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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Robert Lybrand gives cooking instructions to a class in the Marriott Lab.

Specialized Facilities

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers customized experiential learning environments, including the McCutchen House restaurant, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Laboratory, and the Beverage Education Laboratory. These dynamic facilities support education excellence in a range of courses related to event planning, restaurant management, hotel operations and more.

Beverage Education Laboratory

The Beverage Education Laboratory advances hands-on education in beverage management, a field that plays a vital role in South Carolina's economy, generating more than 3,300 jobs and contributing $2.24 billion in direct economic impact to the state. With state-of-the-art technology and professional-grade equipment, the laboratory provides an immersive educational experience for a diverse and growing portfolio of courses dedicated to the business of beverages.

Courses offered at the lab include curriculum on beverage management, beverage marketing and promotions, craft beer, global beverage distribution, social and cultural industry topics, distilled spirits, advanced topics in wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and more — providing students with a deep understanding of the history, trends, techniques and business practices of the beverage management industry. Some of the courses also incorporate industry certifications, such as sommelier, to enhance students' resumes.

The foundation laid here can open doors to a wide variety of careers, from frontline roles like brewmaster or sommelier to leadership roles in product development, sales, brand management, distribution and many more. These opportunities span a diverse range of industry sectors, from craft breweries and wineries, to coffee corporations and consumer packaged goods, to resorts and restaurants.

It is also home to USC's Wine and Beverage Institute, which leads research, trainings, industry collaboration and community outreach programs to advance beverage management knowledge and innovation.

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McCutchen House

McCutchen House is a restaurant management immersion laboratory where students learn to run an on-campus restaurant that is open to the public. Students in the HRTM 370 Restaurant Operations Management course learn from a combination of weekly classroom instruction and laboratory hours where they rotate through different roles, including food preparation, customer service, and front-of-house management. The facility is located in a historic, three-story building on the USC Horseshoe and includes a teaching kitchen, production kitchen, instructional spaces, dining rooms, and event and meeting spaces.

The restaurant is open to the public and offers a range of lunch dining options during the fall and spring semesters. During the operating / laboratory hours, students get to apply what they have learned in class and gain constructive feedback from customers to enrich their learning. This real-world experience strengthens students' understanding of restaurant management and builds their confidence in a structured and supportive learning environment. 

Students learn under the guidance of an experienced faculty and management team at the McCutchen House. Before joining as its director and a senior lecturer, George Hendry opened and operated local restaurants in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, and later opened two of his own restaurants. For almost two decades, Becky Moran has served as program manager for the restaurant, planning and promoting events and overseeing the restaurant's daily operations. HRTM 370 Instructor Chris Knezevich worked in food and beverage management for 15 years before his career in higher education. Production chef Walter Jackson has over three decades of experience working in the restaurant and hotel industries and teaches students about food preparation, kitchen safety and basic culinary knowledge.

J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Laboratory

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Laboratory, located in the Close-Hipp building, is a 2,000-square foot state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and technology-enhanced classroom. It provides School of Hospitality and Tourism Management students with a dynamic education environment for a range of courses in the area of food and beverage management. These learning opportunities prepare students for careers in event planning, restaurant management, hotel operations and more.

The facility supports a range of curriculum, such as food production management, nutrition, and wine and spirits in the food service industry — all with a focus on preparing students to manage teams of culinary professionals and food and beverage businesses.  Students gain knowledge in commercial kitchen operations, culinary trends and best practices, menu-planning, inventory management and various aspects of hospitality management and customer experience design.

The Marriott Lab also hosts various events and classes that are open to the public, including wine tastings, fundraising events and culinary demonstrations, making it a valuable resource for the University of South Carolina campus and the greater community.


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