“Amadeus is excited to be the Hospitality Management Program’s technology partner. Industry specific software skills are critical for careers in hospitality, and for graduates to be competitive in today’s marketplace.” -- Gillian Tierney, Vice President of Human Resources

    Partnering with Technology for a Dynamic Hospitality Industry


UNH Hospitality Management is at the cutting edge of the industry's need for change. As a thought leader in this space, below we offer monthly insights.

LEARN MORE about the Program.
Challenges Facing the Lodging Industry - January 2017

By Nelson A. Barber, PhD and Chair

In the lodging industry, change is happening at a rapid pace, creating numerous transformational challenges for higher educational systems. These challenges include, among others, relevance of curricula, learning materials, and content delivery methods. Education institutions should take these challenges seriously and should include restructuring the process of learning to reflect the use of information in the real world, changing the role of educators from presenters of facts to enabler of active and engaged learning.

Educators must realize teaching is not lecturing on information changes; but rather engaging, inspiring, and transformational centers of creativity ingenuity. All instructional methods and student assessment processes must be reflective of this. Those educational providers on the cutting edge have stepped forward to fill the unquestionable need for open, flexible, life-long, relevant and timely learning.1

Critical areas for curriculum changes, include the challenges of keeping up with the difficult and expensive fast pace of technology [e.g. new property and reservation platforms, guest room innovations, and social media]; data analytics allowing marketing and sales personnel to find new ways to use guest-related data for stronger marketing decisions; and revenue and pricing management applied to every revenue department across the organization, matching guest demand with revenue rates. For hospitality firms this will likely mean the need for future managers capable of adjusting to the fast pace of change throughout the conventional functions of management. However interesting and potentially compelling; how can educators operationalize this in the learning space?

Here at the UNH Hospitality Management Program, which is ranked #2 in New England and #26 out of nearly 400 programs in the U.S., the constant changing and evolving world of hospitality management is more than an area of study; it’s a way of life. We recognize the increasing complexity of employee/customer/technology engagement will shape the future of human resources hiring needs.

Students will EXPERIENCE an education that keeps pace with the industry by receiving relevant industry certifications [e.g. CHIA, Delphi], with in class experience using cutting edge industry technology [such as Amadeus Hospitality and their product modules Sales & Event Management and Hospitality Operations solutions (Delphi, and HotSos)]. They also receive personal attention and support, hands-on real-world career development; and alumni mentoring and engagement. All of this wrapped in a business education.

Thus, our graduates are well prepared to meet the ever changing needs of the industry and for a successful and meaningful career.

Learn more on how to become one of the best at https://paulcollege.unh.edu/hospitality-management

1Wang and Wang (2009)
Critical Need for Revenue, Pricing, and Data Management in the Curriculum - February 2017

By Nelson A. Barber, PhD and Chair

Revenue and pricing management is developing quickly in the face of the increasingly technologically complex hospitality environment. The concept is not new. Long since early bird specials and yield management, today revenue and pricing policies are critically and fundamentally important factors in the operations of hospitality organizations, whether they are lodging, resorts, or even restaurants. In the hospitality space, regardless of size, the truth is to stay competitive hotels, resorts, and restaurants must tackle issues of fixed capacity, with revenue and pricing management critical to this success.

What is revenue and pricing management [RPM]? RPM is the disciplined application of analytics predicting consumption behavior at the lowest market level, optimizing product/service availability and price; thus maximizing revenue growth. The motivation to focus on price by far embodies the most operational variable managers can use to drive short-term demand.

Hospitality managers are charged with making strategic decisions to increase total revenue for their organization and by applying a systematic process to such decision-making can increase their success.

Big data is the key. Large data sets offer incredible opportunities for hospitality managers to advance their revenue and pricing decisions, but only to the extent the data is properly focused and then leveraged. The challenge of big data is often quality of the data collected. Thus the successful manager will find data that is most relevant and reliable to their specific operation.

Leveraging information technology to strategically predict demand to solve revenue problems will be critical to shaping future success in the hospitality industry. Will increased dependence on computerization of pricing become the standard? Will this increase the need for college graduates from hospitality management programs better trained in pricing and data analytics? Should hospitality management programs partner with technology companies, such as Amadeus Hospitality or IDeaS Revenue Solutions? Finally, with the increase in social media and digital marketing, how will this influence revenue and pricing management models?

