Students learn the art of the entrepreneurial pitch with Chick-fil-A project

For many of the BUS 290 Introduction to Entrepreneurship students, their food truck proposal to two Chick-fil-A store owner-operators at 8 a.m. on a Monday was their introduction to the real world of the art of pitching.

Divided into four groups of four to six students each, the class had a week to prepare proposals and pitches on investing in food trucks for Chick-fil-A. Jerry Goebeler, owner and operator of the Brookhaven location, and Theresa Wilson, owner and operator of the Chamblee store, served as judges, evaluating the presentations on a number of criteria.

Chick-fil-A owner-operators tally scores of student presentations

Chick-fil-A owner/operators Jerry Goebeler and Theresa Wilson tally scores of student presentations.

“The students really did an amazing job,” said Goebeler, whose location is one of the few Chick-fil-A stores without a drive-through. “What I appreciated most is how they understood our company’s principles and led with the commitment to quality and customer service.”

Taught by Dr. Leroy Carson, assistant professor of Business Management and director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in Oglethorpe’s Hammack School of Business, the course provided many of the students their first exposure to building an entrepreneurial pitch and giving a presentation. Carson also supplied chicken biscuits to both inspire his students and show appreciation for the time the owner-operators dedicated to the class.

“The vast majority of the students are freshmen,” Carson said. “This was the first time in their college career they have had to stand up before their peers and real business owners and operators and make a pitch.”

The presentations spelled out the steps of launching a food truck and covered everything from building relationships with suppliers to obtaining government permits and branding and promotion.

“I was so impressed,” Wilson said. “You could tell they did their homework and really tried to understand the quick service food industry.”

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