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by Kalamalama staff

 
HPU Travel Industry Management students were “Good to Grill” on their Oct. 14 visit to the Safeway Kapahulu Shopping Center. Students in Dr. Susan Fox-Wolfgramm’s MGMT 4001D, Business Policy class visited several new gourmet, quick-service business ventures, including Caliente del Sol and Burgers on the Edge. Each of these, including Good to Grill, the creation of and HPU business alum offered the students a free meal as well as a field trip presentation.

Jason Kim, BSBA 2001 and one of Dr. Fox-Wolfgramm’s former MGMT 4001 students, is a partner with Wes Zane in all three food ventures. Kim’s company, NiceCream LLC, is in charge of the back-end operations, and Zane’s company, Laughing Gravy Restaurants, develops the concepts and designs and runs front-end operations. The two have known each other for years, love food, and were excited to discuss their passion for starting the food businesses with the students. They agreed that their long-term friendship contributed a lot to the success of their collaboration and indicated that there is some interest in franchising their ideas on the continent and in Asia.

The students learned, firsthand, about the challenges and opportunities in strategically creating and operating a business. Students learned the importance of SWOT analysis; developing a business identity and philosophy; daily ideas and actions that go into running these restaurants; and the challenges to sustaining success: maintaining quality control, creating new recipes, effectively managing employees, and providing customers with a great experience.

Student comments after the presentation included recognition that operators need good networking skills, that different concepts happening at once can become confusing and may inhibit success, that branding is important, as is carving out industry niches and achieving more efficiencies with closely located establishments.

“ What we learned in class played out in front of my eyes,” said Jeffson Bualuay. “These are ordinary people like you and me. He (Kim) took the same class I am taking now and seven years later, he is living his dream.”

Goldee Nastor, when she selected her free meal at Burgers on the Edge, was impressed that the cashier wanted her to “add” one more choice to her personal choices on her own burger creation. This is why “It was a great experience to meet with the owners because they have hands-on experience with the company and are aware of what works and what does not.”

 

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