Today, many undergraduate hospitality management university programs do not promote or emphasize strategic revenue and pricing management as a critical component of the curriculum; nor is the development and analysis of big data. Programs in business colleges are moving in this direction through partnerships and sharing across marketing, data analytics, and other related disciplines.

The UNH Hospitality Management Program has begun to address these challenges through technology partnerships with leading firms such as Amadeus Hospitality and R.E.D. Global, among others, as well as a focus on data analytics and revenue and pricing management. Our goal is to insure graduates of the program are well prepared for the challenging hospitality management industry with relevant skills and certifications to immediately add value to their employers.

Learn more about becoming one of the best through a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality from UNH, visit http://paulcollege.unh.edu/hospitality-management .

How to Build a Championship Mix of Business for Hotels - March 2017

How to Build a Championship Mix of Business for Hotels

By: Jon Moore, President of Jon Moore & Associates, LLC

What can we learn from World Champion and future Hall of Famers like Bill Belichick and Theo Epstein?

Love them or hate them, you have to respect what Bill Belichick and Theo Epstein have accomplished in their amazing careers. They have taken perennial losing franchises and turned them into winners, using a variety of skills all leaders can learn from. For the purpose of this article I’d like to comment that their obsession with prepping their teams with attention to detail, use of data, and analyzing their competition is clearly part of their secret sauce. Both franchises were prepared to launch historic comebacks due to conditioning, in-game adjustments, and a willingness to be positive in the face of defeat.

How does this translate to the hotel business? As leaders, we must demand our teams assess and reexamine our business models, just as Belichick and Epstein tweaked theirs during championship drives.

Start with analyzing your current mix of rooms business. Assess what your optimal mix of business should look like. Challenge high volumes of expensive segments like OTAs. Determine if you have done enough to maximize volume from less expensive channels such as brand.com or metasearch sites. 

Next, determine your current Net mix of business. Deduct acquisition costs required to attract OTAs, group, BT, brand.com, GDS, direct, voice, metasearch sites, and more. Include your direct expenses such as sales and marketing costs, entertainment, advertising and promotion, loyalty programs, group, leisure, and commissions. Identify your acquisition cost per RN, by channel. This is a great opportunity for savings, since most hotels pay between 16-18% of their business in acquisition costs and many may pay as high as 25-35%!

You are ready to determine your optimal mix! What segments could you dial up or dial down? What are the real costs to bring in each segment?

Once you have determined your optimal mix, there are a myriad of actions you can take to increase incremental business. For now, let’s focus on the digital actions that will have some of the lowest acquisition costs.

  1. Establish a robust search strategy – combine SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) into your action plan, with heavy emphasis on SEM. Metasearch sites such as TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Google can integrate personalization to deliver messages to consumers that speak to individual needs and aspirations. 
  2. Create content for the entire sales funnel – your message, photos, and videos should differ based on where the consumer is in the funnel. The average consumer searches on anywhere from 12-20 sites during their travel research journey, so you must be aggressive in bringing and keeping them on your site! All three of these sales funnel stages should be in play in unison to attract guests from all lead times.
    1. Awareness Stage –content and key words should motivate shoppers! Videos should be inspirational and lead the consumer to dream about their trip to your area. Broader destination terms like “beach resort“ and “urban vacation” are in play.
    2. Consideration Stage – the consumer has narrowed their research, and wants to know more about availability and activities in your market. Photos and video of area and property activities should continue to inspire and draw the customer research to your site. 
    3. Conversion Stage –property photo and videos are a must! Three or more photos of every type of guest room is critical on your website. Location, pricing, deals, and value-adds will contribute to your conversions. A combination of branded and unbranded key words will keep your bookers coming direct to your website and away from more expensive third parties buying up your branded words.
  3. Use retargeting in your digital strategy – less than 5% of visitors to your site will convert on the first search. Retargeting visitors allows you to put messages in front of potential customers who have demonstrated interest in your product.
  4. Combine social/content presence – UGC (User-Generated Content) is what your customers want to see.  They trust other guests more than brand messaging. Consumers base their decision greatly on what others say on your social sites, through their comments, photos, and videos.  
  5. Loyalty & advocacy stage customers are more than satisfied and become your raving fans!

