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SHA Summer Conversation Series

By Boston University School of Hospitality Administration

Join Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) for our Summer Conversations series – covering a variety of topics impacting the global industry today. Our discussions will be moderated by faculty, alumni, and industry leaders to share insights and opinions on relevant issues regarding lodging, restaurants, technology, human resources, and more.

Resetting the Table: Concerns for Restaurant Operations in MA

By Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera, Dr. John Palabiyik, and Dr. Brendan Cronin

The restaurant industry in the state of Massachusetts represents, as of 2018, over 15,000 restaurants (Massachusetts Restaurant Association, n.d.).  The nearly $19 billion-dollar industry was nearly brought to a complete halt of operations with the outbreak of COVID-19.

Kindness is not 86’d: The Spirit of Hospitality in a World of COVID-19

By Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera and Leah Tringale

For centuries, many have leaned on the shoulders of hospitality personnel for company, laughter and guidance. What have the restaurants, hotels, distributors, suppliers and other members of the hospitality community been doing during this time? While hospitality establishments start to reopen, it is crucial to remember how an overwhelming amount of those in the hospitality business have been aiding the community in extraordinary measures.

Adaptation: Restaurants Maneuver in Response to COVID-19

By Leora Halpern Lanz and Sara Szymanski

The last few months have been a true test for restaurants, as COVID-19 has severely disrupted the food and beverage industry – likely one of the hardest hit segments of the economy. Shelter-in-place and lockdown policies inevitably restricted people from gathering and going out to dinner, essentially damaging the restaurant experience as we know it.

The 4 C’s of a Hotel’s COVID Communications Toolkit: Important Messaging and Touch Points to Consider for Re-Opening

By Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC

As destinations around the globe begin to “reopen” and lead the way toward recovery, branded and independent hotel operators alike need to ensure that marketing is in place to inform guests and encourage some semblance of the desire to travel again. With that in mind, consider the following: In traditional marketing, we learn about the 4 P’s of the marketing mix –  product, price, place and promotion. 

A Message from Dean Upneja

By Dr. Arun Upneja

All of us at the Boston University, School of Hospitality Administration are thinking about you during this unprecedented and uncertain time. We are concerned about your personal health and well-being, and the collective health and well-being of the hospitality industry.

Sanitized Practices for Human Resources in a COVID-19 Environment

By Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera and Meghan Steinberg

The impact that COVID-19 has had on small and large businesses, is something never seen before in more than five generations.  The closure of America has basically placed a halt to business in the hospitality industry.  This has forced many businesses to implement work from home (WFH) strategies. Historical records of unemployment filings have made the navigation for human resources a unique challenge.

What Will Conferences Look Like Post COVID-19?

By Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC

What Will Conferences Look Like Post COVID-19? How do We Meet as we Emerge from Physical Distancing and Lead into a “New Normal”? How unnerving and ironic that just last month, our School was to have hosted a Hospitality Leadership Summit, themed Leading in a Time of Disruption.  Never in a million years would anyone have imagined that disruption would occur to force us to cancel the event, or, significantly more dire –  that disruption would manifest itself as a global health crisis.

How Hospitality Alumni Are Waiting out COVID-19

By Emily Stewart and Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera

The days of sold-out nights, busy lobbies, and bustling ballrooms started to slowly dwindle. We thought we would be okay and be able to get through this. Then one day, we showed up to work and it felt like everything had changed, in just 24 hours. Occupancy started to drastically drop to a record low of 5-15%, events were canceled or postponed until the Fall or 2021, and the front desk agents were excited when there were people in the lobby.

VIDEO: A Discussion With SHA’s Advisory Board – Town Hall

By Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration

On April 2nd, 2020, Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration, members of SHA’s Advisory board, and friends of SHA had an honest conversation sharing a realistic look at the state of our industry and recommendations for how we can stay relevant and valuable, and think about the future of our industry. We encourage viewers to note the suggestions and insights for how hotels, restaurants and other aspects of our industry may or may not change, and challenge ourselves with the entrepreneurial spirit that is needed to guide our industry into the future.

New Massachusetts Business Interruption Insurance Bill Could Provide Lifeline to Hotels and Restaurants During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Joshua M. Bowman

On March 24, 2020, in response to the severe financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State Senator James B. Eldridge filed S.D. 2888, a bill entitled “An Act Concerning Business Interruption Insurance.”

Camping Amidst COVID-19

By Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera

The current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has dismantled the hospitality industry.  With the increase demands for social distancing, camping, could very well be this summer’s best vacation plan. Camping provides many benefits, consider getting outside and enjoying the disconnect from the traditional busy world.

Restaurant Organizations and the Power of the New Economy: A Pandemic, Labor Value and Lessons From the Past

By Dr. Christopher Muller

What happens to the restaurant industry when the pandemic ends, which history tells us, it will?


Travel Will Not Unravel: Looking At and Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis

By Kaushik Vardharajan

The travel industry fulfills that most basic need of human beings to connect with other human beings, be it for business or leisure, be it across the world or at the local restaurant down the street. Our industry thrives in a connected world and unfortunately, in our new reality today where more and more cities and countries are going into lockdown around the globe, we are seeing a financial impact like never before.

The King is Naked

By Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas & Dr. Mark Legg

While the travel industry has been hit with various crises over the years, including SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009, and the 9/11 attack, the scale of coronavirus impact is unprecedented with global economic shut-downs. Compared to hotels, Airbnb’s business model has held up worse to the viral impact.

The Coronavirus and the US Casino Market

By Dr. Mark Legg & Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas

When one conjures up an image of their local casino, they picture gamblers being there all hours of the day and night. For the first time in recent history, most US casinos followed Macau properties by closing their doors in response to the coronavirus threat.

Hospitality Communications in a Time of Coronavirus: Tips for Maintaining Trust and Engagement

By Leora Halpern Lanz, Marco Ferrari and Dr. Makarand Mody

As marketers and communicators who have had the privilege to work together transnationally, over time, for nearly three decades, our collaboration on these simplistic checklists is evidence of the “global-ness” and camaraderie of our industry. And this period of mandated physical distance has only strengthened our desire to stay connected even more.

Navigating Hotel Operations in Times of COVID-19

By Dr. Suzanne Markham Bagnera and Emily Stewart

While the hotel industry has entered into territories unknown and never seen before in our lifetime, there is no reason to panic.  This present perfect storm has—both a health and financial—crisis occurring at the same time. Between the combined terror-related travel concern disruptions from 9/11 (from the historical drop in demand) and 2008 financial crisis—make today’s crisis, something that has never been experienced before.

Tweets, Hospitality, and the Coronavirus

By Dr. Sean Jung & Dr. Mark Legg

After recent travel bans across the globe, we raised the question: how are consumers responding to the travel bans due to COVID-19 for hospitality industries? To answer this, we conducted a preliminary sentimental analysis by digging into not only what consumers have tweeted across the hospitality sector on Twitter, but how these tweets have shifted since the latest ban was enacted on March 13th.

Evolution or Extinction? Leadership through Innovation in a Time of Crisis

By Dr. Taylor Peyton

During the COVID-19 crisis, how can hospitality leaders leverage what the industry values and already does extremely well, so they can creatively apply those beliefs and skills to this chaotic, unfolding situation?  Which deeply held assumptions might be worth questioning to maximize hospitality organizations’ ability to adapt to changing times?