Brian Connors '93, instructor in The Hospitality College, has created a new buzz on campus for his Food Service Operations Management class. Hands-on EntrepreneurshipEach term, class groups are creating and operating actual restaurants for one meal period.
From concept, menu development and marketing to schedules, food service and fiscal accountability, students get a full taste of being in charge. “The students run the operation. I’m the coach and am there to help them achieve their vision; but they are ultimately in charge of what happens,” Connors says. Food Trucks, Burger Joints and Harry Potter-themed Pub Grub Recent restaurants have included Fiesta Food Truck, a take on the trend of restaurants on wheels; Fizz’s Restaurant & Soda Shoppe, a retro spin on the current burger-joint craze; and Hogwarts Hall, themed after the popular Harry Potter series.
“The main objective is to highlight creativity and innovation in the hospitality segment of the restaurant industry,” Connors explains. Bringing Restaurant Concepts to LifeAs word gets out across campus, students eagerly await their chance to create a restaurant through the upper-level capstone course. Groups are responsible for inviting guests to their “grand opening” and assessing their experience with comment cards and feedback. “The great thing about this course is that it’s extremely relevant. It teaches the students to be timely and to move with or ahead of trends,” says Connors. In response to the excitement it’s generated, the course was extended to include a total of 10 restaurant experiences for the spring term.