Connecting your optimal mix with an aggressive SEO/SEM strategy will charge up your hotel. Like Belichick and Epstein, these types of “in game adjustments” are what creates a championship run. Knowing you can win no matter what obstacles you must overcome is what defines a winner!

About Jon Moore & Associates, LLC (JMA)

JMA is a collection of hospitality leaders specializing in Digital Marketing, Branding, and Revenue Performance. The team at Jon Moore & Associates, LLC has a proven track record of building demand through innovative and cutting edge strategies across the Americas. Through the expertise of JMA partners, we can help hotels content and win with innovative websites, optimization, search marketing, social and content management, and mobile technology. We can tie your direct sales strategy to your business positioning and messaging, reposition hotels, markets, and restaurants to compete effectively, and are skilled in developing pre-opening or renovation sales or marketing strategies. JMA is based in Andover, MA.

Follow JMA:
Web: http://www.jonmooreassociates.com, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jon-moore-&-associates-llc/, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JonMooreAssociates/

Learnings from HSMAI’s Digital Conference - April 2017

Learning from HSMAI’s Digital Conference: How to Know if You Have a Budding Superstar in Your Midst

By: Jon Moore, Faculty Member, Hospitality Management Program, University of New Hampshire

At a recent HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis, I had a wonderful opportunity to take a group of UNH Hospitality Management students. These millennial students were bursting with excitement to be exposed to the many wonders of the digital space from a business and career opportunity perspective.

The conference did not let us down. Titled “Optimizing the Digital Experience From Today’s Tools to Tomorrow’s Needs”, there were fascinating presentations, panel discussions, and a Partner Showcase with exhibitors such as Expedia Solutions, TripAdvisor, TravelClick, Adobe, IDeaS, and several other strong digital brands.

2017 HSMAI Digital Conference Panel

2017 HSMAI Digital Conference Panel
Moderator Dr. Laila Rach-Rach Enterprises; Gary Oster, SVP Business Development-USTA; Dorothy Dowling, SVP & CMO-Best Western Hotels; Jeff Senior, VP Marketing-KSL Resorts; Josh Lesnick, EVP & CMO-Wyndham Hotels

I was fascinated by sessions such as “Demystifying Distribution” and “Hotel Search and Booking Insights”, and in an earlier article connected the dots between identifying a hotel’s optimal mix and how to improve that mix through marketing to all levels of the sales funnel.

My greatest “aha moment” came from a panel discussion of some extremely seasoned Hospitality veterans. One of those panelists, Jeff Senior, VP Marketing for KSL Resorts, was asked what advice he would offer to the next generation of leaders and young professionals entering the workforce. His response was to be “curious in all areas” and to “show tenacity for getting valuable ideas of change across the goal line.”

That really struck a chord with me! As a father of 3 Millennial professionals, and being a Hospitality leader for four decades, this is something I have always valued, admired, and tried to instill in those around me.

Jeff continued to elaborate his sage observations:

  • Get out of your comfort zone, and test yourself in areas you are not familiar with. Ask questions that perplex you. Be curious about how and why things are done. Bring an attitude of wanting to know if there is a better way.
  • Learn to fail and make mistakes, and make improvements through your and your team’s journey.
  • Through insights you have gained and ideas you have developed, influence the organization to push the ball over the goal line. Many curious people are left behind because they don’t develop the tenacity and fortitude to inspire others take them in a new direction.

As I listened to Jeff Senior speak, thoughts of a boss I had on a former Marriott Regional team resonated in my mind; “Our jobs are to take people where they don’t want to go on their own.”

It is that type of tenacity that drives the type of change well-run organizations need. And well-run organizations need leaders at all levels, from all generations, to contribute with a perspective of curiosity and inspirational drive made up of strong tenacity! If you find this person, you know you have a budding superstar in your midst!

