As part of the Bachelor of Business in International Restaurant Management, Le Cordon Bleu has introduced an exciting new element to the course in the form of educational industry workshops.
During a two day workshop, students visit four hospitality related businesses, with the opportunity to talk to business owners, operators and associated stakeholders about their experiences in setting up and running their establishments. Students are able to take the information they gather and critically analyse the operations of the businesses they visit, based on the theory they learn in their tutorial sessions on creative thinking techniques and innovation.
As an example, the students at our Adelaide campus completed the first industry workshop last week, where students began with a breakfast forum presented by Foodservice Suppliers Association Australia at Tiros Restaurant, Regency TAFE SA. The Forum helped students understand the food manufacturing and processing sector in South Australia, outlining its current situation, opportunities and future challenges. The students were able to understand the importance and benefits of developing and maintaining relationships with suppliers to ensure business success.
The second workshop involved a field trip to Maximilian's restaurant in the Adelaide Hills. This workshop was specifically geared towards internal operations, i.e. marketing, financial controls, operational management etc. as well as innovative practices adopted by restaurants to ensure strategic success. Chef Tom Reid, who recently took over the kitchen at Maximilian's, spent a number of hours with the students, speaking to them about his journey into hospitality. He also took them on a tour of the business, giving details of current and future innovations, as well as the barriers faced by all restaurants today.
The third workshop involved a field trip to Ecotel Restaurant Essentials, a cutting edge restaurant equipment supplier to many of the most respected Australian and international hotels and restaurants. Ecotel is owned by Yazan Akeel, 2003 alumni of the Le Cordon Bleu Masters in Gastronomy. Yazan and his wife Wendy run the business, which also incorporates the boutique patisserie Dolce & Co. Alongside an avant-garde cooking demonstration area, where restaurant equipment purchased from Ecotel can be demonstrated, customers can also book a Masterclass to learn how to make some of the luscious pastries offered in house. This workshop showcased the many graduate outcomes possible to Restaurant Management students, and the concept of value adding to a business to create innovations that have sustainable value.
The final part of the workshop took students to Locavore restaurant in Stirling, which only uses produce sourced from within 160km (100 miles) of the restaurant. Owner Chris March very generously spoke to the students for several hours on the pitfalls of having to adhere to a strict food philosophy, but also on the overwhelming rewards associated with supporting the local community and the real meaning of hospitality - generosity – and that very satisfying feeling of being responsible for customers having a wonderful experience. Chris also spoke about his other businesses, a nightclub and a hospitality staffing enterprise, which add value to his portfolio.
On the whole, Le Cordon Bleu International Restaurant Management students were given a unique insight into the hospitality business from industry professionals in many areas of the business, something that will no doubt have a great influence on their career ahead. The Industry Workshop is just another example of how Le Cordon Bleu is constantly evolving the educational experience on offer, so that graduates enter the workforce confident of success.