Elizabeth DeRose earns 2021 Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by CAFÉ and Kendall College National Louis University.
By Lisa Parrish, GMC Editor
Elizabeth DeRose, institute manager of the Hospitality, Culinary & Tourism Institute (HTCI) at Frederick Community College, received the 2021 Entrepreneurship Award from Kendall College National Louis University and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education’s (CAFÉ) for her revenue-generation and cost-saving program tactics.
In the past five years, DeRose has developed and implemented new strategies for generating approximately $106,000 in additional revenue, saving over $42,000 in costs, and played an instrumental role in raising over $37,000 in HCTI Scholarship funds.
The award is open to culinary instructors nationwide and recognizes ideas and initiatives that positively impact the college and community or for thoughtful innovation of the college’s operations.
On the revenue-generating side, she extensively overhauled the operational schedule of 200 Monroe Restaurant, an on-campus 48-seat public restaurant. By tweaking the culinary program’s classes, the restaurant doubled the time it was open for dinner and moved from an a la carte menu to a higher revenue-generating prefix three-course meal. Additionally, in collaboration with Frederick’s Restaurant Week and participating in the Open Table app, the number of customers increased, and the restaurant was continually at near-capacity when open.
COVID-19 did force the shuttering of in-house dining, however DeRose was ready and pivoted to carryout service only. The community responded positively and the restaurant served more to-go meals than it served to dining-in guests the previous year.
Additionally, DeRose created an express lunch service in the restaurant and began offering specialty pop-up private events such as a mocktail reception complete with non-alcoholic drinks and served hors devours.
Not only did she generate revenue for the culinary program, DeRose was also instrumental in raising funds for HCTI scholarships. The institute manager redirected restaurant tips from servers to an HCTI scholarship fund which incentivized patrons to give generously. She also created several scholarship fundraising events by collaborating with local chefs. The success of these events has helped build the culinary program’s reputation.
On the cost-saving side, DeRose wrote and submitted Pell Grant applications that resulted in HCTI receiving more than $40,000 for instructional tools, restaurant and dining room equipment, durable wares, and a new point of sale system. The grants also covered costs related to seeking and successfully obtaining accreditation from the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation. These grant funds represent considerable savings to the program and college.