Letter from the Dean – Restaurant Leadership Edition

March-April 2023

Dean's Letter

We’ll admit that Hospitality has been slow to change. This problem has been particularly evident in the last few years when droves of employees left the hospitality industry. This Restaurant Leadership Edition of Boston Hospitality Review (BHR), edited by Sean Jung, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hospitality Analytics at Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, hones in on the question: “What are leading restaurant companies doing to keep talent?” Jung, a professor of courses such as Revenue Management and Managerial Accounting, fittingly frames the conversation in qualitative terms such as, “investments” and “assets,” to describe the way that exemplary restaurant companies treat their employees.

To focus on the recent profound attrition in the hospitality workforce, our editorial team took a new and streamlined approach to this subject. Narrowed to one lane, we present a Q&A with leaders at Chipotle, Five Guys, Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), and Lettuce Entertain You to provide direct access to these executives and to get their insights on making great workplaces. The goal was more than a simple illumination of the situation but to shine the high beams on a better path for the future of Hospitality. 

Let’s take a quick pitstop to define what “great” means. It begins with companies where employees can 1) advance their career development, 2) are compensated fairly through a combination of salary, benefits, and policies, and 3) derive both personal and professional satisfaction. No doubt – this list is simply a starting point.

These recommendations come from a selection of leaders and owners of companies that have been rated highly for their corporate culture and benefits. We do not intend this article to represent a comprehensive list. It’s simply a jumpstart to get us all moving in a positive direction.

We encourage your input! Email us at bhr@bu.edu


Dean Arun Upneja

Arun Upneja, Ph.D.

Dean of Boston University School of Hospitality Administration