Hospitality Leadership Through Learning

Hotel School Practical Laboratories

The Statler Hotel at Cornell University is not only a working hotel, but also a laboratory for several Hotel School classes that are integrated into the hotel's operations. Hotel School faculty members work collaboratively with the hotel's management and staff to deliver a practical operations exposure that complements and enhances classroom learning.

Students have two opportunities to experience the teaching hotel during their freshmen year, in H ADM 105: Introduction To Hotel Operations and H ADM 106: Introduction to Foodservice Operations.

H ADM 105 is a required, 2-credit course designed to provide an introduction to the scope of the hotel industry and the organizational structure and operational mechanics of departments within the rooms division of an individual hotel. Students not only attend a classroom lecture, but also are required to work two shifts in the hotel's Housekeeping Department and in the Front Office. 

In Housekeeping, the students tour the property, receive financial information regarding the Housekeeping Department, and work alongside a room attendant cleaning rooms. During the Front Office practical, students will rotate through all positions, from PBX to desk agent and reservationist.  Prior to the rotation, the students will attend a thirty-minute training session explaining the themes of communication, technology, teamwork, and service. The practical's are led by the hotel's HLDP students. 

H ADM 106 is a required, 2-credit course that provides an introduction to the principles of foodservice operations, beginning with an overview of the foodservice industry. Attention is initially focused on major industry segments, business practices, and trends. Detailed consideration is subsequently given to the components of the foodservice system: controls, marketing, menu planning, production, quality assurance, and service.

Students will also receive an exposure to front-of-house food service as well by working a shift in either the hotel's Banquet and Conference Services Department or in Taverna Banfi. At the beginning of the work shift, students will be introduced to the china, glass, silver and linen used in food service. Then the students will participate in the dining room set up, service execution and clean up.

Students take H ADM 305: Restaurant Management in their junior or senior years. This required, 4-credit course is designed to encourage students to exercise critical thinking and project management skills, and to apply effective managerial behavior. The course applies experiential learning, primary research, and project-management skills to a live foodservice management environment.

The class is directly involved in the operation of The Statler Hotel's Taverna Banfi. Students are placed in various front-line roles at the restaurant with the objective of connecting theoretical topics to an existing business.   During operations, students are directly exposed to the managerial challenges faced by restaurant operators/owners from all business perspectives. As a class, the students will be directly involved with Taverna Banfi (and Statler) management and operational teams and will be engaged in several aspects of operations and project management throughout the semester. The projects will include, but not be limited to, accounting, finance, guest service management, human resources, information systems/technology, the marketing function, operations execution and management, revenue management, and supply-chain management.

H ADM 403: Specialty Food and Beverage Operations: Guest Chefs is a 3- credit elective designed for students who are considering a career in the hotel or restaurant food and beverage environment. Over the course of the semester, the class, working in groups, will be responsible for marketing, organization, planning, production, service, financial analysis, and accounting relative to three guest chef specialty production nights. The guest chefs will lead the students through the production and service of the meal in the hotel's main kitchen and at Taverna Banfi. 

This year's guest chefs included:

  • Chef Michael Mina of SeaBlue at The Borgata
  • Chef Tommy DiGiovanni of Arnaud's Restaurant
  • Chef Rene Mata of Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main