Killer Interview Techniques That Work - May 2017

By Jon Moore, President, Jon Moore & Associates, LLC and Adjunct Professor at the University of New Hampshire Hospitality Management Program

I frequently see content on LinkedIn and other social channels with people asking about strategies to make a positive impression in interviews. They ask about attire, follow-up, posting, and résumés, but rarely about the actual interview preparation and strategies to tell your story.

Interviews can be very stressful, and cause sleepless nights for many. Most people are extremely nervous and uncomfortable in interview settings for a variety of natural reasons. I’ve been there! The good news is, you don’t have to be this way!

Nobody knows you better than yourself, and how you prepare to tell your story counts. You can, in fact, take control of an interviewin order to communicate your strengths in a powerful set of planned illustrations of your skills.

A well-prepared interviewee is ready with STARs…stories you can share about situations where you impacted your personal or professional life, that demonstrate your leadership aptitude, teamwork, conflict resolution skills, relationship building, business acumen, ability to execute a plan, or how you play in the “sandbox.”

It starts with identifying at least 10 different diverse situations that you are proud of your accomplishments or learnings. We call these examples STARs because you will articulate the:

  • Situation you were faced with
  • Tactics you developed
  • Actions you took
  • Results you achieved

If the interviewer asks “situational interview” types of questions like, “Give me an example of a time you resolved a conflict using your interpersonal skills,” you will be prepared! This line of questioning is ideal for the candidate who has prepared a portfolio of STARs! You may be asked 10 or more of these requests for examples that show you’ve handled situations that may come up in the day-to-day role of the position you are interviewing for.

I would like to add the following 5 pieces of advice as you prepare for your interview:

  1. Develop a list of 10 or more STARs that are your best examples to demonstrate actions you took and results you achieved. Write or type them on one page.
  2. Do one or more mock interviews with a friend or co-worker to practice your answers.
  3. Listen closely to questions that are asked, so your answer demonstrates the type of skill being probed for.
  4. Carry your one page of STARs in a leather or vinyl portfolio to the meeting (or phone interview), and refer to the page for reminders of the STARs you could use, based on the question.
  5. Prepare 2 or 3 questions about the company or job you are interviewing for, that you can ask at the end of your interview—ensure they are intriguing in nature, and not fluff. This is a great way to leave a strong last impression.

Not all interviews include “situational” interview questions, but if you are prepared for them, you can blend them into your responses. If you do have an interviewer that asks for specific examples of a variety of your skills, then you control the story that you tell. That is a powerful interview technique, that will make you stand out from the crowd,and generate job offers!

For more information on STAR interview preparation or career coaching, contact jon@jonmooreassociates.com


University Support and Responsibility for Career Development - June 2017

University Support and Career Development Responsibilities

By: Hospitality Management Program, University of New Hampshire

During the great recession, this was a challenging time for college graduates to enter the job market. Unemployment for college graduates, 20 to 25 reached a high of just over 10%, from a low of 5% 7 years earlier; declining to 8% in 2013. Many of graduates who did find employment in their field of study, worked in jobs that did not match the skills and knowledge gained during their college career.

Universities have been aware of the often harsh criticism directed toward them regarding the employment and income outcomes of their graduates. Universities have a responsibility as part of the overall education they provide to prepare students for entry into the work force. Yet, this is a complex activity; more than simply providing greater levels of information and even more sophisticated general skills. Universities, through Career development processes, have a responsibility to educate students about the nature of the employment market and their potential place in it, and what course of study is pursued and how this choice eventually may affect the student’s success in their career.

Career development should offer immediate assistance graduates may need to maximize the capacity to start a successful and rewarding career. Through university career centers and their professional personnel, they can offer vehicles to meet these responsibilities. Curriculum can be structured to provide for professional development courses starting from freshmen through junior year. Sadly, for many universities, the professional and career development support has not responded to the increased need.

To insure graduate career success, professional development needs to be an integrated part of the overall “academic” program and faculty, administration, as well as career development professionals need to take ownership of this critical role. In particular, university administrators must recognize changes in the economy demand a more prominent place for professional and career education, mentoring, and guidance within their institutions through offering adequate levels of support.

