Course list

We are witnessing a revolution in the restaurant industry, with accelerated innovation and the adoption of digital platforms and applications.

Accessing your restaurant from the palm of their hand is more than just a nice-to-have convenience for your customer; it is an avenue for your restaurant to access new and exciting opportunities that will help you improve the customer experience, increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, unlock new customer segments, and become a leader in your local market. Yet these opportunities are not free, and their costs must be evaluated and weighed so that you can mitigate risks and maximize your potential. As a restaurateur, it is critical that you understand the evolving landscape and are equipped with the skills to adapt to changing expectations as well as the ability to efficiently evaluate arising opportunities.

In this course, you will analyze restaurant distribution innovations and assess their potential impact on your business. You will then evaluate digital opportunities to help your restaurant drive high-yielding direct business.

The restaurant industry is a complex and constantly evolving field that requires a knowledge of current trends, consumer behavior, and industry players. With the reliance on digital technology and consumer demand for convenience, adding a distribution channel to meet changing customer expectations has become a critical concern for many restaurant operators.

Distribution channels broadly describe how a product gets from the operation or producer to the consumer. The most common distribution formats for restaurants have traditionally been takeout, delivery, and catering, but the rise of digital technologies have expanded these models and even added others, like ghost and virtual kitchens. Faced with this kind of variety, operators need to critically consider whether or not to adopt a given distribution channel into their business strategy and understand how that format will impact its operational and strategic goals.

In this course, you will explore the strategic considerations an operator needs to be aware of before adopting a new distribution strategy, including how that format fits into the existing brand and its long-term goals. You will outline the target customer base for an operation and consider how trends impact customer engagement. You will then consider and discuss how a shift in distribution strategy impacted the brand value, perception, and customer satisfaction of a particular operation. Finally, you will analyze a distribution channel and its business fit for a specific operation. By the end of the course, you will have experience evaluating a distribution strategy's fit for both the operation and the overall brand.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Assessing Restaurant Distribution in the Digital World

There are a host of distribution channels and strategies to choose from for any restaurant ready to expand. In addition to business fit, a key factor in deciding which channel to adopt is operational fit. Operators need to be able to assess how any expansion effort will impact the day-to-day workflow of the operation, from the existing menu and inventory to the capability of the kitchen and staff. I

n this course, you will explore the operational opportunities and costs of adopting a new distribution strategy, including how that addition fits with the operation's guest promise, capacity of equipment and staff, and purchasing capabilities. You will analyze a menu and determine its suitability for distribution. You will then break down a single menu item to explore what goes into making it, from the ingredients to the purchasing options to the possible customizations guests could request. You will also do a root cause analysis of inefficiencies you observe in an operation.

Finally, you will assess a floor plan and recommend an appropriate distribution strategy for the space that considers the building's location and other tenets, as well as the guest promise made by the existing restaurant. By the end of the course, you will have experience evaluating a distribution strategy's fit for both the operation and the overall brand and be able to offer recommendations for how to add a distribution strategy without compromising the guest promise.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Assessing Restaurant Distribution in the Digital World
  • Evaluating Restaurant Distribution Strategic Fit

Loyal repeat customers are key to the success of any food and beverage operation. They represent recurring revenue and are a great source for feedback and gauging customer sentiment. They can also be your greatest evangelists, recommending you to friends and colleagues, even giving favorable online reviews.

Through careful design, meticulous attention to service processes, and a way to gauge customer sentiment, you can play to your team's strengths and identify opportunities for improving the guest experience to grow your business.

Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions that will explore today’s most pressing topics. The Hospitality Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

Join us for the next Symposium, in which we’ll discuss how both day-to-day operations and strategic goal setting in the hospitality sector have rapidly evolved over the past two years, opening up new space for real-time conversations about the future of the industry. You will support your coursework by applying your knowledge and experiences to various areas of the industry, examining the innovations and accommodations you have all had to make throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and strategizing on future directions. By participating in relevant and engaging discussions, you will discover a variety of perspectives and build connections with your fellow participants from across the industry.

Upcoming Symposium: July 16 – 17, 2024 from 11-1pm ET

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2024 11:00AM ET – 1:00PM ET
    • Keeping and Developing Employees
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2024 11:00AM ET – 1:00PM ET
    • Strategies and Technologies for Revenue Optimization

All sessions are held on Zoom.

Future dates are subject to change. You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete any certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.

How It Works

I have always been passionate to voice the voice of the unheard and provide an opportunity to bring everyone to the table. This certificate gave me the experience, tools and skills to do so... It was exactly what I needed.
‐ Josiah E.
Josiah E.

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