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Restaurant Institute 2012

Restaurant Institute 2012

Posted: June 13, 2012

For the fourth year, Buffalo State’s Restaurant Institute will offer insights and tips to individuals who dream of opening their own restaurants.

Students will receive one week of training, June 18–22, from hospitality and tourism faculty and members of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), followed by five Monday morning sessions, June 25–July 30, at various area restaurants.

Participants will learn the essentials of operating a successful restaurant—from selecting a menu to developing a staffing plan. Along with talking to the restaurateurs, all of whom have established a track record in the business, students will hear from a social media expert and a representative from the county health department, among others, said Cindi Thomason, senior business adviser for the SBDC and coordinator of the Restaurant Institute.

“There is a high failure rate in the restaurant business. You need to have a balance between creative skills and good business skills,” Thomason said. “You could be running the business successfully on a lot of levels, but still not be running it correctly. We focus strictly on the business end of running the restaurant. We see such a need for it with our client base.”

Indeed, Thomason said the majority of people who approach the SBDC want to open a restaurant.

The Restaurant Institute is a joint effort among the SBDC, the Hospitality and Tourism Department, and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York.

Each morning program, both on the Buffalo State campus and at the restaurants, runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The cost to participate is $500. In the past, the cost was higher, but scholarships from the School of the Professions will cover half the cost.

“We think it’s extremely difficult in these economic times for people to come up with $1,000,” Thomason said. “We were happy to be able to secure this funding.”

The institute is accepting up to 15 participants and still has a couple of available spots remaining. To download an application, go to For more information, call (716) 878-4030.

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