Future Proofing Foodservice Conference | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Future Proofing Foodservice Conference

Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023

Future Proofing Foodservice Conference

On Saturday October 14th UGSRP hosted a conference for Ontario Hospitality students called Future Proofing Foodservice. The event was free to attend and featured 14 speakers discussing topics such as local food systems and circularity in foodservice. The day was hosted by student leaders Addy Malpas and Jas Rubab Singh who did a fantastic job of running a smooth event and making all attendees feel welcome. 

Approximately 70 students and representatives of 7 different schools from across the greater GTA attended. The goals of the event were to; educate future foodservice leaders on improving sustainability in their industry; provide an experiential learning experience for the student leaders who planned and ran the conference; and promote collaboration between hospitality programs in the province.  It truly was an educational and inspiring event.

Thank you to all of our speakers and our sponsors: The Arrell Food Institute, Toast, MLSE, Gordon Food Service, Compass Group, Dana Hospitality, Civil Pours, and the SFP (Sustainable Foodservice Professional).

Addy Malpas, a third year Hospitality and Tourism Management student from Bermuda wrote about her experience hosting this event. She says growing up she always had a passion for hospitality and being able to study at the Lang School has been a dream come true. This conference allowed her to dive further into relevant coursework and what she wants to pursue after graduation.

Why did you want to continue/reboot this conference?

When I was presented with the opportunity to lead this conference as a student, I thought about the experience and the connections I would be able to gain. Throughout the planning of this event, I was able to meet and connect with some amazing leaders both on campus and off campus. Each speaker had a different story, topic, or message to share with everyone, but they all revolved around initiatives to increase sustainability in the hospitality industry which is very important. Continuing this conference allowed me to be a part of change and education for our youth in hopes of a more sustainable future.

Why is sustainability important for the foodservice industry?

The foodservice industry is an essential part of everyone’s day to day life. We have to become more aware of our impacts as the foodservice industry is one of the biggest industries used every day. The speakers addressed how they are taking account for their actions and by doing this they can see the real impact we are having on the foodservice industry. It then allows for problem-solving and ideas on how to reduce our footprint. Madison Homewood from Civil Pours focused on the beverage industry and the simple idea of food waste associated with cocktails and bar life. The statistics she provided were eye-opening by she was able to explain the steps her company is taking to help reduce this number.

Tell us about how being part of a conference such as this one has impacted your learning and career readiness. 

This hands-on experience has allowed me to grow my event skills including business communication, problem solving and event management. Experiences such as this not only prepare me to be career ready upon graduation, but they also strengthen what I am learning in the classroom. I was able to attend most of the speaker’s sessions which impacted my learning by being able to hear what they all brought to the conference. I really enjoyed the diversity of the speakers and how each person brought a unique topic and perspective to the table. It showed how even though we all have different purposes in life, they all align to achieve the same goal.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering attending Lang?

A piece of advice I would give a perspective student considering attending Lang would be to take advantage of every opportunity. You never know where some experiences will take you or who it will allow you to meet, say yes to things that might even be out of your comfort zone, it was allow you to learn and grow. Within the hospitality industry, connections and networking is crucial to a successful future. Events and conferences such as this one have allowed me to grow my network for my future in the hospitality industry.

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