.

Tasting Plate ’18
We are currently accepting trainee referrals for Tasting Plate ’18 with Hobson’s Bay. If you’d like to refer yourself or someone else, please use this form. For more information about the program, see here. For any enquiries about training, please contact Ruth Langley – training@scarfcommunity.org / 0428 397 785.

What we say. What you say.

Scarf in the media

Scarf in the media

Check us out in publications like The Age, Broadsheet, Time Out and Peppermint. Transforming lives makes great press, so there’s plenty more to read…

We look like this

This is what we look like

Check out Scarf on video. Then take a squiz at these photos; they’re quite awesome. You can download and use them for media.

Media releases

Scarf media releases

It’s how we talk about ourselves to the people who talk about us. It’s a collection of media releases that may change your life. Ahem.

Buy your way into our hearts.

Workplace Giving

Scarf is a member of one of Australia’s leading Workplace Giving platforms, Good2Give.

If you’d like to know more about workplace giving and how you can support Scarf, email our Partnerships and Communications Manager, Liz – liz@scarfcommunity.org.


If you can’t get to a Scarf Dinner, you can contribute by making a tax deductible donation to Scarf.

Scarf is a registered charity with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, and donations are used for training costs and trainee wages.

Donate here.

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

Have You Heard the News?

Do More Than Drink in Melbourne’s most socially conscious bars!

December 5th, 2018|

On Sunday 2 December, we launched our fourth Do More Than Drink campaign with incredible support from the Melbourne bar scene. The campaign will run from Sunday 2 – 9 December with 35 of Melbourne’s most [...]

Scarf Goes West for One Night Only!

November 21st, 2018|

Scarf Dinners are going West for one night only! We're excited to partner with the fabulous Copper Pot Seddon team again for a very special one-off ‘Pop Up’ Scarf Dinner on Monday 26 November! There are very limited [...]

Scarf ‘Tasting Plate’ with Hobsons Bay City Council

September 26th, 2018|

Scarf is now recruiting front-of-house trainees for a free, 3 day 'Tasting Plate' hospitality short course, running in partnership with Hobsons Bay UP and Hobsons Bay City Council. This is a great opportunity for young people from [...]

More news