TORONTO — Dr. David Martin ends his 10-year term as director of Ryerson University’s Hospitality and Tourism school on June 30, but he will still be with Ryerson for the foreseeable future.
‘I will have a sabbatical year starting in September to refresh my batteries. I’m looking at visiting academic roles in different universities where I can teach and do research,” he said.
In September, 2016, he will be back in the classroom at Ryerson.
The new director will arrive this summer.
One upcoming project is marketing the restaurant simulation he has been developing over the last 10 years. George Brown and Algonquin Colleges have already expressed interest in the program, called Simr — The Restaurant Simulation. SIR Corp. managers recently participated in a three-day accelerated program.
Simr uses simulations in a gaming format to explore the financial side of running a restaurant. “Lots of restaurants go out of business because the managers don’t understand the financial side,” Martin said.
Participants have fun exploring types of menus, portion sizes, staffing and budgeting in a competitive environment against other participants.
Simr is marketed through a company called Pro Simulation, which Martin owns along with partner Bernie McEvoy, also a professor at Ryerson.
Looking back, Ryerson’s move eight years ago from the old Ibis Hotel to the Ted Rogers Centre was a major milestone. “It was great to be able to build a learning lab including test and prep kitchens and a restaurant. We were also able to increase our research capacity through the Hospitality Tourism Research Institute headed by Dr. Rachel Dodds.”
The greatest challenge has been keeping pace with the changing nature of the industry, replacing skill set training and front-line operations with hospitality and tourism management training.
“There’s a need for data analysis, research skills and critical thinking to prepare for a business that is changing instantaneously,” he said.