Hospitality For The Future: a Challenge Launched by Entrepreneur Francesco Panella and JCU

Students are the future, the roots from which the hope for a sustainable and ethical life can grow.                                                                                                                                                                                     Francesco Panella

Francesco Panella

Francesco Panella

Francesco Panella, owner of the  “Antica Pesa” restaurants in Rome and Brooklyn, and “Feroce” in Manhattan, known as the “restaurateur of two worlds,” has launched an educational challenge for the students of John Cabot University.

Entitled “Hospitality for the Future by John Cabot University & Antica Pesa,” it is the first time that a restaurant and an international university team up in creative and innovative ways to create a sustainable hospitality model for the food industry, which is experiencing a serious economic backlash due to the pandemic crisis.

An entrepreneur and television personality, in 2012 Panella moved to the U.S. where he quickly became ambassador of Italian cuisine. Best known as the host of cooking shows such as Little Big Italy and Riaccendiamo i fuochi, he is also the author of several books, including  Forse non tutti sanno che in America (Newton Compton Editori, 2020), a journey to discover the best examples of food and wine in the U.S.

Says Panella, “Young people are the new consumers and we want to hear their ideas, answers, and solutions. Together with the Beclay Agency I chose to involve John Cabot University because its students come from all over the world, and represent our ideal case study. The best projects will be implemented in my restaurants, which have always been environmentally conscious, and geared towards development and innovation.”

On February 16, 2021, Business Administration Professors Riccardo Maiolini and Antonella Salvatore and Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship (IFE) Silvia Pulino welcomed Francesco Panella to a virtual event at JCU in order to launch the “Hospitality for the Future” challenge.

“For several years, John Cabot University’s curriculum has included activities carried out in partnership with companies in order to present practical challenges to our students. In this program, called “Learn Do Share,” a company chooses a class based on the challenge that it intends to develop. Then with the professor’s guidance, students propose solutions directly to the company. These activities have led to many business development opportunities for companies as well as internship opportunities for students. This year, a multi-sector project was launched for the first time, with the participation of several classes in collaboration with the Grassroots Club, a student organization dedicated to environmental sustainability,” says Professor Silvia Pulino, Director of IFE.

Students from the following JCU courses can participate in the challenge: Advertising Management, International Marketing, E-marketing, Brand Management, Public Relation Management, and Made in Italy. Each course will provide different perspectives on the same issue.

Participants will have to create the best projects to make a sustainable restaurant, involve the stakeholders, and communicate its message through various channels. At the end of the challenge, Francesco Panella and a faculty committee from JCU will decide the winners.

The winners will receive a dedicated tree in the “Antica Pesa” forest by Treedom, a platform that allows users to plant a tree from remote while following its growth online, directly financing local farmers around the world and bringing them environmental, economic, and social benefits.

Upon introducing “Hospitality For The Future,” Panella explained that one of the restaurant industry’s main goals is to become more sustainable, a goal that has proven more challenging due to the Covid crisis. Technology and sustainability are concepts that are fundamental to creating new and advanced business models that are also environmentally responsible. Panella is asking students to combine tradition and innovation to “redesign the world we are living in.”