With many alumni now working for H-E-B, Texas Tech opened its doors to the store franchise ahead of store opening date
With a longstanding relationship, H-E-B and Texas Tech are no strangers to teaming up on hospitality projects. In fact, many graduates of the Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) department go on to work for the large retail chain. Years ago, the H-E-B Culinary Lab was created for HRM students to access during their undergraduate and graduate studies. Over the past few months, H-E-B has returned to open the new Lubbock store location—this time with a pit stop in the College of Human Sciences.
"The Department of Hospitality and Retail Management is always looking for ways to support our great industry partners," said Chairperson Robert P. Jones, Ph.D. "Having the opportunity to support the training of new Lubbock based partners for H-E-B was just one way we could say thank you for the many years of support H-E-B has provided for our program and our graduates."
The H-E-B bakery and deli, restaurant, and cheese departments began prepping food items and plans in the College of Human Sciences kitchen labs. From Sept. 14 to Oct. 16, H-E-B provided staff training in Human Sciences.
"H-E-B has been training cake decorators and scratch bakers who will work in the first Lubbock H-E-B," said H-E-B Perishable Leader, Mark Mattison. "Additional training was given for our Meat Market service case partners who learned from expert H-E-B Chefs. The chefs shared information about all types of meats and prepared them for the partners to sample thereby increasing the product knowledge so they can better serve customers."
Mark said that the Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management (RHIM) program often provides the company with talented candidates.
"This year, we hired multiple RHIM grads to work in the first Lubbock store," Mattison said. "It is our hope and expectation that many of them will move up into positions of greater responsibility making H-E-B Lubbock 1 the primary talent pipeline for the company."
Moving forward, H-E-B looks to open additional Lubbock locations. Associate professor, Charlie Adams, Ph.D., echoed Mattison's comments, saying that the generous partnership between Texas Tech and H-E-B resulted in the hiring of many hospitality and retail management students.
"Their support of HRM has been invaluable to the success of the RHIM and Retail programs," Adams said.