The College of the Canyons Hotel and Restaurant Management program is helping its students to expand their horizons and gain hands-on experience through partnerships with local restaurants–specifically Vines Restaurant and Bar at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
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Last semester, five COC students presented their renovation suggestions for Vines to Barry Prescott, general manager at the Hyatt Valencia.
It was part of a collaboration between Prescott, who was preparing to refurbish Vines, and Kevin Anthony, chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Management program.
Anthony wanted to give students in his Restaurant Operations course a real-world project.
“Kevin and I got to talking, and I said ‘maybe we could do a little project together,’” Prescott said. “The thought was perhaps I could use some of the students’ ideas and maybe they’ll be able to learn something from the experience.”
Anthony asked his students to come up with ideas on how to improve the atmosphere and appeal of Vines on a $20,000 budget.
“It was unbelievable,” Prescott said. “The students did a great job on presenting their ideas for this project, and there were a number of areas in which I used their ideas.”
Some of the renovations suggested by the COC students were improved lighting at the main entrance of restaurant to create a more inviting atmosphere and rearrangement of the tables and chairs to give a less formal and more comfortable feel.
The changes also included an outdoor seating area, furniture reupholstery and carpet replacement, new inside wall décor to include the restaurant logo and vine design and eventually, a series of menu changes.
“The college experience provides a great learning environment, but for students to be able to get involved in a project like this and actually see their work change the direction of the project is the neatest thing in the world,” Prescott said. “It’s good for the students, good for the college and it’s been good for us… I’d love to do more of it.”
Because of the success of their collaboration with the Hyatt, the Hotel and Restaurant Management program is looking for other local restaurants who would be willing to work with COC students.
“We were very fortunate to have Mr. Prescott and the Hyatt Regency Valencia provide such a tremendous learning opportunity. Our students truly grew with this experience,” Anthony said. “The college’s Hotel and Restaurant Management department would welcome the opportunity to have our students work with any local hospitality company to provide an outsider’s perspective on their operations and, if requested, suggest potential changes and improvements.”
About the Hotel and Restaurant Management program
The Hotel and Restaurant Management program at College of the Canyons provides students with the tools to develop careers in the hospitality industry. The program provides the tools and experiences that would take years of working in the industry to acquire. Students earning their associate degree in this discipline can begin a career with a major service industry organization or transfer to a college that offers bachelor degree level classes.
The Hotel and Restaurant Management curriculum at COC focuses on the development of critical thinking skills through exercises that require effective analysis, problem solving and communication. The program will teach students how to identify and attend to the details of service operations, effectively organize a service organization, communicate to the employees and interact and work with guests, diners and other stakeholders in the hotel and restaurant industry.
For more information about the COC Hotel and Restaurant Management program contact Kevin Anthony at 661-362-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information: College of the Canyons
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Source: Santa Clarita News