Rolling Raptor EduKitchen Opens For Business
The Rolling Raptor EduKitchen, a 26-foot-long mobile food lab, arrived at the College in October. Equipped with the most cutting-edge culinary equipment and technology, it serves as a hands-on business lab for students within the hospitality management program. Students develop a food truck business/concept, fabricate, test out and develop menu items and costs, and operate the business at events with real clients (e.g., golf courses, breweries, City of Rockville events). Afterward, they evaluate the success of their concepts based on customer feedback and financial gains or losses.
“The Rolling Raptor creates an unprecedented opportunity for students to gain real-life entrepreneurial experiences throughout their studies at Montgomery College,” said Jana Anderson, hospitality management program coordinator and associate professor. “It also creates opportunities for the hospitality management program to partner with local businesses in securing event locations and business opportunities.” In December, the food truck/mobile lab served customers at Saints Row Brewing (Dec. 6) and at True Respite Brewing Company (Dec. 7).
Students Luis Armenta and Angelo Rochester, both graduating the hospitality program this fall, were among the first students to operate the mobile food lab.
“Working on the Rolling Raptor, I learned menu formatting and food truck administration while gaining real-life experience serving delicious food to the people of Montgomery College,” Armenta said.
“The Rolling Raptor gave me just a small taste of what it takes to ensure my goals are met,” Rochester said. Both students completed an A.A.S. in hospitality management.
In addition to practicing culinary and planning skills, students also develop presentation skills using the Rolling Raptor EduKitchen’s external digital screen. The screen serves as a digital menu board, but it can also display student presentations.
Custom designed and fabricated for the program, the Rolling Raptor EduKitchen is incorporated into the curriculum of several hospitality management classes related to entrepreneurship, marketing, and food service operations. All students enrolled in hospitality management degree programs, food and beverage management, and management and supervision, will have the opportunity to work in the Rolling Raptor.
The mobile lab idea for the hospitality management program was developed in January 2022 by Professor John Coliton, acting dean of BEACAHMPS (Business, Economics, Accounting, Computer Applications, Hospitality Management and Paralegal Studies), and Jana Anderson. The lab was custom designed and fabricated for the program by ELHAJ Custom, located in Manassas, Va. It arrived on the Rockville Campus in early October.