A Business Partnership

Students help Moberly restaurant boost business

Six University of Missouri students are teaming with a Moberly business to help the company attract new customers.

The event is the Capstone Project for the Special Events Management Class, part of the Hospitality Management program at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CANFR).  The students, all seniors, will use their marketing and promotion skills learned in class to help the On the Corner Bistro, 400 West Reed, to attract an early adult crowd in the evening.

The CAFNR team of students helping the On the Corner Bistro gain new evening customers: Top Row (left to right): Lauren McAdams, Kelly Hilgart, Emily Grimm. Bottom Row: Kristin Reid, Sam Gillstrom, Brianna Bushner.

The Capstone experience is designed to allow students to use their classroom work in a real world project.  It encourages students to integrate facets of their area of study with concepts from related disciplines like marketing.

“Students in Hospitality Management receive specialized study in planning, organizing and conducting events that range from large corporate meetings and trade shows to tourism excursions, product promotions and entertainment events,” said Jim Groves, Hospitality Management department chair.

“The events planning industry is a growing field of opportunity,” said Julie Bellemare, teaching assistant professor and who teaches the special events class. “Our classes are designed to give students hands-on experience planning multiple types of events,” she said. “When students graduate, they will have planned several events making them very competitive for meeting or event planning jobs.”

The On the Corner Bistro has established a good lunch business, but wanted to increase its activity after 5 p.m., said Lauren McAdams, a senior from West Des Moines, Iowa, who wishes to pursue corporate event planning after graduation.  McAdams enjoyed working with owners of the restaurant to build a plan within a budget.

Samantha Gillstrom, St. Louis, said the team decided to publicize the restaurant’s nighttime fare by holding a Summer Kickoff BBQ event from 6-11 p.m., May 5.  The event will feature a live band, the Misled, a raffle including prizes such as Mizzou gear, and food and drink specials.  “These, we feel, will attract the intended customers,” Gillstrom said.

Kelly Hilgart, who plans for a career in sports management or special events management after graduation, said she enjoyed working with the restaurant owners.  “So many good ideas thrown out,” she said.  “It was hard to choose the very best.”