The Role of Strategic Human Resources Management in Higher Education Curriculum - July 2017

By: Hospitality Management Program, University of New Hampshire

Strategic human resource management is the proactive management of employees through typical human resource components such as hiring, discipline, and payroll; as well as the strategic component of attracting, developing, rewarding, and retaining employees to meet the overall organizational strategic goals and objectives. As a result, the goals of a human resource department reflect and support the goals of the organization in the same manner as the operations and financial departments.

From the academic perspective, as well as organizational, strategic human resource management has received increased attention in the fields of human resource management, organizational behavior, and industrial relations and should be viewed as critically different than traditional HRM in two ways; first from the organizational level approach to HR management and second the concern for the effects of HRM on firm performance.

Hospitality is a people to people industry. Understanding, sourcing, managing and rewarding people effectively means hospitality organizations of all sizes must need to use strategic human resources management to align people towards common organizational goals. Hospitality organizations are increasingly relying on the strategic role Human Resources can play in achieving results, growth, and innovation; thus becoming more dependent on HR professionals to be a strategic partner who helps achieve the mission, strategy, and success of the organization while meeting the needs of the employees and stakeholders

A chapter written in 2008 by Dr. Fevzi Okumus “Strategic Human Resources Management Issues In Hospitality and Tourism Organizations” [Handbook of Hospitality Human Recourse Management, Chapter 21] touches upon the shortcomings of  this important topic “The strategic level of HRM activities are complex and involve long-term, comprehensive, planned, integrated, and value-added activities,” further noting that strategic HR can contribute to competitive advantage of a firm either reactively or proactively though participation in strategy development, creating a culture of creativity and innovation across an origination, linking internal processes and structures with ongoing changes in the external environment.

Nevertheless, strategic human resources management has received inadequate or casual treatment in hospitality higher education curriculum, a limitation that makes strategic human resources management education and research in the hospitality industry unnecessarily narrow, placing the industry and students graduating from these programs at a disadvantage. Thus hospitality management curriculum must include courses or retool existing HR management courses that will develop effective organizational strategic HR leaders.

Here at the UNH Hospitality Management Program, we have begun to embrace the importance of strategic human resource management through our curriculum, embedding this critical topic in our core course.


Managing Through Strengths: Using Strength-finders in Higher Education career development and training - August 2017

By Theresa Heldt, Founder, StrategizeIT Consulting

Managing Through Strengths: Using Strength-finders in Higher Education career development and training

The UNH Hospitality Management Professional development course is designed to equip our students with practical tools needed to begin implementing strengths-based mentoring upon graduation.When  As an example, the following story places out the importance and power of this career development tool.

When Mark was offered his first management promotion, he was asked to relocate under the following condition: he could either choose to move to a brand-new location or to one that was performing worse than where he was presently. Mark was told if he picked the worse performing location, he would likely need to let go of several employees but he was not permitted to terminate anyone during his first thirty days there. Since Competition and Achiever were in Mark’s top five strengths, he opted to transfer to the latter location for his promotion.

Mark knew his choice would mean new challenges, and was honest with his wife about it: “Don’t expect to see much of me during the next year, because I’m going to put all my energy into making this place successful.” Once he arrived at the new location, Mark told his assistant manager that he wanted her to continue to run the store as she had been doing; he would simply work the counter and monitor for the first month. During the first thirty days, Mark put his Relator skills—also one of his top five strengths—to work by observing each employee’s interests, background, motivations, desires, fears, and work style.

Mark tapped his Focus to generate a plan to turn the store around and make it the number one location in the company. Once the initial thirty days were up, Mark met with his employees and told them something that no one likes to hear: he had been told by headquarters to expect to reorganize the team and let several people go. However, Mark followed up with good news. After actively observing over the past month, he had seen each employee’s strengths and how they contributed to the team. The assistant manager’s strengths were her administrative skills and her attention to detail—her role complemented Mark’s since he was more of a “big picture” leader. Mark had also noticed another employee who was terrible with customers but who was incredible at putting up and breaking down displays; by working “behind the scenes” instead of front-of-house, tensions were eased between both staff and customers.

After determining each employee’s strengths and how the location could most benefit from them, Mark decided to make each team member an “honorary manager” of their particular area of expertise. He shared his vision of being the top revenue producing location, and communicated a plan on how that vision would be realized. Mark promised his team that if they worked together through their strengths, they would achieve the goal and each of them would become a true manager in the organization.

