sealPurdue News

May 16, 2002

Latin-American restaurateurs study American-style management

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A group of 12 Latin-American and Caribbean restaurant managers is coming to Purdue University on Monday (5/20) for two weeks of training and management education in restaurant management.

Carl Braunlich, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, says the technical and management training his department will provide the visitors is state of the art. And the state of Indiana is restaurant central in the fast food and casual dining categories.

"The general theory is that a nationwide restaurant franchise will do much better than average in Indiana," Braunlich says. "This is the heartland, where families do more things together as a group. One of the things to do is to have a meal in a restaurant.

"In Lafayette, on Route 26, between the bypass and I-65, there are 35 different restaurants that gross more than $40 million annually."

One popular restaurant popular in Lafayette and Indiana is Pizza Hut. The company has 7,700 outlets nationally. Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne, which operates 44 franchise units statewide, has eight of the top 10 Pizza Huts in sales volume nationally.

The national leader in sales volume for Pizza Hut is in Kendallville. Greater Lafayette has four Pizza Huts. The Farabee Drive location ranks in the top 20 nationally in sales volume.

The visitors, who are restaurant owners and senior managers from Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Paraguay and Uruguay, are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cochran Fellowship Program. They will visit the new Pizza Hut on Sagamore Parkway at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (5/21). The Latin-American managers also will visit the Indianapolis Cheesecake Factory and Peter's Restaurant at Keystone at the Crossing and Smoky Bones and Pappadequx in Chicago.

Braunlich wants his visiting executives to see Pizza Hut's ventilation system and impingement oven technology, which cooks pizza with blasts of hot air. He also wants the students to experience the Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne managerial philosophy.

"Pizza Hut works arm-in-arm with us at Purdue in educating the next generation of restaurant management, and leadership," Braunlich says. "The restaurants are successful and well managed. The company does not see itself as a pizza seller but rather as a business that does right by the customer."

The Indiana restaurant business is a major employer of Purdue hospitality and tourism management graduates, Braunlich says.

"Indiana employers like the nuts-and-bolts, roll-up-the-sleeves and get-the-job-done management approach of our graduates," he says.

Braunlich says Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne is known as an innovator in many areas of the restaurant business.

"The New Yorker pizza, made famous by the Donald and Ivana Trump television commercials, was invented at the Purdue West Pizza Hut," Braunlich says. "The Sagamore Parkway Pizza Hut has a Frank Lloyd-Wright influenced interior complete with fireplace and stained glass."

Restaurants are a $6 billion annual business in Indiana, according to John Livengood, president of the state's Restaurant and Hospitality Association.

Writer: J.M. Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Carl Braunlich, (765) 494-8031,

John Livengood, (317) 673-4200,

Related Web sites:
Restaurant and Hospitality Association of Indiana home page

Related release:
Hoosier state's the place if you hunger for restaurant meal

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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