OCH Cover
On-Campus Hospitality


July 2011
Learning From Others


One of life's most important lessons— both business and personal — is to learn from one's mistakes. Better yet is to learn from others' mistakes. And while you''re at it, learn from their successes, too.

Mistakes happen all the time. Maybe you thought a concept was a perfect fit for your operation and for one reason or another it wasn't. Maybe a promotion you planned fizzled. The most important thing is to learn what caused things not to work out as planned and tweak them the next time you try something.

Pay attention to what your colleagues are doing. They may have tried something that you are considering and it could have been a stunning success — or a failure. Having a chance to pick their brains can only help.

Of course, you will always read about other schools' successes — and missteps — on the pages of On-Campus Hospitality, but it is also good to have a chance to learn from your peers face to face.

With the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Conference being held this month in Dallas, Texas, many in the industry will have a chance to do just that.

The show offers a lot of great networking opportunities — make sure you take advantage of them. Talk to your colleagues during your time there. You can get some great advice.

The pre-conference and educational sessions offer that chance to learn directly from other attendees and industry experts about topics that are of interest to you.

When we spoke to Cairon Moore, assistant director of Dining Services at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-facilitator of the Neighborhood Market Retail Workshop pre-conference session, she said that at past sessions the peer-to-peer roundtables were the best way for attendees to learn. “You get more from talking directly with your colleagues about the problems they have faced and are facing.”

Before you head out to the show, make sure you take a look at the list of interest sessions we have printed in the issue. There is bound to be one that relates to something you are interested in. If you have a topic that isn't covered by the sessions, make sure to ask other attendees about them.

You should also make sure to stop by our booth (No. 413) at the Showcase. If you haven't found someone to give you advice, we might know someone who has dealt with the same situation you are dealing with.

Of course, we would love to share your story so others can learn from your mistakes — and successes. See you at the show!