Brian Van Gyzen

Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2011

Professor Brian VanGyzen

Contact Info


Brian Van Gyzen joined the Hospitality College faculty in 2011. With 40+ years in the restaurant industry, including 19 years of management experience, his focus is on Food & Beverage Operations Management courses at the Center for Food & Beverage Management.


  • MBA, Johnson & Wales University
  • BA, Rhode Island College
  • AA, Community College of Rhode Island

College life and life in general is a progression — we don’t always get everything right on the first try. When we fail, we can analyze the situation ... and develop strategies for improvement going forward. In my mind, this is what education and life is all about

Teaching Interests

Beverage Education,
The Emergence of Recreational Cannabis in Food & Beverage


  • Beverage Appreciation
  • Food & Beverage Strategy and Logistics
  • Food Service & Hospitality Strategic Marketing
  • The Business of Alcohol Distribution, Retail & Sales
  • Advanced Food Service Operations Management
  • Beverage Operations Management

Extra Curricular Roles

Director of the Bigelow Tea "Super Bev" Craft Cocktail Recipe Contest


Professional Affiliations

Society of Wine Educators

United States Bartenders Guild



  • "Food Makes the Meeting" Meeting Professionals International (MPI) New England Chapter Newsletter, Fall 2014

Q&A with Brian

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

How Did You Get Started?

I basically fell into the world of food and beverage. As a high school student, I always wanted to work and earn my own money. My first job was as a dishwasher at a private dinner club. After that, I worked in a couple of restaurants as a dishwasher and food runner. When I was 19, I landed a job as a cocktail waiter at a local nightclub. After six months, there was an opening for a bartender. Because I had the highest sales numbers of the entire waitstaff, I was given the opportunity to train behind the bar. I thrived at the position and never looked back. Over time, I gradually transitioned into management. After a few decades I decided on the next phase of my career, that being educating. The rest is history.

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

I overheard a student in my Marketing class tell another student that she doesn't usually like to work in groups. She then said that she didn't mind it in my class because she actually learns something. This made me feel good!

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

Life is full of mountains and valleys, each is only temporary. You're only on top for so long, and you're only on the bottom for so long. Bottom line: Don't get cocky and don't get discouraged.