The October 2015 Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship Roundtable brought together over 30 food and beverage industry leaders, entrepreneurs, faculty, and students at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Discussion topics covered entrepreneurship in the food and beverage industry, including development, intrapreneurship, operational efficiency, beverage product development, and technology. The roundtable began with the presentation of a five-point framework on food and beverage venue development. The first three phases focused on the launch of a venue, including how to define the guest experience; the creation of operational functionality by strategically planning out the design, flow, and efficiency of a defined space; and development capacity. The remaining two points of the framework focused on post-opening considerations, including operating systems and culture development. Participants discussed the importance of culture in the growth of a business. They suggested that intrapreneurship needs to be fostered in the culture of an organization and in an educational curriculum for those who are preparing to enter the industry. Participants also discussed the fine balance between setting expectations for an experience and subsequently being able to maintain this experience in a fast changing environment. In particular they considered what it means to say no to customers. A discussion on the beverage industry focused on how to distribute products in a crowded marketplace. One method to ensure that the product gets into the hands of the consumers is face-to-face sales. Finally, in the technology session, the group discussed technology adoption, specifically focusing on the point at which technology detracts from the guest experience, how to minimize operational risk from technology, and how to maximize consumers’ adoption rates.
Olsen, M. K., & Stanley, C. (2016). Authenticity in scaling the vision: Defining boundaries in the food and beverage entrepreneurship development cycle. Cornell Hospitality Report, 16(4), 3-9.