What would you do if you were given a blank canvas and asked to create an innovative food program for a top-brand client? Students at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) were given just that opportunity when presented with their final project in Dr. Stierand’s course Innovating the Customer Experience: Imagining Google’s food program in the year 2030.

Dr. Stierand wanted to encourage the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that sometimes takes a backseat to the tradition of the industry and to create a real-life management learning situation with a top innovator. Google’s food service program has influenced the way many employers invest in their talent, recognizing the need to provide services more holistically to support employee development and a positive and healthy working environment.

Students were divided into teams and set free to envision what Google’s food program could be in 2030. Creativity was at the heart of the presentations, and no two ideas were alike. Students approached from all angles, focusing attention on social, sensory, and sustainable aspects, in addition to a number of other qualities and contributors to the food and dining experience. Students explored both the physical and digital sides of the project, recognizing the technological savviness of the client but additionally the need and desire to create concrete connections.

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