MBA Students at Wharton's Lauder Institute Launch Innovative Research Project Exploring Successes of International Gastronomy Industry

Website Project on Global Gastronomy Provides Accessible Research Findings for Academics, City Planners and Restaurateurs the World Over

May 09, 2013, 09:00 ET from Lauder Institute

PHILADELPHIA, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of Lauder Institute MBA students (Class '13) at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School announced today the launch of a new, online business management project which explores how large, "global cities" like Dubai, Sao Paulo and Singapore can implement policies to increase marketability and tourism by attracting world-class chefs and restaurateurs.  The Lauder Institute offers a joint degree for Wharton MBA international management candidates, providing advanced language, business and cultural studies in nine languages "tracks" that include the newly launched Hindi program (South Asia), Arabic (Middle East), Mandarin Chinese, Japanese (East Asia), Portuguese, Spanish (Latin America) – and French, German and Russian (Europe). Lauder's newest expansion includes a Global Program, designed specifically for multilingual Lauder candidates.

The team's research focused on the history of how high-end gastronomy developed in these regions, the challenges and trends faced by those developing and working in the gastronomy industry, and how public policy is influencing the gastronomic scene.  A full summary of the project, "Gastronomy & Global Cities," can be accessed at

"There is almost a kind of Global Gastronomy Index," says Mauro Guillen, Director of the Lauder Institute and one of the technical advisors on the project.  "Large, metropolitan cities like London, New York, Paris and Tokyo have some of the world's finest restaurants, chefs and cuisines - which is a draw for international visitors and investors alike.  This team evaluated the factors that make cities gastronomical giants and details the lessons for other cities seeking 'world class' status.  Launching this project online broadens access and provides an opportunity for others to benefit from the research and public policy recommendations these students have developed." 

The students, representing the Chinese, Arabic and Portuguese tracks at Lauder, analyzed the factors related to each city's macroeconomic and demographic influences, its global context, its culinary legacy and its gastronomic ecosystem.  They spent approximately three weeks last summer conducting in-person interviews with world-renowned executive chefs, restaurateurs, and gastronomy/tourism departments on-site in Dubai, Sao Paulo and Singapore, as part of the Lauder Institute's Global Knowledge Lab. 

"We chose these cities because they represent three different approaches to a city's promotion of gastronomy," says Lisa Lovallo, one of the MBA candidates spearheading the project.  "Dubai is a new city that hand picks its high-end restaurants, the Singaporean government recently launched an initiative to promote the city as a culinary destination, and Sao Paulo is enjoying organic development of world-class gastronomy as Brazilian chefs return home from abroad, bringing with them global expertise." Four key factors were identified as indicators or influencers of gastronomical success:  the presence of fusion cuisines, the number of meetings/conferences per year, number of hotel rooms, and number of air passengers arriving annually.

Recommendations from the project focused on increasing tourism and the relationship a city's visitors have with food and beverage.  Developing food festivals and farmers markets are ways to entice both tourists and locals with fresh produce.  Also, increasing the number of cooking schools and developing recreational classes could help grow their gastronomical sectors.  Farms, food producing facilities, breweries, distilleries, restaurants and other food producers may open their premises to the public by constructing centers or museums and developing "food and drink trails," further attracting more 'foodies' to their economies. 

"Through the international perspective we gained about gastronomy, global cities and the business of world-class restaurants in distinct urban environments across the globe, our project provides a better understanding of how all of these elements are inter-related," says Lovallo. "We hope city planners, restaurateurs, and food-lovers around the world will find our results useful as international cuisines become increasingly important in the process of globalization."  

About the Lauder Institute:
The University of Pennsylvania's Lauder Institute, founded in 1983, combines a world–renowned Wharton MBA with a Master's in International Studies. Advanced language and foreign culture training, a two-month in-country immersion program, and a Master's Thesis from the School of Arts & Sciences all prepare Lauder Fellows for the ever-evolving global economy. This year's offerings include the new Global Program for students who are already fluent in several languages. Graduates join the diverse, supportive and committed worldwide Lauder community – continuing a nearly 30-year tradition of international business leadership.  The Lauder Institute also offers an MA/JD joint degree. For more information, visit

About the Wharton School:
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 91,000 graduates.

About the School of Arts & Sciences:
The School of Arts & Sciences provides a foundation for the scholarly excellence that has established Penn as one of the world's leading research universities. The School enrolls 6500 undergraduates, admits approximately 250 students each year into its 32 doctoral programs, and offers a wide range of programs for lifelong learning. International studies are a vibrant enterprise at the School of Arts & Sciences. In addition to offering instruction in 50 languages, the school is home to an array of centers, programs and institutes dedicated to the study of world regions and contemporary global issues and conflicts.

SOURCE Lauder Institute