Restaurant Concept Fair: An exercise in hospitality entrepreneurship

May 17, 2016

At the School of Hotel Administration (SHA), students receive expert instruction on the fundamentals of a business education from world-leading faculty. But SHA goes beyond that by teaching students to design and deliver services that tap into the emotional needs of customers.

When you think about a school that’s teaching people about hospitality, think about how broad that is. Sure, they learn business skills and financial skills, they have to understand how to do a marketing plan, they have to understand many of the things that you would find in a traditional business program,” says Stephani Robson, senior lecturer in properties development and management at SHA. “But what we do here goes much further. We’re trying to create not just business people; they’re relationship people. And the foundation of hospitality is about creating that passion in somebody else. We give our students the foundation they need to be successful as entrepreneurs, as people running businesses.”

"We’re trying to create not just business people, they’re relationship people. And the foundation of hospitality is about creating that passion in somebody else."The Restaurant Concept Fair does exactly that—it allows students to practice their skills in a real-world environment, so they can learn how to develop a product or service that delivers a superior experience.

The concept fair is the culminating event in a course called Restaurant Development, and it’s where students apply what they’ve been learning all semester. Students develop a restaurant business concept and pitch that idea to a panel of industry investors, competing for $1 million in simulated investment capital.

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