Center for Hospitality Research Tools

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The center offers a wide variety of tools for the hospitality industry. We expect to release a new tool approximately every few months, so check back often.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 31
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    Managing a Wine Cellar Using a Spreadsheet
    Thompson, Gary (2020-09-29)
    Using examples from Version 4 of Wine Cellar Management Tool, this report describes the many spreadsheet-based analyses in this tool that can assist an individual, restaurant, or bar in managing a wine cellar. The primary motivation for developing Version 4 was to expand the capability of the tool to assist cellar owners in making decisions about how to manage a purposeful decrease in the size of their cellars. In addition to providing insight into the key questions of what to consume and what to promote, the tool shows such interesting and informative analyses as appellations, vintages, and types of wine. In the tool described in this report, the spreadsheet itself incorporates form-based sets of data entry fields. The Wine Cellar Management Tool Version 4, which is available at no charge from The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, does not require actual knowledge of how to construct a spreadsheet. It does require diligent data entry regarding wine purchases and withdrawals.
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    Duty of Care Benchmarking Tool
    Enz, Cathy; Thompson, Gary (2020-09-29)
    For any organization, “Duty of Care” is the obligation to avoid or diminish any reasonably foreseen harm to customers and employees resulting from exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This obligation includes reducing or eliminating the spread of the disease. Standards in the form of protocols, processes, guidelines, and actions are currently being proposed and implemented by governments and organizations to “take care” to prevent infection and harm. Standards of care help to regulate employee behavior by providing clear expectations of behavior and decision-making criteria. Formalizing rules, procedures, standards, processes, and guidelines serve as a compliment to managerial oversight and help companies run smoothly with improved efficiency and coherence in Duty of Care activities.
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    Measuring the Dining Experience: The Case of Vita Nova
    Prasad, Kesh; Frederico, Frederico J. (2009-02-01)
    The considerable penetration of computers and internet connections makes it feasible to use electronic surveys to determine whether restaurant guests are satisfied with their meals. As demonstrated by the proprietary software in this case study, electronic surveys can provide rapid and effective feedback regarding guests’ assessment of food and service. Beyond that, correctly designed electronic surveys can gauge customers’ loyalty to a restaurant and raise warning signals when something is amiss. The demonstration takes place in Vita Nova, which is the teaching restaurant at the University of Delaware. Open only during academic terms, Vita Nova was expressly designed to teach restaurant students. Results of the survey showed that guests at this restaurant were highly satisfied and remarkably loyal, as calculated by a new measure, the Loyalty Power Index. This case study underscores the value of customer surveys in ensuring customer satisfaction.
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    Safeguarding Service: Emergency Preparedness Essentials
    Kwortnik, Robert J. Jr. (2004-09-01)
    This tool provides a checklist to help hotel managers prepare for the loss of electrical power, whether in a natural disaster or by failure of the power grid.
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    Mega Tips: Scientifically Tested Techniques to Increase Your Tips
    Lynn, Michael (2003-01-01)
    This booklet for servers provides instruction in the psychology of tipping as well as specific techniques that can be used to earn larger tips. All the suggested techniques have been scientifically tested and the evidence of their effectiveness is described along with the techniques. Using even a few of these techniques should increase servers' tips by 10 to 30%. Managers are free to download the file, print out the manual, make hard copies of it, and either post it on employee bulletin boards or distribute copies directly to their servers. Managers who distribute the manual to their servers should benefit from: Increased sales Greater Customer Satisfaction Lower labor costs due to reduced server turnover
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    Does Your Website Meet Potential Customers’ Needs? How to Conduct Usability Tests to Discover the Answer
    Jameson, Daphne (2013-08-01)
    This CHR tool explains how hospitality managers can evaluate the extent to which their hotel or restaurant website meets potential customers’ needs by means of usability tests. As hospitality businesses seek to drive more business to their own websites rather than third-party sites, websites must not only look appealing but also be easy to use so that potential customers can find information quickly and easily. Functionality is equally important for internal websites, such as those used to communicate with employees about policies and benefits. In addition to explaining how to conduct usability tests, the report provides sample test results and summarizes recent research on website structure and functioning.
