MBA Paper Recession-Proofs Restaurants

L-R: Dean Linda Livingstone, Student Paper Winner Kasra Ferasat, GBR Editor-in-Chief Owen Hall
Dean Linda Livingstone, Winner Kasra Ferasat, GBR Editor-in-Chief Owen Hall

Kasra Ferasat of Palos Verdes, CA., (pictured center) a fully employed MBA program student at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, is the 2009 first place $1000 winner in the student paper competition held by the Graziadio Business Report. For the second year, the publication has invited Graziadio School students to submit articles and compete for the chance to be published and for a cash prize awarded by Dean Linda A. Livingstone (pictured left) and Editor-in-Chief Owen Hall, Jr., a professor of decision sciences (picture right).

Mr. Ferasat’s award-winning composition presents five recession-fighting tactics that must be incorporated into a restaurant’s overall strategy in order to maintain a competitive advantage. The restaurant business is facing its worst time in 40 years with fine-dining restaurants expected to decline by 12 to 15 percent, he writes.

How can restaurateurs create and maintain a profitable business while adding value, increasing sustainability, and providing fresh food for the consumer? Consistent food service, food quality and safety, embracing technology, marketing, and creativity are solutions addressed in the article, available at gbr.pepperdine.edu/094/studentpaperwinner.html, in the Fall 2009 issue of the GBR.

Restaurants fail all too often because passion takes over strategic vision.

“Passion is important, but it can blind a restaurateur to the important issues at hand,” Ferasat said. “A restaurant must incorporate the same value propositions given to a (commercial) product or service to enhance its future growth.”

Ferasat credits his curiosity about the food business with his extensive travels and his. interest in culinary traditions around the world. He believes the food industry needs young managers to help develop healthier and more sustainable food businesses.

Ferasat is an MBA candidate concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Presently, he is a realtor with Merit Real Estate, a full-service real estate firm in Redondo Beach, California. He has experience in several industries, including international freight forwarding, private equity, and import/export. Ferasat received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and global business from the University of Southern California. He completes his Pepperdine degree in summer 2010.

For information on the 2010 Student Paper competition, visit gbr.pepperdine.edu/studentpaper/2010.html.

Author of the article
Danielle L. Scott
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