On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on the impact the recession has had on the hospitality industry, with Andrew Schneider, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.
No matter how hard times get, people will always need to eat and drink, a fact that is evident by the resiliency of the food and beverage industry, and the success in the Beverage Management and Marketing program at the University of Houston.
The UH Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management has seen increasing student interest in courses on brewing and distilling spirits, as well as marketing and distributing the products.
“The alcoholic beverage business has been remarkably resistant, unlike many other industries,” said Glenn Cordúa, founder and director of the college’s Wine & Spirit Management Institute. “We haven’t seen layoffs in production and distribution and the retailing end of the alcohol beverage industry.”
Many different factors are playing a vital role in the food and beverage industries success. One such factor is the recent growth of microbreweries.
“There are boutique-y beers with these microbreweries and these home brewers that are coming and making these wonderful beverages,” said Kevin Simon, director of undergraduate studies at the Hilton College and director of the Fred Parks Wine Cellar. “I think that’s creating a tremendous opportunity in the food and beverage industry.”
The industry has overcome tough financial times, he said, but there is still a long journey ahead.
“We’re not recession proof here, but our industries are so diversified in Houston I don’t think its affected us nearly the way it’s affected many other cities,” Simon added. “I think we’ve been very fortunate in that respect, especially in the hospitality industry.”
The stability of the industry coupled with the growing need for hospitality employees who understand the business end of things is reflected in the Hilton College’s curriculum. “We truly are one of the premiere hospitality education programs in the world today,” Simon said. “Our niche is we’re training students to be managers, directors and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry.”
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