The Anaheim White House Restaurant

A Chef's Vision: From Feeding to Flourishing



Roya Shahnazari

Roya Shahnazari


Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University


Jeff Thies

Jeff Thies

Global Goals

1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education

Keep this story going! Share below!


The Anaheim White House Restaurant has a unique reciprocity with the philanthropic functions of it's subsidiary, Catarina's Club, serving as both a marketing tool to bring business into the restaurant, and a training and recruitment resource to continue growing and profiting the business in a sustainable and ethical manner. Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy is breaking the cycle of homelessness through job and skill training, providing professional training for at-risk youth to be able to enter the restaurant industry workforce. The restaurant functions as a profitable, hometown favorite, serves the community to help the most vulnerable, strengthens presence and drives revenue through positive media relations and marketing, and strengthens their recruitment pipeline through it's sustainable programs.


Owner of the Anaheim White House, Chef Bruno’s Serato, developed the Hospitality Academy to provide at-risk teenagers with a nine-week program that teaches content and skills not taught in the traditional school day. Serato has been recognized by Pope Francis for his campaign to end world hunger, "The Power of Pasta" and recently addressed the United Nations with his message on the importance of corporate social responsibility.

The Hospitality Academy is an extended learning opportunity where students are introduced to the Orange County Hospitality Industry at large, and then trained in restaurant specific skills. Executives from major hotels, hospitals, culinary schools, and businesses have been secured as guest speakers to provide students insight on the opportunities that lie ahead as they prepare to exit high school and enter the workforce.

Over the course of this hands-on invaluable educational program, the staff trains the students in all aspects of the restaurant and hotel industry including cuisine, nutrition, restaurant service, marketing, administration, and financial literacy. The Anaheim White House and it's programs help address multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including:

#1 No poverty

#2 Zero Hunger

#3 Good Health and Well-being

#4 Quality Education

A Chef's Vision: From Feeding to Flourishing

The Anaheim White House Restaurant and Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy are breaking the cycle of homelessness through job and skill training


Owner of the famous restaurant and historic landmark, Anaheim White House Restaurant Chef Bruno Serato has cooked for celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world. Chef Bruno began his culinary career at just 14 years old while working with his mother at their family restaurant in Northern Italy. Today Chef Bruno continues to make his mark in the culinary world.

In 2005, Chef Bruno founded Caterina’s Club, an organization under the Anaheim White House Restaurant, which has now developed into distinct, supplementary programs that work in conjunction with the restaurant to solve food insecurity and help individuals out of poverty, facilitated through a hospitality academy that provides job training for at-risk youth. These at-risk youth are introduced to careers in restaurants, hotels and other tourism related industries and offered hands-on training in food preparation, service, marketing, nutrition and customer service.

In the city of Anaheim, along with the presence of Disneyland, hospitality and tourism are significant sectors for employment opportunity. Hospitality Academy participants work directly with professionals in real-life settings to hone their skills, and are queued up for employment within the Anaheim White House Restaurant itself. According to Iris Castillo, Executive Associate Director, "Some of the kids in our Hospitality Academy have faced such critical economic challenges that they do not have conventional opportunities like going to straight to college after high school. Because the hospitality industry is so flexible, and is one of the biggest industries in Orange County, if not the biggest, kids in the Hospitality Industry have the ability to learn, succeed, and attain a significant income and long-term career, whether or not they have the ability to go to college."

Chef Bruno's mission is to provide warm meals, affordable housing assistance, and job training to homeless and low-income families throughout Orange County. It is supported by a vision where we are creating a modicum of consistency in these children's lives through, which began with the idea of addressing the lack of something as simple yet meaningful as a nightly dinner.

Overall impact

More than skill learning and resume building, the Anaheim White House Restaurant and Chef Bruno's Hospitality Academy program provide children with a unique and impactful career exploration opportunity. The Academy also serves as an innovative after school program to keep the teens in our community off the streets and involved in activities that will help shape and brighten their future. Young adults are given the knowledge and resources aimed to help them defeat a cycle of poverty they have been tasked with overcoming, and the necessary skills to become employed will be instrumental in preventing the cycle of homelessness. Anaheim White House and it's Hospitality Academy have seen hundreds of graduates from the program, and many were able to secure job employment. The technical skills strengthens the confidence and talent pipeline to recruit for the restaurant and grow the business.

Iris Castillo, when reflecting on the significant impact Anaheim White House Restaurant has made in so many lives through its innovative programs and leadership, stated , "It enables them to do better in so many different areas: it creates more drive, it inspires motivation, and instills confidence. We have seen major transformations after only a few months of participating in our programs, not only in the lives of the children, but in their parents lives as well."

Business benefit

The Anaheim White House Restaurant and Chef Bruno have leveraged this innovation in a way that benefits their own recruitment and retention efforts, as well as continuously building a strong rapport with the community and serving the growth of the restaurant's revenue through positive public relations which reinforce marketing efforts.

Administrators of the Hospitality Program, professionals in the industry, and peer groups will assess learned skills and behaviors of the students prior to graduation. Students will be tested in quantifiable areas such as proper safety measures, food cost analysis, food prep technique, and overall service performance. All students who graduate from the academy will be provided with letters of recommendations and followed up with in order to report how many students have successfully become employed in the hospitality industry upon completion of the program.

Social and environmental benefit

The driving force of the Hospitality Academy is to provide job training to help defeat poverty and homelessness, however, the lessons and practices employed within the training are crucial in understanding how Anaheim White House benefits society as well as the environment. Sustainable restaurant practices are emphasized and employed, and subsequently create a positive impact on the community in important ways.

One of the hallmarks of sustainable restaurants is the farm-to-table movement. Sourcing menu ingredients from in-season, local facilities rather than purchase items that need to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles, makes a significant reduction of the impact of the food supply chain on the planet. Restaurants produce large quantities of “waste” in their daily operations, but incorporating new technologies allow for the recycling of oil and grease to be transformed into fuel.

These fundamental lessons, among others, help at-risk youth who partner with Anaheim White House and the Hospitality Academy learn and apply sustainable practices that facilitate the responsible and ethical growth and continued success of the business.


Iris Castillo, Associate Executive Director

Business information

The Anaheim White House Restaurant

The Anaheim White House Restaurant

Anaheim, California, US
Business Website:
Year Founded: 1981
Number of Employees: 11 to 50

The Anaheim White House Restaurant has a unique reciprocity with the philanthropic functions of it's subsidiary, Catarina's Club, serving as both a marketing tool to bring business into the restaurant, and a training and recruitment resource to continue growing and profiting the business in a sustainable and ethical manner.