24 NOVEMBER 2010
Institut Paul Bocuse Students crowned with success at La Coupole
On 15 November, 2010, forty-nine 3rd year students in the International Hotel and Restaurant Management program rose to the challenge by taking charge of the entire service at the famous brasserie, La Coupole, for 24 hours. 12 students in the kitchen and 37 in the dining room served 976 clients who were duly impressed by their professionalism. This challenge, which was cooked up in the framework of the Institut Paul Bocuse’s Human Resources committee’s work, presided by Dominique Giraudier, CEO of the Group Flo, illustrates the dual approach of our training combining theory and practice. Then, beginning with the opening of the Rungis produce market on the morning of the 16th, the HR Committee and the students met at the Plaza Athénée to discuss this unique moment that they experienced and to reflect on the concept of the right behavior for service.
The Institut’s HR Committee, which meets one time per year, launches a group challenge for 3rd year students (a professional undergraduate’s degree in partnership with IAE Lyon – Jean Moulin University). This year, they were entrusted with the keys of the greatest applied learning restaurant in the world: the famous Parisian brasserie, La Coupole, a sign of the confidence that the Institut has in its students who thereby went from theory to practice.
Under the benevolent watch and with advice from the team at La Coupole, the 49 students divided up the tasks, took orders and ensured the service at noon and in the evening. They all demonstrated intense concentration, organizational skills and the ability to handle stress in order to meet this great challenge in style. They received a number of compliments from their clients after their service and the personnel formed a guard of honor to recognize their achievement.
The following day they were welcomed by François Delahaye, CEO of Dorchester Collection, at Plaza Athénée; the students were put into direct contact with HR Directors from large groups (Sephora, SFD, Dreamgroup, Agence TEA, Groupe Flo). They then discussed the concept of “service” and its applications in the field. This was an incredible opportunity to participate in strategic reflections concerning the hotel and restaurant industry, and more generally, to think about “the art of welcoming ‘à la française’”, which was recently registered on the UNESCO list of world heritage.
A word from the students
"We must never forget the motivations and the goal of our work, organize and manage the team, keep cool, and especially, encourage our team."
"This challenge helped me to develop openness, as well as the ability to handle stress in the heat of the action."