Life + Arts

Battle of the Burgers

Seniors at the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship will be given the chance to put their business skills to the test at the annual Burger Fest.

Organized into businesses, student teams will operate a burger stand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the University Center’s north patio.’

‘Basically, our class splits up into five teams and competes to operate the best burger stand on campus,’ said Robert Heckeroth, a senior entrepreneurship and finance major and the CEO for the Royal Team.’

The purpose of Burger Fest is to provide entrepreneurship students with the chance to practice what they have learned. Required of all seniors, it is part of the last entrepreneurship class.’

‘Burger Fest is a culmination for seniors, their final project. Basically, they’re putting together a business plan and competing with each other,’ Alfonso Olvera, entrepreneurship and marketing junior, said.’

All 30 students in the senior class are involved, as well as some juniors.’

‘I was involved last year as a junior and was picked as a CEO this year,’ Heckeroth said. ‘Juniors (are) usually recruited by seniors just to help out and get a feel for (Burger Fest).’

Appointed CEO by professors, Heckeroth was then required to pick the rest of his team. They chose the team name ‘Royal’ because of their sponsorship by Prince’s Hamburgers.

‘Each team is responsible for finding sponsors or getting a partnership, like we did,’ Heckeroth said. ‘I eat at Prince’s a lot. When I got picked as CEO, I gave them a call.’

Prince’s Hamburgers has been a Houston institution since 1934, with five locations around town. The company already sponsors the food at Rice University football games and is interested in getting more involved at UH.

Student’s grades are based on the success of their operations. Participants are required to develop a business plan, approach the community for sponsors or partnerships and then to implement the rest. Auctions are also held for the stands’ locations.

‘Overall, the space that has done the best year by year is closest to the UC. That’s where Prince’s will be this year,’ Heckeroth said.

For the Royal Team, burgers, fries and shakes from Prince’s Hamburgers will be sold. In the past, some stands have sold crawfish or fajitas, rather than burgers. Stands will accept cash payment and all the proceeds from Burger Fest will go back to the entrepreneurship program.

‘All money donated to teams as well as the money made (at the stands) goes back into the entrepreneurship program (to fund) the semester retreat, end of the year gala and weekly luncheons with guest speakers,’ Heckeroth said.

Heckeroth relates Burger Fest to the TV show The Apprentice.’

‘(There is) more competition (this year) because the teams are more secretive,’ Heckeroth said.

Burger Fest 2009
Have lunch and support your fellow Cougars as they put their entrepreneurial skills to the test.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday
University Center’s North Patio
Burger prices vary.

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