For the 18th anniversary of the French Restaurant and Operations Managers’ Club (CDRE France) Trophy, Karelle Rimbon, a student on the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Food Service Management, and Mael Lecharles, a student on the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Hospitality Management, took part in this competition and are currently awaiting the results of the final.
This competition is proof of the commitment of CDRE France, made up of 140 managers from 4- and 5-star food service and hospitality venues in France and Monaco, to promote the professions of Restaurant Manager or Operations Manager among new graduates, and the desire of the sector to perpetuate and pass on its know-how.
The competition was an opportunity for our students in the hospitality and food service sectors to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired and to progress personally in a competition that also solicits a number of the soft skills developed at Institut Paul Bocuse, including taking initiatives, organisation, creativity and ingenuity. Currently awaiting the final results, we met our students and asked them about their participation in this competition.
The students answer our questions about the CDRE Trophy
What does the competition involve?
K. Rimbon: “It starts with a case study. This year, the case study involved repositioning a luxury hotel, a château in the French region of Corrèze, on the theme of green tourism and Slow travel. The case study represents a lot of work, because it entails completely repositioning a hotel, with accommodation, food service and other activities, but also marketing, communication and HR strategies, and finally the financial strategy with provisional budgets to be drawn up.
Once the case study has been completed, the juries select 10 teams for the final, which this time took place at a distance. The final includes 9 tests on General Culture, Product Knowledge, Customer Conflict Management, English, IT, Human Resources, Supplier Negotiation, Customer Sales and finally the defence of our case study”.
How did you come to participate in this competition? What were your motivations?
K. Rimbon: “When I saw what the competition was about and this year’s theme I decided to apply straight away. Indeed, I think that participating in this competition can really be beneficial to my future career, as I am very interested in hospitality and especially in responsible food service”.
M. Lecharles: “I wanted to take stock of everything that the Institute and its teaching had offered me, both in terms of theory and in terms of my personal development, because I had never undertaken such an ambitious project before”.
What did taking part in this competition teach you?
M. Lecharles: “Taking part in this competition has taught me a lot. First of all, about myself, and about what I could improve, like my organisation skills. It helped me to strengthen my basics by reviewing my lessons, and it allowed me to work on new concepts that will be useful in the future. The competition also encouraged me to ask myself a lot of questions about what I wanted to do in the future, both at the Institute and for my future career plans.
What would a victory or a place on the podium mean to you?
K. Rimbon: ” I would be very proud to win, considering all the work I have put in. I would also be proud to have been able to represent Institut Paul Bocuse in front of other schools and the CDRE”.
M. Lecharles: “A place on the podium would make me very proud, as I have worked really hard for this competition, both for my case study and the final, for which I have practised numerous times. A victory would be recognition of my skills and knowledge, and would help me to move on to new personal projects. If I don’t manage to win the competition, I am still very satisfied to have been involved in the project and to have had the chance to participate, I have worked hard for all this and I hope now that this work will be rewarded”.
Participation in such competitions for our 4-year Bachelor students is an important component in their programme of study. Other students have also entered international competitions such as the CESIM or the Accor Take Off Challenge. They have the backing of the entire Institut Paul Bocuse team for these competitions and notably the CDRE Trophy, for which the results are expected in September.