Do you dream of making a professional dent on the Food & Beverage landscape but don't have four years of study-time available? Then EHL's CREM course (Culinary & Restaurant Management certificate) might just be your winning ticket. This intensely rich, fast-paced program offers key insights into the professional world of restaurant management. Ideal practical learning for future entrepreneurs armed with motivation, creative vision, critical thinking and a service-oriented mindset.
Food & Beverage industry - learning from the experts
The CREM is a five-month full-time certificate based on EHL Campus Lausanne, Switzerland. During the 680 hours of tuition and 25 masterclasses, students are taught the practical pillars of restaurant and hospitality business stretching across the two main axes of operations and management. The program is especially devised to give insider know-how thanks to the participation of many world renowned industry professionals (e.g., Chef Franck Giovannini, head of the award-winning Hôtel de Ville restaurant in Crissier - and also patron of the CREM course).
In addition to his endorsement of the program, Chef Giovannini personally welcomes groups of EHL students to his restaurant on a weekly basis and shares his insights on how to create a 3* Michelin customer experience and all the preparation that goes into running such an establishment. This is just one of the many examples of how the CREM is defined by learning exclusively from the experts. The program includes field trips to successful food entrepreneurs, producers and suppliers, and numerous networking events featuring key players from the industry. The CREM learning experience also offers optional internship possibilities and the all important gateway to becoming part of the prestigious EHL global alumni family.
The CREM program - Tools for entrepreneurs
Designed for young professionals with a post-secondary education, this fast-paced program is dedicated to strengthening culinary know-how and developing managerial skills for the Food & Beverage industry. CREM students are immersed daily in a variety of culinary operations and management contexts from the luxury (working at EHL’s gastronomic Berseau des Sens restaurant) to the mundane (understanding the essentials of takeaway food).
The 25 masterclasses taught by EHL's award-winning practical arts faculty and industry experts take students through the essential aspects of running an F&B business, sharing real-life, tried and tested tools for foodie entrepreneurs. The course has a 55/45 split of hands-on workshops vs. theoretical masterclasses. On the operational side, for example, students study service skills, creative menu design, cooking techniques, events catering, culinary research & development. On the management side, students learn the art of creating a winning business plan, cost and quality control, innovation & sustainable mindsets, HR, leadership and team skills - to name but a few.
"This well-balanced course applies EHL's Swiss-quality hospitality methods to develop dual expertise. You will develop your F&B skills as well as strengthen your management competencies" CREM brochure.
CREM students graduate with:
Culinary basics for operations
Management skills to develop and run F&B businesses
Swiss/European/international cultural awareness
A strong global network of peers, industry leaders and alumni
CREM includes three professional certifications:
EHL Culinary & Restaurant Management Certificate
EHL HACCP and Food Safety for the Restaurant Industry Certificate
As EHL senior lecturer in the Practicals Arts for the past 15 years, Frédéric Girodon specializes in bar & restaurant outlets, front of house operations, service skills and mixology workshops for the CREM course. His deeply practical, creative and interactive approach has recently earned him EHL 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year award, especially for his knowledge of global alcoholic beverages.
Here, he answers questions about what makes the CREM so special from a teacher's and a student's perspective.
1. EHL offers many programs that aim to give students practical knowledge of the hospitality industry, what makes the CREM certificate stand out?
The CREM certificate focuses on management, operational and leadership skills related to the hospitality industry. The course aims to teach "savoir être & savoir faire" (roughly translated as "knowing how to be and how to do"). What makes the program stand out is that fact that over a short and intense period of time, the essentials on running a successful F&B business are imparted by true industry professionals in a very hands-on context.
2. Who is the CREM aimed at?
It is really aimed at anyone who wants to discover the world of culinary hospitality and learn all types of F&B catering, operational or managerial activities. The CREM is for professionally-minded people wishing to create their own business in the F&B industry, set up a luxury brand, take over a family establishment or possibly work for well-known organizations. But on the whole, about 80% of our graduates go on to create their own ventures. Most CREM students enrol on the course having already-developed a hospitality business mindset, and wish to expand it even further to be fully equipped for real success in the industry.
