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Capstone Projects

Organic vs. Inorganic- Perceptions A Study of the Perceived Flavor Differences between Organically and Inorganically Produced Foods Based on the Label “Organic”

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:43
Abstract: This research project is a study based on ideas of Jenny Wan-chen Lee and Mitsuru Shimizu’s study (You Taste What You See: Do Organic Labels Bias Taste Perceptions?) This study was specifically focused on culinary students to see if they would be more or less influenced by the label “organic.” It is also a psychological food study on the label organic and the way that such claims affect the consumer’s view on the quality of the product, specifically culinary students. This is done through a blind taste testing study where 24 culinary students and 24 non-culinary students were asked to try same product, but were told that one of the two unlabeled products was “organic” and the other “inorganic.” This study also goes into the qualifications a product must meet in order to be considered USDA certified organic. However, there is a pre-conceived notion that organic food equals a higher quality flavor and the purpose of this study is to see if that pre-conceived notion will affect the way these students can identify differences between two products when they are the same product. The hypothesis is that the culinary students will be less influenced by the label and judge the flavors more critically than those who are untrained in the culinary field.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Thomas Stile

Sustainable Foie Gras: A study of sustainable and ethical methods in raising geese and ducks for foie gras

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 17:14
Abstract: Foie gras has been a culinary delicacy worldwide for thousands of years and is currently in danger due to controversy surrounding the methods which are used to produce it. Conventional waterfowl care methods are gradually being deemed inhumane and unethical at farms worldwide and as a result bans and laws against foie gras production are being formed. Foie gras is the fatty enlarged liver of a duck or goose, conventionally created by means of “gavage” or force feeding the birds by placing a funnel into the bird’s mouth two to four times per day and pouring corn directly into the throat. Alternatively, one unique farm in Spain plants a garden full of edible goods for the birds and when the cold season arrives the birds naturally choose to force feed themselves. The end result is a foie gras that has won blind taste tests in France against major conventional producers. This method is not known to be used anywhere else in the world, but is being experimented with on a farm in Pocantico Hills, NY (South-Eastern New York) at the Stone Barns Center. If successfully executed, this method could be implemented on any farm as an alternative to conventional methods.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: Dana Gagne

Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery: A feasibility study on the profitability and demand of a new business in Eonosburg Falls, Vermont.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:01
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a rapid increase of consumption of Mexican food; in addition it is also becoming more popular for home preparation. Preserving regional authenticity, as well as seeking to preserve Mexican cultural integrity, are increasingly important trends in the restaurant and retail supermarket industries. Furthermore, there are a large and growing group of people in the Franklin area of Vermont willing to purchase authentic, traditional and unique products as well as food of Mexico. Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery will be a casual food and retail store for those seeking Mexican food. It will offer a selection of authentic Mexican groceries, as well as a place to sit down and enjoy a hot traditional meal, making it an experience you would otherwise find only in Mexico itself. This feasibility study will serve as a template for others seeking to open a similar business, as well as show whether or not it is feasible to open Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. Through a survey the target market will be identified and a projected income statement will be prepared to figure out if expenses will be covered and if profits will be generated.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Hernandez_FinalCapstone.doc
Authors: Cynthia Hernandez

Customer Loyalty at the ‘American Diner’: A study of the ‘American diner’ experience and factors that influence customer retention.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:18
Abstract: When families are satisfied with their ‘American diner’ experience, it’s more likely they will become loyal guests. The typical ‘American diner’ seeks to determine what influences families to become loyal guests. The purpose of this study is to see what factors are influential to persuading the target market, middle-income families, into loyal guests when presented with the ‘American diner’ experience. This will be a loyalty and market analysis that seeks to determine the correlation between middle-income families and the typical ‘American diner’ experience. Data will be collected through the method of a survey. Surveys will be disbursed electronically to families that have ever experienced the typical ‘American diner’ experience. The data will be collected, organized, and analyzed to determine what factors influence customer retention at the typical ‘American diner,’ and what characteristics define the typical ‘American diner’ experience. This study will provide a firm understanding of what about the ‘American diner’ experience influences repeat guests and some advice for those who would like to eventually own or operate their own diner.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: O'Brien_FinalCapstone
Authors: Dana O'Brien

The Utilization of Preservation Techniques in Restaurants: A study of consumer perception on the availability of preserved local products during off-seasons in restaurants