Not surprisingly, Mark and his team rallied together and the once under-performing store skyrocketed, reaching #1 in revenue for eleven months straight. True to his word, all of Mark’s employees (with the exception of one who left the organization) eventually became managers.

I was honored to work with Mark and to hear his experience, and I know his lesson is a valuable one to share. If we would take the time to understand our own strengths as well as those of around us, we can truly foster a committed, engaged, and motivated team that can reach success EVERY time.



The Secret Sauce of Leadership - September 2017

By John M. Vetere, President, John M. Vetere& Associates

Have you ever asked a colleague or a friend to tell you what they think
constitutes a great leader? Chances are you will get back a list of traits, a
set of distinguishing qualities or characteristics. Maybe you will hear, a
great leader must be honest, or a great leader must be confident, or a
great leader must be courageous, or a great leader must be….you fill in
the blank. It’s difficult to find one word, but all the words that describe
great leadership derive from a foundation of two words, what I like to
call the secret sauce of leadership.

Two of the most important virtues that form this “secret sauce” of
leadership are conviction and humility. One without the other is not
enough to form a great leader. But, together, they form the foundation
for developing great leadership skills.

So is that it? Either you are born with these two traits or you aren’t?
Absolutely not! Benjamin Franklin wasn’t born a great man, and he was
far from perfect. At 27 years of age, Franklin decided that he wanted to
improve key areas of his life. He wrote a list of 13 Virtues that he
wanted to work on every day, week, and year to become the kind of man
and leader he wanted to be. The real story about Ben is that the list had
12 virtues he wanted to improve. He gave the list to a friend for
comment, who quickly informed Franklin that his pride, bordering
arrogance, was his biggest nemesis. Twelve virtues became 13, and
guess what? Number 13 on his list of virtues was humility.


As a leader, you are often called on to make tough decisions, set difficult
goals and provide vision and guidance for your team. Those who make
decisions, especially when ambiguity is in play, must have self confidence
or you spend your life second-guessing yourself. Convictions
are pillars upon which we make decisions, lead our lives, and engage
with others. It is important to know what your basic convictions are
regarding how you treat the people within your sphere of influence:
employees, colleagues, clients, customers, vendors, and others. What are
your ethical convictions; how do you conduct business, do you walk
your own talk, or is it lip-service?

Having convictions, standing up for what you believe in is important,
noble, and can lead to great results. How many entrepreneurs have been
told that their product or service will never be successful yet they have
gone on to become recognized leaders who changed their industry.
Henry Ford is known today as a visionary leader, however, the fact is he
went bankrupt five times before he founded the Ford Motor Company
and ultimately brought the automobile from an invention without a
purpose to an innovation that has and will continue to impact our daily
lives. You think he had conviction? You bet he did.

So obviously having convictions is good, right? Sure it is, and a
hammer is a great tool for banging in nails except when I miss and hit
my thumb. Ouch! Leaders hit their thumb with the conviction hammer
when they start believing they are infallible, have all the answers, and
stop hearing the people around them. Therefore, we need a
complementary force that stops us from becoming so full-of-ourselves
that our convictions become nothing more than emotional stubbornness,
blinding us to ideas and thinking that could enhance our businesses,
customers, and lives. Great leaders, the type of leader you want to be,
have a healthy mix of conviction and…..

“It takes a disciplined person to listen to convictions which are
different from their own.” Dorothy Fuldheim
The concept of humility is hard and when used in the same sentence
with conviction can be confusing, but great leaders master the balance.
Does humility mean that you don’t have self-worth or your opinion
doesn’t matter? Definitely not! Does having humility mean that you
change your views at a whim simply to please or appease those around
you? No. Does it mean you are weak or not smart? Absolutely not!
Humility is not the absence of something; it is the positive addition of
thinking more about others than about yourself. In fact, practicing
humility means that you have the self-confidence, self-awareness, and
strength to recognize that the individuals and teams around you may
have the ability to add significant value to your vision, strategy, and
execution plan. A huge side benefit is that those individuals and teams
improve their leadership skills adding more value back into the
company, products, services, and customers. Humility means parking
the dark side of ego at the door and using your convictions to raise the
leaders around you, thereby bringing out the best in them, and guess
what, they will bring out the best in you.

