Vita Nova To Go | Lerner
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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Dena Hillison February 16, 2021

When looking for a safe way to experience gourmet cuisine while supporting Blue Hens during the coronavirus pandemic, Newark residents will now have the opportunity to do both through Vita Nova To Go during the Spring 2021 semester.

Traditionally, all hospitality business management students at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics spend a semester learning how to manage and operate a fine dining restaurant by working both front and back of house serving guests from the Newark community at Vita Nova. Vita Nova To Go will offer gourmet lunch and dinner meals to go starting with the first lunch service on Monday, February 22, followed by the first dinner service on Wednesday, February 24.

“Vita Nova is a high quality, student-managed, fine-dining restaurant,” said Srikanth Beldona, chair of the Hospitality and Sport Business Management Department at the Lerner College. “It provides an experience-driven learning environment for students to deliver unique guest experiences in real world settings. In the prevailing environment that limits restaurants to operate optimally, and justifiably so, effectively adapting to alternative business models has become imperative for survival. Through Vita Nova To Go, with Trabant curbside pick-up, students will learn how to pivot – and think proactively about alternative solutions for successful business management and ownership while placing health and safety first always.”

Senior Instructor of Hospitality Business Management and Executive Chef at Vita Nova Joseph DeGregorio shared how the program at Vita Nova was able to pivot in order to offer a safe dining experience for customers and a learning experience for students through Vita Nova To Go.

  • We followed the University’s recommendations of limiting the number of people that would come in contact with our students because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • We had to come up with standard operating procedures for the lab that were consistent with federal, state and university guidelines for reopening during Covid. We took it a step further in the decision-making process in regards to the safety of our students and staff. Offering Vita Nova To Go for this semester was the best scenario.
  • We also revised our rotational matrix to limit the number of students in the lab during one class session along with all other safety protocols including, face masks, gloves, 6ft. station distancing, plexiglass station dividers and strict hand washing and sanitation procedures.
  • We discuss the importance of flexibility and the need to move with the tides of the industry and to be aware of the cultural climate and trends that are affecting our industry. I think our students will be poised to be effective hospitality leaders upon graduation.

Orders for Vita Nova To Go can be placed between 11 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for lunch service and between 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday for dinner service here: