TAMPA (April 3, 2014) – On March 28-29, a team of University of South Florida College of Business undergraduate senior business students: Christopher Conoly (Accounting), Heather Mooren (Marketing, Mass Communications/PR), Victor Rivera (Finance & Management) and Justin Tewey (Management) won the Spring 2014 COB Undergraduate Business Case Competition on the Tampa campus.
*The subject company was the Little Greek Restaurant in Tampa, a growing 17-location “fast casual” restaurant chain in the process of developing a growth plan for the next five years. The case was, in some ways, a follow-up to the Fall 2011, Undergraduate Case Competition which featured the Little Greek as a four-store chain trying then to develop the restaurant concept and begin the franchising journey.
In the competition, the students learned the identity of the subject case company on Friday morning, March 28 at 9 a.m., during the case unveiling at the College of Business. There, Little Greek executives Nick Vojnovic (a former USF EMBA, Intercollegiate Case Competition winner, and COB Executive in Residence), Jenn Bujalski, and Jessica Tarver presented the case to students, and followed that with an invitation to visit their restaurant location on Fowler Avenue. Following a tour of the restaurant, and lunch, students took on the challenge of assessing every aspect of the company’s operations, including the menu; restaurant layout, logistics and design; Website; marketing plan and the company’s growth plan.
After the case unveiling, the students went to work, using the next 24 hours to prepare their analyses and presentations for the next morning. Given the depth and breadth of the questions posed by the Little Greek executives, the case provided a substantial challenge for the students. Twenty minute presentations to the judges, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session, began at 9 a.m., Saturday morning.
Judges for the competition were Little Greek executives Vojnovic (President), Bujalski (Marketing Manager), and Tarver (Director of Franchise Development), Mike Mondello (Associate Professor, USF COB Sports and Entertainment), and USF COB alum, and former graduate case competition participant Jason Liu (President, Bareboard Group, Inc., and USF COB Adjunct Professor).
Each of the students has decided to accept the opportunity to turn their case competition experience into Advanced Undergraduate Research credit. Accordingly, the teams will be presenting their team’s research experience to the Undergraduate Research Office on Friday, April 25 at 1 p.m..
In an email to the staff, Mike Bowen wrote, “We are thus extremely proud of the students who participated in this competition. All of the students and teams were outstanding and represented themselves and the college extremely well in a very closely contested competition.”