Concept Week: A Global Culinary Adventure at the Museumcafé

March 01, 2024 •

5 min reading

Concept Week: A global culinary adventure at the Museumcafé

Written by

At EHL Passugg, a pivotal experience awaits hotel management students in their 4th semester—the Concept Week, a highlight in their academic journey. This immersive undertaking serves as a paramount opportunity for students to apply their acquired knowledge in a practical setting. The primary objective is to collaboratively conceive and execute an F&B pop-up concept. During this week, the entire class forms a cohesive group, dividing themselves into specialized departments such as marketing, finance, kitchen, service, and logistics.

The multifaceted challenge encompasses ideating a unique concept, orchestrating the logistics, and successfully operating the pop-up for a minimum of two days. This strategic initiative not only nurtures practical skills but also underscores the fusion of theoretical learning with real-world application.

Dive into the immersive journey and innovative concept crafted by the English class of 2024 as they share their experiences with us. Get ready for a firsthand account of creativity, challenges, and culinary excellence!

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Our story: Navigating challenges and triumphs in our F&B pop-up journey

We proudly represent the English Hotel Management class of 2024, a diverse group of 14 motivated students hailing from various corners of the globe, including France, Cameroon, Italy, China, and Switzerland. Our multicultural blend not only brings forth a wealth of creative ideas but also fosters a rich tapestry of thoughts and perspectives. Join us as we unfold the captivating narrative of our exhilarating Concept Week Pop-Up, where this unique fusion of backgrounds and ideas converged into a harmonious and innovative experience.


Building the foundation: Organization and structure

In our united endeavor, we shared one collective goal: to create a remarkable concept, gain hands-on experience, and achieve financial success. Picture our first brainstorming session—an organized chaos that set the stage for a well-coordinated effort. With supervision, we strategically divided roles, appointing a general coordinator and department heads for Finance, Food and Beverage, Marketing, and Logistics, establishing a robust structure for our venture.

This intentional division created a robust structure, untangling a significant knot and paving the way for further refinement of our overarching concept.

It was wonderful opportunity to showcase our skills and work together as a team to pull off a successful event.


- Anirudh Lakshminarasimhan

The concept unveiled: Discovering the Museum Café gem

Before delving into the creative conceptualization, it was evident to us that the paramount challenge lay in securing the right location. As international students without German-speaking peers in our class, we understood the importance of finding an ideal venue and crafting our concept around it. And indeed, identifying an optimal location posed a significant hurdle. Through the invaluable network of our alumni and connections, we discovered the Museumscafé in Chur, a distinguished establishment with captivating architecture exuding class and excellence.

Envisioning an evening that seamlessly blended class, groove, and jazz, we knew we had found the perfect canvas. The Museumcafé, with its rich history and artistic ambiance, emerged as the quintessential choice. Successfully presenting our compelling concept, intricately detailing our food and beverage offerings, we gained the approval of the manager, marking a pivotal step toward bringing our envisioned event to life.


Navigating challenges: From doubts to triumph together

With our concept firmly established, our kitchen, service, marketing, and logistics teams tackled the challenge head-on. We delved into the details, exploring what offerings would best suit our vision. Questions arose about the menu composition, suitable decorations, the level of service we aimed to provide, and how our pricing structure should be structured.

Acknowledging our collective lack of a culinary background and given the constraints of our small kitchen at the Museumcafé, we strategically decided to prioritize on the drink offers rather than the food.

On the marketing front, our goal was to captivate the interest of locals seeking a classy evening while also engaging peers and staff from EHL Passugg. Recognizing the challenge in targeting locals due to our personal limited network in the region, we embraced the opportunity to expand our reach.

The journey through ticket sales was a rollercoaster. At the 8-week mark, we faced modest sales, leading to initial doubts about reaching our break-even point of 64 tickets. However, by the 10th week, we not only met but exceeded expectations with 66 tickets sold, ultimately marking the event as sold out. To our surprise, we successfully attracted locals to attend the event.

Our lack of experience in the culinary domain was effectively countered by the dedication and unity within our team, setting the stage for the next challenge - the much-anticipated first evening.


The first evening: Our learning experience

The inaugural night unfolded with challenges—slow food, slow drinks, and a humorous forgetfulness of items back on campus.

Our dedication to the quality of the drinks has created a long waiting time for our guests. To tackle this problematic, we pre-made the mixture during our mise en place and reduced the execution time during the operations. The first night the beverage services took around 30-40minutes per table. The second we cut our performance to 10-15 minute per table.

Regarding the food, the solution was quite similar. We had to optimize our preparation to reduce as we can the time during the operation hours. We forecasted how many portions we had to prepare, and as long as the quality is not jeopardized, we pre-cooked every item on the menu. Therefore, when we came on the premises, the mise en place on site was cut and naturally we had more time to focus on details.

In addition, we came up with a better organization to keep up with the flow of each table. It allowed us more harmony throughout the evening and the waiting time of the food was no longer a complication. The guests could enjoy each dish with a certain regularity in the sequence of service.

Despite the struggles, every mistake became a valuable lesson for us. Reflection, documentation of areas for improvement, and feedback from mystery guests became essential tools for preparing a memorable second night.


Communication and transformation: Our major role in the flip

Recognizing communication as a key weakness, we initiated a feedback session, implemented new tools, and devised a fresh approach. Confidence prevailed, preventing the repetition of previous mistakes. The second evening, marked by a slower kitchen pace, showcased a tremendous effort from the bar and smooth, professional service, earning accolades from our guests.

Besides having the opportunity to show what we are capable in real world situations and not just in a class room. This project has helped us grow together as a team and a class. Solving and confronting issues together to create a successful project that we can be proud of.


- Iyoela Desiree Corbin

The special ending: Reflecting on our journey

Our journey, characterized by real struggles and genuine challenges, culminated in a special ending. The learning experience extended beyond the operational aspects, offering insights into effective communication, emotional control, and a comprehensive overview of our departmental progress. Mistakes made on the first evening became catalysts for positive change, demonstrating the transformative power of collaborative problem-solving and adaptability.


Written by

Hotel Management Student and Student Ambassador at EHL Passugg