The excellent relationships that Glion maintains with top brands and industry leaders means our students have invaluable access to real-world experience, while studying. In our latest Applied Business Project (ABP), five students are helping D&D London prepare for a technology-led future in the restaurant sector.

Who are D&D?

D&D London is a group of diverse restaurants, bars and hotels around the world. Founded by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi, locations include London, Paris, New York, Manchester and Tokyo. Overall, the group operates over 30 restaurants and one award-winning hotel, and has been recognised as a leading business in caring for the environment.

As the name would suggest, D&D London has a presence in the UK capital’s restaurant scene, owning Quaglino’s, Le Pont de la Tour, Bluebird and Coq d’Argent.

“We are Europe’s largest fine-dining restaurant group with over 30 unique restaurants, one boutique hotel and three retail outlets.” Jaimie Stewart, D&D London

Getting ready for future trends

Jaimie Stewart, Head of Learning & Development at D&D London, explains the reason for the collaboration with Glion students. “We set the students from Glion the challenge of identifying and analysing the issues affecting the industry – particularly restaurants – over the next couple of years. We want to know how, as an industry, we need to embrace modern technology and artificial intelligence to overcome those challenges”.

Bringing a fresh perspective

For Jaimie, it’s about taking the best knowledge from the classroom and testing it in the real-world. “It is always nice to set students that challenge, to take what they are learning in the classroom and have them really apply it to the industry. The wonderful thing about young people, particularly the students in schools like Glion, is that they come at things with a fresh perspective.”

“Sometimes when you’ve been in the industry for a long time, you discount something because you may have tried it in the past, whereas, for the students at Glion, they don’t have any of those barriers or these preconceptions”, Jaimie said.

‘High-quality and high-calibre work’

Working with Glion students is all about getting the very best insight, perspective and outcome for D&D London, as Jaimie explains: “There is that passion for the industry that’s really evident with the students you meet and talk to. Because of the reputation of school, they will produce high-quality and high-calibre work, one for their own delivery, but also to uphold the reputation of the school – it is a big reputation to work with!”.

“The great thing about Glion is that you get a really big cultural mix. You get people from all over the world – sometimes countries I have never heard of – and they can bring different cultural perspectives to the projects, which can give it a really unique insight as well.”

‘Really bring value to our business’

The Applied Business Project (ABP) isn’t merely a way for students to gain experience, it’s a unique opportunity for companies to access the very best emerging talent in the industry. Something that Jaime is all too aware of. “You could see that they were very enthusiastic to understand the industry. It was really good that they followed up and asked me challenging questions, they’ve come back with ideas, I have provided them with feedback and suggestions, which they’ve responded to with their own ideas.”

“What we’ve done is moved from the initial discussion to really refining the project down into something that will genuinely bring value to our business.” Work is ongoing with D&D London, with the students due to deliver their final report in January.

See how Glion students have made a difference in businesses around the world – read more ABP stories:

Hotel Victoria – Owner discusses exciting project
Sporthotel Knobelboden – The challenges of repositioning the hotel
UEFA – The benefits of teamwork

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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