The project was the fruit of over a month of planning. As part of the course, class participants had to come up with a restaurant concept, decide on recipes to use, examine food costing and determine a break-even point, develop a marketing plan, and then actually execute the actual dinner. The students were judged not only on the quality of the food (each of the diners filled out a survey, rating both taste and overall experience) but also their organization and profitability in a real-world restaurant setting.
The “Trattoria Americana” proved to be an ever bigger success than imagined. A savvy marketing plan (selling American classics like hamburgers, mac&cheese, and brownies) drew both Americans homesick for food, as well as curious Italians. The latter were especially tough
customers, but the execution was excellent, and the students won kudos from the Italians, their fellow students, and even Umbra faculty and staff for the over 80 meals served. The course is part of the Umbra Institute’s innovative Food Studies Program.