American businessman, Max de Pree, seems to understand the secret
recipe of conviction and humility pretty well, “The first responsibility
of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.” Hold on
to your convictions as you help shape the reality for your team. But,
when all is said and done, don’t forget to be humble even after you have
achieved success.


The Business Case of Employing People With Disabilities In The Lodging Industry - October 2017

By: Valentini Kalargyrou, Ph.D.*

            As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, the retirement wave swells creating a workforce shortage. Moreover, employee loyalty is declining by nearly 76%, with of full-time workers willing to leave their current job taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. The combined effects of these recent trends present a challenge for the hospitality industry that requires both experienced and loyal workforce. Hence, employers should look for alternative workforce sources.

            People with disabilities are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the world. This untapped source of employment includes more than 750 million individuals. In the United States, there are more than 54 million people with disabilities, including returning war veterans. Persons with disabilities are employed at less than half the rate of their nondisabled colleagues, often resulting from skepticism about their ability to perform the job, the cost of accommodation, the fear of litigation, and the lack of managerial knowledge to supervise people with disabilities.. Recently, organizations are taking constructive steps to create a disability-friendly culture, educating management and employees, and informing strategic decision makers about the cost of accommodation. Recent studies suggest that nearly 56% of all workplace accommodations cost nothing, and formal in-class and on the job training provide remedies for the above concerns.  

            An increasing number of companies have actively recruited people with disabilities, moving beyond existing stereotypes, and viewing their employment as a competitive advantage. For example, Walgreens, Mohegan Sun, Marriott, Sodexo, Habitat International, Carolina Fine Snacks, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Dow, GlaxoSmithKline and Clark shoes are representative companies that focus on their employees’ abilities, rather than their disabilities.

            Through my research, we have found people with disabilities are as productive as workers without disabilities when they are properly trained and respected, are more loyal and dedicated to the company, and have lower rates of turnover and injuries than people without disabilities. In addition, by employing people with disabilities a company may be eligible for federal tax credits that can offset accommodation costs. .  

            In the end, employers and HR departments should overlook myths and stereotypes about people with disabilities and actively employ them because of the competitive advantage they can offer. Giving an opportunity to persons with disabilities to work and live an independent life will pay off by employing loyal and productive employees with minimum accommodation cost and low turnover rates. Creating a disability friendly environment and placing the right person at the right job are the necessary prerequisites for a successful initiative.

*          Kalargyrou, V. (2012). The business case of employing people with disabilities. Journal of Tourism Research and Hospitality, 1(2).


Franchise 50 Index™ Surges 10.4 percent in 2Q2017 - November 2017

By Dr. Hachemi Aliouche

The RCF 50 Index™ surged 10.4 percent this quarter, fueled by double-digit gains by 20 of its 50 component companies. This is the largest percentage gain of the index in more than four years. This double-digit gain of the RCF 50 Index™ far outpaces the 2.6 percent gain of the S&P 500 Index this quarter. After lagging in most quarters in 2015 and 2016, the RCF 50 Index™ has now outperformed the market benchmark over the last three quarters, a clear indication that the US franchise sector is now doing much better than most other sectors of the US economy.

The Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 Index™ (RCF 50 Index™), first published in 2002 by the University of New Hampshire’s Rosenberg International Franchise Center (https://www.unh.edu/rosenbergcenter/), is the first stock index that tracks the financial market performance of the US franchising sector.  It is a stock portfolio composed of 50 US public franchising companies that are representative of the US business format franchising sector. The Index is updated quarterly.

All lodging firms in the index had positive returns this quarter, led by Wyndham Worldwide with an 18.3 percent gain.

The RCF 50 Index™ component companies continue to be prime targets for acquisition by investment firms and other companies. This quarter, Panera Bread was acquired by private investment firm JAB Holding Co. for approximately $7.5 billion. JAB has recently acquired Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Keurig Green Mountain, and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group.

  RCF 50 Index and S&P 500 Index™:  Total Returns


RCF50 Index™

S&P 500 Index

1-Quarter (2nd Q 2017)












Since Inception (2000)