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:59
Abstract: The availability of local food has an impact on a consumer’s restaurant choice. Restaurants could generate additional income by providing locally grown food during off seasons. Restaurateurs could generate income by attracting guests that are interested in consuming locally grown foods, by providing them in their restaurant during the off-season. The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent in-house preservation of local products would benefit restaurants. This is a qualitative, exploratory relationship study, focused on how and to what extent the availability of preserved local products will affect a consumer’s selection of a restaurant. Data was collected through the administration of surveys to residents of Suffolk County, New York. The participants were asked their opinion on the ideas of preserved local food, and the role it plays in their dining choices. Data from the surveys was coded, based upon common responses, to analyze the participant feedback. These coded responses were compiled to present the findings. This study is helpful to people looking into opening a restaurant, and current owners of restaurants, by determining if the year-round offering of local products has financial benefit to their business.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Preston Hulse

Can Restauranteurs Successfully Influence Guest Behavior By Using Facebook?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 20:55
Abstract: Facebook is a form of social media used by millions on a daily basis. Restauranteurs’ ability to use Facebook to influence guest behavior, build a connection, and receive comments could potentially benefit their restaurants. This study was conducted on Facebook, sending surveys to my “friends,” discovering how restaurants’ Facebook pages are affecting them. Seeing how my study was based on Facebook it was appropriate to only conduct the surveys on this form of social media. The goal was to find if restauranteurs could attract more customers to their restaurant by influencing guest behavior on Facebook. This will prove if using Facebook is a worthwhile marketing tool. People interested in this topic will become more knowledgeable about this form of social media from a business perspective and the Facebook company could benefit from this study as well. This study will give recommendations to restauranteurs on how to make their restaurant “stand out” on Facebook.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Joshua Werksman

Do Adirondack Farmers Perceive Aquaponics as a Solution to the Lack of Year Round Out of Season Local Food?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 23:59
Abstract: Several different factors contribute to the farmers of the Adirondacks inability to produce sustainable, fresh, local food out of season. This study will provide a comprehensive literature-review-based overview of modern day farming, aquaponics, local food sheds, and the farmers associated with Adirondack Harvest and Green Circle. This capstone seeks to determine via surveys if aquaponics is a solution to the challenges Adirondack farmers face today in their lack of year round productivity. The consensus of this capstone will determine if aquaponics is a solution to the challenges Adirondack farmer’s face regarding the lack of local out of season food for the residents of the Adirondack region.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Aquaponics Capstone
Authors: Ashley Rokjer

Tasty Tunes

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 14:16
Abstract: The senses of hearing and tasting are being paired together more and more as the subject becomes more popular, bringing musicians and chefs closer together. This study will determine the optimal music to play in a particular restaurant and show how well that music stimulates a customer’s palate. A farm-to-table restaurant will be the place of research where music that complements the food will be played on four different nights and customer surveys will measure the differences in taste and customer enjoyment between four different music genres. The data will be used to prove that the optimal music really does make food and the time spent more enjoyable. The results may lead to be very beneficial to dining room managers, restaurant owners, chefs, and musicians who perform in the hospitality industry in their efforts in matching food and dining with music.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Kelsey Jones

From Garden to School: Future Trend Prediction study of school lunches and the edible schoolyard, Kitchen Garden Project, and Let’s Move! Programs.

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 16:59
Abstract: The ‘Edible Schoolyard’ movement is driving schools towards offering freshly grown produce into their school lunch programs. The Edible Schoolyard aims to provide fresh produce with learning experiences in order to encourage school children to eat healthy and make good decisions about what they eat. An edible schoolyard can be utilized as a major development for school systems, especially in the United States where the growing rates of obesity in our children is still increasing. The purpose of this study was to explore the plausibility of a school system adapting the edible schoolyard or even similar program such as: Kitchen Garden Project and Let’s Move!. A survey was used to measure and compare the responses on if the edible schoolyard is possible for a school system to incorporate. The outcome of this survey can be used to persuade schools into deciding whether they think it’s a good idea to adapt the program into their school system, or even deciding if it’s worth implementing some aspects of the edible schoolyard for their schools.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Final23.docx
Authors: Barbara Sanchez

Women vs. Men Becoming Executive Chefs

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 17:30
Abstract: Currently culinary school enrollment nationwide is about even between male and female students but there is a gap when it comes to being an executive chef, women only account for 10% of executive chefs. The purpose of this project is to study this gap between men and women in the culinary field and also to see what might be causing these gaps and what other jobs the women have found. Surveys will be given to Paul Smith’s alumni with a four year culinary degree. The survey will find out what type of students they were and what jobs they had wanted and what jobs they have had. The male and female responses will then be compared to each other to see if there are gaps between the information.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Jordan Williams