October 25, 2019

Student Club Spotlight: NYU Restaurateur Club

The NYU Restaurateur Club connects students with a passion for the restaurant industry, and hosts Sunday Suppers, Restaurant Tours, and Workshops. Its President is Sonia Rhodes, an undergraduate student at the Tisch Center of Hospitality. In this post, she tells us about the club and its plans for this semester.

How did you decide that you wanted to study at the Tisch Center?  

I believe there is no better way to learn than by immersion. The professors at the Tisch Center teach through the lens of their in-field experience and can therefore impart knowledge they couldn’t have learned from a textbook. That’s what makes our classrooms different. The Tisch Center extends this philosophy with curricula that encourage us to intern, travel abroad, and concentrate on one industry subset – all in the hometown of some of the best hotels in the world.

Why did you decide to serve as President of the NYU Restaurateur Club?

The NYU Restaurateur Club had been a fledgling concept when I began in 2016, so by the time I ran for club president it needed new goals and objectives. I sought to make the organization more accessible – be that to restaurants, low-income students, or incoming leadership. I’ve since worked with my team to develop best practices and procedures that keep us organized online, so that our target markets of restaurants and students associate professionalism with our brand; financially, so that we can operate free events; and internally, so that passing the torch becomes a seamless process.

Are there particular events that you are most looking forward to planning this year?

We have some excellent collaborations with other Tisch Center clubs in the works. In the spring, we’re working with Coffee Club and the Hospitality Tourism Society to organize a panel event about the online restaurant sphere, with representatives from Resy, OpenTable, Grubhub, and Seamless. I’m working now with some of the incredible Tisch Center professors to make those connections and find a moderator. Restaurateur Club events are typically application-based and capped at 15 members, so this will be a great opportunity for us to live our inclusivity vision with open attendance and collaborate with like-minded Tisch Center clubs.

What do you hope to take away from serving as President of the NYU Restaurateur Club? 

I hope to take away leadership skills. I have already learned so much about the value of clear communication, positive reinforcement, and trust – there are more priceless skills to be gained from club leadership than I ever would have dreamt. I hope the feedback from my team will carry through to my positions of leadership in my family and future career.

How do you think this leadership role will impact your career and future goals? 

It already has! It’s been absolutely invaluable to know myself in the context of leadership when applying for internships, and I’m sure this will compound in my career as well. This role in the Restaurateur Club has allowed me to put classroom material on leadership and finance management into practice, testing ideas and experimenting with strategy before I dive into full time work. It has already taught me what types of organization structure works for me, and this will surely guide my job application process in the spring.  

Related Articles