University of Delaware
Ian MacFadyen, a sophomore in the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, owns his own restaurant.

Success for young entrepreneur

UD HRIM student MacFadyen purchases first restaurant


1:01 p.m., Nov. 12, 2012--The Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM) at the University of Delaware strives to educate and support students by offering discovery learning experiences in business operations, leadership and hospitality. For Ian MacFadyen, an HRIM sophomore, the program’s facilities and education have helped him turn a long-term goal into a reality.

Originally an international business major in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, MacFadyen switched his major to marketing after realizing he was fascinated by working with people and the promotional aspects of business. 

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He aspired to own his own restaurant and hotel since his childhood in Wilmington, Del., so after a peer spoke highly of the HRIM department, he decided on a dual major in HRIM.

“I didn’t really think of HRIM as a major before coming to UD but suddenly it started to make sense,” said MacFadyen, who acknowledged being part of a program that offers restaurant education and hospitality management courses was important to his educational path. 

With one foot in the door, MacFadyen was on his way to achieving his childhood dream.

Prior to coming to UD, MacFadyen spent almost six years working at Grecian Delights, a Greek restaurant.

“I did everything from washing dishes to cooking,” he recalled. “Eventually, I started working in a dip and spreads business as the director of finance and operations.”

Developing relationships with production personnel and facilitating production operations at Uniquely Greek Distribution Co. was an easy task for MacFadyen. Prior to his involvement in the company, the business service ranged from New Jersey to Virginia but by the time MacFadyen was finished, the company’s service had grown substantially and expanded from Florida to Chicago.

After his early experiences with restaurant operations, a rehearsal dinner at the Lamberti’s Italian Grill and Bar on Centerville Road in Wilmington opened a new door.

MacFadyen jumped at the opportunity when he learned the restaurant was for sale and now, at the age of 19, MacFadyen has invested his youth into owning and operating the Lamberti’s restaurant.

The business was composed of four sectors including the main restaurant, bar, catering and banquets when MacFadyen made his move. 

Since his arrival, the restaurant has received a touch of “MacFadyen business love,” including new renovations and menu updates. The newly-owned restaurant has quickly become quite a success.

“My goal for Lamberti’s is simple,” said MacFadyen. “I want to increase the business all around starting with the restaurant and bar.”

Not many people can start a career at such a young age, let alone balance family, school and business operations as a restaurant. But MacFadyen makes it look easy and said it’s a challenge he loves to be a part of.

He also acknowledged the flexibility of the HRIM program that has helped him turn his entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.

“I simply love to work toward something that I truly enjoy doing,” said MacFadyen. “I love that I have the opportunity to work in my own restaurant and UD has been very accommodating and willing to help.”

Article by Rachel Howard

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