3. In terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, what does the CREM offer?
The CREM students are invited to work in many innovative environments, e.g., a dish creation project to present to their sponsor, chef Franck Giovannini; learning sous-vide cooking methods with Dr Bruno Goussault; carrying out research in connection with Nestlé NRC during the food Research & Development week; exploring methods of affordable nutrition. We encourage students to experiment. Our job is to push them to think outside of the F&B box, discover new angles, new demands, new techniques.
In my workshops, we go on field trips to visit - for example - distilleries, and see the evolution and trends of the beverage industry (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Our students are positioned very close to the industry thanks to the many visits to talk to successful entrepreneurs and startups, and the participation of the experts. With regards to my course on Global Spirits, I regularly invite a brand ambassador of alcoholic beverages allowing a great exchange on how the business has been developed, what are the constraints, what are the strengths, and more importantly, how to stand out from competition with an innovative mindset.
4. How has digitalization impacted the CREM program?
The mixology workshop uses a flipped classroom approach where the class is semi-digitalized. Students watch videos and read texts at their own pace, then we deepen the knowledge in synchronous class time with interactive activities such as demonstrations of distillation, quizzes and role play exercises allowing students to acquire the skills and reach the objectives. A particular highlight is when we use the BDS lounge bar for making and inventing cocktails for real guests. The synchronous activities in class encourage collaborative learning. The team spirit on the CREM program is always very strong, (a reflection of the EHL spirit, which in turn impacts the EHL alumni network making it even stronger).
5. Does being passionate have a role in the CREM (both as teacher and learner)
Definitely yes! In five months, you discover most of the domains related to hospitality industry across theory mixed with practice and lots of group projects. The passion of teaching and learning the CREM program helps to overcome any difficulties with regards to the fast-paced intensity. There's possibly more bonding between lecturers and students since the age gap is less pronounced than with the preparatory year students. Here, many learners come from having already worked in the hospitality sector, hence they are slightly older with a maturer attitude and a more developed sense of ambition. The maturity of the CREM students makes the workshops more interactive and challenging. I am also learning a lot from my students as some of them come from industry sectors that are unknown to me, making the teacher-student exchange more authentic. I too am receiving rich insights from my class.
CREM career possibilities
There are endless professional openings available to CREM graduates. The course specializes in developing a 'can-do' entrepreneurial attitude that lends itself to setting up one's own business. But equally important are the world-renowned EHL skill sets that balance out the soft and hard knowhow, making any EHL graduate a very sought-after employee.
Some popular positions that many CREM graduates transition to:
Culinary production manager
Restaurant, café, Bar
Gourmet bakery or specialty foods
Street food truck
Family food business
Food writer and critic
Sophie, CREM class of 2020: From a law degree to food-tech startup
After a Law degree in London, Sophie pursued her passion for gastronomy and joined the EHL CREM course not only to acquire F&B knowledge and skills, but also to engage with innovation and growth mindsets. Today, Sophie is co-founder at Amfora SARL, a sustainable, farm direct food tech startup that connects conscious consumers and businesses in Switzerland with artisanal producers in Greece, disrupting the extra virgin olive oil industry one kitchen at a time. Amfora is at the forefront of zero waste and on demand food delivery. Eat well, do good!
are you interested in fulfilling your potential as a future F&B entrepreneur?
Whether you dream of opening a restaurant or starting your own innovative F&B business, this five-month intense program of25 masterclasses will give you the skills and connections you need.
Fréderic Girodon is a really dedicated teacher, he manages to keep his students interested in every class at all times. By including games into the learning process, his students have fun while learning. Additionally, the daily midterm quizzes are a great way to stay on top of the class material and Mr. Girodon’s way of asking specific questions and digging deeper into his students’ knowledge really makes this learning journey enjoyable and memorable.
Feedback from the CREM class representative
EHL Group Route de Cojonnex 18 1000 Lausanne 25 Switzerland