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Through innovative research projects, world-class faculty members and students in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management (SHM) explore the broad and deep factors affecting consumer behavior and the delivery of services, including the psycho-economical influences on food service decisions, workplace culture and inclusion, best practices in marketing and management — and much more.

Having earned a superior global reputation among peer scholars, SHM produces applied research outcomes that are put to use every day outside of academia in real-world service and hospitality settings.


Hotel Industry Board Diversity Report

Fourth Annual Report Benchmarking Black Representation in Hotel Industry Leadership

Sixth Annual Report Benchmarking Women in Hotel Industry Leadership

Outpacing COVID-19: A Profit Planning Tool for Restaurants icon-olus-circle

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty regarding future sales is at a historical high for the restaurant business (Haas, Kuehl, Moran & Venkataraman, 2020). Consequently, owners and managers are under tremendous pressure to make critical decisions, often to merely survive. With these unprecedented challenges, future circumstances are extremely uncertain, and we are to provide them with financial planning models to help restaurant owners and managers navigate and prepare for their uncertain financial future better (Yunker & Yunker, 2003). The model presented here is excel sheet-based which is easy to use following seven steps, especially for small and medium sized restaurants and foodservice businesses to estimate and plan their profit and cash flows during the COVID-19 crisis. This model will be important to ensure the restaurant businesses to be more effectively able to plan their operations during and post COVID-19.

The tool can be downloaded for free at this link.

Food Access and Insecurity During COVID-19 icon-olus-circle

Do individuals have access to food during the current COVID-19 crisis? The current crisis  provides a unique (albeit unfortunate) circumstances to investigate how risk, uncertainty, and preparedness of individuals and communities impact food access. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the current COVID-19 pandemic is impacting food access and food security. Furthermore, this study also highlights factors that will reassure consumers of the uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Our study will contribute to an understanding of these issues in the midst of such an event to help communities respond to food access needs, and also to more reliably assess revival of consumer demand post this crisis.

Suggested Citation:  Sharma, Amit, Yu, Chandler, Lin, Michael, & Jung, InHaeng. (2020). Food Access and Insecurity During COVID-19: Evidence from US During April and May 2020. ScholarSphere. 
Read more: [Alternative Link]

Crisis Response Insights from Academic Research icon-olus-circle


The current global pandemic caused by COVID-19 continues to have devastating impacts on the hospitality industry as the largest sector of travel and tourism. No segment of this industry has been spared from the dramatic consequences. Transportation, leisure, and entertainment (most vividly, sports, cruising, and gaming), as well as lodging and food service business (most visibly, small and independent restaurants), and the global meetings segment (from small social events such as weddings to mega-events such as the Olympics) all are in peril and struggling to survive. In response to this, governments around the world are stepping in to assist in the recovery efforts.
The research faculty at Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management has used some of its greatest strengths and resources to empirically understand the industry’s path moving forward, beginning with a look at the past. The objective of this literature review is to yield insight from prior research to assist the responses of hospitality practitioners during the COVID-19 global crisis. By analyzing previous scholarly works of other researchers who have applied the scientific methods of academic inquiry to modern crisis responses, we have identified relevant recommendations and situational responses that will be helpful for hospitality operators in the current socio-economic climate.
These studies are categorized into three kinds of crises: 1) date-specific disruptions; 2) economic shocks; and finally, 3) health-related interruptions. Each study is presented in an annotated bibliographic format with an interpreted abstract derived from the source publication, each a peer-reviewed journal, and includes a synopsis of managerial implications as a way to develop some of the actionable take-aways for practitioners. Lastly, this literature review ends with the summation of collective insights that distills suggestions on moving forward.

Suggested Citation:
Quadri-Felitti, Donna L, & Luo, Anqi. (2020, May 21). PSU SHM Modern Crisis Responses 2020. ScholarSphere. Read more: [Alternative Link]

What are our faculty researching currently?

  • Dr. Anna Mattila is examining service robots and cause-related marketing in the hospitality industry.
  • Dr. Amit Sharma is investigating decision-making through behavioral assessment of cost-benefit analysis in the foodservice system, and economic impact of hospitality and tourism industries.
  • Dr. Seoki Lee is researching how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) creates value in general and also provides resilience - specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic for the global hospitality industry.
  • Dr. Phil Jolly is researching diversity and inclusion in high-level hospitality leadership.
  • Dr. Michael Tews’ current research focuses on employee turnover and retention, fun in the workplace, and staffing, training, and development.
  • Dr. Chandler Yu specializes in current research in organizational training and design, employee well-being, human resource management, and crisis management with an emphasis on the foodservice industry.

If you want to learn more about our faculty’s extensive research, you can review a member’s publications either by clicking their hyperlinked names or finding their contact page in the directory.