Why do we need F&B courses for ESE?
This year, for the first time, Glion’s Event, Sport and Entertainment management students are doing applied learning (hands-on courses) in food & beverage service. This was my experience in the restaurants, and I have to admit, it was worth it.
It’s not what you expect
Are you excited? Where will you be living? Have you ever been to Switzerland before? These are some of the questions that you are asked when you get accepted into Glion Institute of Higher Education, but what we are not asked is what are the classes that we will be taking or the type of projects we will be doing, which is in fact the most important of all.
When applying for the Event, Sport and Entertainment bachelor degree at Glion Institute of Higher Education, I never imagined that I would have to serve as a waitress as part of one of my classes; and it turned out to be one of the best experiences at Glion.
First semester passed, and we were saved! We didn’t have to work at any of the restaurants at Glion. But then, second semester arrived and we had to pay it back; our applied learning was about to begin.
The first week of service was divided into three restaurants: Bellevue, HDA and The Club. First day, I had to work in Bellevue. When working in Bellevue, the main restaurant on campus, you have two shifts, one in the morning where you have to serve lunch, setting the tables, and one in the afternoon where you have to serve dinner; it’s what we call tray service.
Stress and fatigue in the Bellevue
During lunch, it was quite stressful because since students had classes they want to eat as fast as possible so they would come eat and leave and there were already other students waiting in line to eat. Apart from stressful, it was also tiring because you had to run and quickly set the table again. Overall, I would say that working in Bellevue was the most tiring of all because not only you had to set the tables and you had two shifts, but also, most of the students and faculty eat at Bellevue since it’s the biggest restaurant in Glion.
Fine-dining service skills in the HDA
Working in the Hotel Des Alpes (HDA) is in my opinion the most mentally demanding. HDA is a fine dining restaurant, which means that the guests are seated and served. In HAD, you only work in the morning, which means that it’s less physically tiring than Bellevue. During our applied learning at HDA we learned how to set the tables. It’s a precise art, from the tablecloth and the glass of water, to serving the guests. Moreover, we also had to learn how to announce the menu and how to sell the “mocktails”. As I said, HDA demands a big mental effort because not only you have to learn the allergens that the food contains, but also all the daily dishes as well as the garnishing. Finally, in HDA there are certain rules and a certain order in which things must be done, which also requires concentration and a little bit of memorization.
A quick, dynamic service at The Club
Last but not least The Club; probably my favorite place to work. Although you do have to wake up very early since you also have to serve breakfast in Bellevue at 6:30, The Club is an in between Bellevue and HAD in terms of work stress. I would say that in The Club is where you would get your basis to then work in HDA. In The Club they teach you how to take orders and how to serve people. It is also very dynamic because the guests are there to eat fast since they have classes as well.
What is the use of applied learning in hospitality to an ESE student?
In the Event, Sport and Entertainment management program, we are learning to manage events, especially ones focused on sports and culture… not hotels.
While you may not work as a waiter in the future events you will organize, you will certainly have to hire someone to serve food at your event. How are you planning to manage the F&B part of your event if you don’t even know how it works and what to expect from them? The applied learning experience helps us understand the details, to ask the right questions. A week of applied service will come very handy when doing some of your events at Glion. For example, in our event called Glion’s Got Talent a big part of the VIP tables were sold promising personalized service, which is what we learned in our applied learning.
The verdict on applied learning
A few people say that they enjoyed applied learning and many other people complained about how hard and tiring it is. I started my applied learning week thinking that it was going to be long and tiring and that by the end of the week I would be exhausted, but, to be honest, I enjoyed the hands-on experience a lot, and learned many things that I would not have in a traditional class.
In conclusion, applied learning is an important part of Glion and in my opinion, something that every student should go through regardless if they are doing the Hospitality or ESE program. It is an unforgettable experience that I will carry with me through the rest of my life.