Go behind the scenes of Casa de Carabelas, a pop-up taqueria run by JWU students.
Teamwork, leadership and cooperation: JWU assistant professor Brian Connors '93 shows you what it takes to run an authentic taquería in his senior-level Food Service Operations Management class.
Today’s team of seniors is working a fresh-Mex concept called Casa de Carabelas. “Take a mixture of Chipotle, your favorite taco stand, some street food ambiance — today we’re bringing it on campus,” says Connors.
Running a Restaurant, from Concept to Execution
Each team of 4-5 students builds their restaurant concept from scratch, taking into account current trends, as well as food costs and availability. Students have just a few weeks to develop their concept and bring it to life — and all under budget.
The biggest challenge? To pull it off effortlessly, creatively and (of course) deliciously. “This class is really a test of leadership and management skills. It’s where students pull together all the skills they’ve learned.”
The Casa Challenge
By deciding to do healthy fast food, the Casa team first had to answer the question: “How do we make fresh food both fast and affordable?”
The answer? Make it scalable. Slaws and salsas — 12 of them! — were made from scratch ahead of time. Braised meats could be held at temp during service. Blue and yellow corn tortillas were prepped and bagged in advance.
Ready, Set, Showtime!
When it’s showtime, Connors steps back and lets the team run things their way. “Right now we’re about an hour away from service, so they’re finessing all the details in the dining room: What’s the guest seeing? What are they hearing? What are they smelling?”
Serving Up Authentic Flavors
Now go into the kitchen with JWU seniors Jesse + Brian as they show you the teamwork that goes into making Casa de Carabelas a success: