|Students watch Chef Scott Rudolph prepare a lasagna that will be on the menu at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.|
|Lunch at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch on Nov. 15, 2006.|
|Sous Chef Joseph Kazarian demonstrates how to make a quesadilla to students who will run the restaurant this quarter.|
The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch is open for the quarter, and each week features new manager's specials and … new managers.
In addition to new faces, tasty new menu items, the student-run enterprise is the first of its kind to use OpenTable, a widely-used online reservation service.
The RKR is one of the most public applications of the learn-by-doing philosophy at Cal Poly Pomona. Every week, two classes of about 30 students each – under the advisement of professors – run lunch and dinner at the hilltop restaurant.
The Hospitality Management students are seniors and juniors who have spent the course of their education at Cal Poly Pomona preparing for this challenging class. The 12-unit restaurant management courses require students to rotate weekly through various positions in order to learn all aspects of a restaurant. So a student might be the reservations manager one week and a line cook the next week.
The faculty team includes Chef Ernie Briones, Lesley Butler, Barbara Jean Bruin and Chef Scott Rudolph.
“It's a lab and they just have to get out there and do it. By Friday of each week it's a well-oiled machine,” Bruin says. “But on Monday they have to start all over again, and it can be rough.”
Each week for lunch and dinner, there is a new four-member student management team that must draft a business plan for the restaurant, which includes recipe cost analysis, a human resources management plan and more.
“We emulate a real restaurant so these students really get an idea of what it will be like once they graduate,” says Chef Rudolph, who oversees the kitchen during lunch.
The Collins School of Hospitality Management is the largest and oldest hospitality program in California offering a four-year degree. Ranked regularly among the top three undergraduate hospitality management programs in North America, more than 700 Collins School students receive a superior education in this state-of-the-art facility.
There is always an effort to keep the restaurant current, Bruin says. This quarter the RKR became the first restaurant at a university to use OpenTable.com, which is an online reservation service. Reservations can be made at: http://www.rkr.cpp.edu/reservations.htm.
This quarter, lunch is served Monday through Friday until March 9. Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday until March 10. Menus can be found at http://www.rkr.cpp.edu/.