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    Developing Hospitality Managers' Intercultural Communication Abilities: The Cocktail Party Simulation
    Jameson, Daphne (2007-07-01)
    The ever increasing globalization of the hospitality industry and movement of people across international borders heightens the need for intercultural education and training. However, few intercultural training materials have a hospitality focus, and customized instruction is costly. The tool presented here helps reduce cultural barriers by providing a low-cost, hospitality-specific intercultural simulation that hospitality practitioners and educators can use with a wide variety of audiences. In the simulation, participants play the roles of members of three companies, each from a different fictional culture. At the simulated cocktail party that opens a series of important business meetings concerning a joint venture in the hospitality industry, participants establish business relationships and strive to overcome cultural differences that may impede those relationships. A debriefing discussion after the event reinforces the following key themes: Cultural values are relative, not absolute; Intercultural communication involves emotional as well as rational responses; Invisible cultural differences, such as values, attitudes, and beliefs, are more difficult to handle than visible differences, such as manners, customs, and rituals; Deciding who adapts to whom-and how-is the greatest challenge in intercultural interactions; and Cultural identity is multidimensional, involving far more than nationality alone. During the debriefing, participants apply these themes to their own work lives and past experiences interacting with culturally diverse colleagues, clients, guests, and business associates. Several follow-up options are possible to help participants use the knowledge they have gained. This report provides full instructions so that hospitality practitioners and educators can use the Cocktail Party Simulation in corporate-level management development programs, property-level training, executive education seminars, and college courses. Suggestions for adapting the simulation to different audiences, situations, and segments of the hospitality industry are included.
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    Building Managers' Skills to Create Listening Environments
    Brownell, Judi (2008-08-01)
    Managers’ ability to listen to employees and colleagues is an essential skill for developing a strong, successful service culture in their hospitality operation. By improving their own listening skills, managers can create a “listening environment” within their organization. One problem in this scenario is that most managers believe that their listening skills are better than they really are—as judged by their employees. Effective listening involves a set of related skills, and managers can improve those listening skills once they determine where their weaknesses lie. This tool explains the HURIER framework for analyzing listening effectiveness. HURIER is an acronym for hearing, understanding, remembering, interpreting, evaluating, and responding. Each of those six interrelated skills contributes to effective listening. The tool includes a self-assessment questionnaire that allows a manager to see which of those skills needs work. It also provides a second, companion questionnaire that enables a peer or employee evaluation of the manager’s listening skills. Comparing those assessments is the first step in developing the effective listening skills that will help create a successful and effective service culture.
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    Restaurant Reservations Optimization Tool
    Thompson, Gary (2015-11-16)
    The purpose of this tool is to determine the best mix of tables in a restaurant, while simultaneously determining which reservations should be accepted from forecasted demand. A key parameter in the tool is the degree to which average dining durations are inflated. The tool user selects this inflation factor according to expectations regarding the extent to which parties will exceed the anticipated average dining time. Lower inflation factors result in more revenue, because more reservations are accepted, but also come with lower service levels, meaning more customers will need to wait for a table. Based on the user inputs, the tool, which uses the Solver add-in for Microsoft Excel, returns the optimum table mix for the greatest revenue.
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    Food Preparation Scheduling Tool
    Thompson, Gary (2016-03-16)
    This is a general planning tool with the scope of a single day, rather than a detailed real-time planning tool. It is designed both to illustrate and to help manage the complexities of scheduling food-service preparation work. The tool is limited to 10 people and 10 resources or pieces of equipment, and it uses time increments of 15 minutes. We illustrate the capabilities of the tool via sample files for the preparation of a BBQ-theme dinner party. The tool uses a variety of inputs—including people, equipment, and the recipes that need to be prepared in a given day—and a scheduling optimizer to develop a schedule that’s displayed from many different perspectives. I’ll explain the components of the tool, then demonstrate how one can use it to explore solutions to food preparation problems.