Program Web Address



In his study - The Food Service Industry: Beliefs Held by Academics - by Jack Ninemeier, Associate Professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at Michigan State University, Associate Professor Ninemeier initially describes his study this way: “Those in the academic sector exert a great deal of influence on those they are training to enter the food service industry. One author surveyed educational institutions across the country to ascertain attitudes of teachers toward various segments of the industry.”

Those essential segments of the industry serve as the underpinnings of this discussion and are four-fold. They are lodging, institutional, multi-unit, and single-unit properties.

For each segment the analysis addressed factors relating to

Marketing, management and operating concerns: Marketing, operations, fiscal management, innovation, future of the segment

Employee-related concerns: quality of work life, training/education opportunities, career opportunities

The study uses a survey of academicians as a guide; they point to segments of the food service industry students might be inclined to enter, or even ignore. The survey was done via a questionnaire sent from the campus of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at Michigan State University to 1850 full-time faculty members in two and four-year hospitality programs in the United States.

Through the survey, Ninemeier wishes to reasonably address specific problems now confronting the food service industry. Those problems include but are not limited to: reducing employee turnover, retaining staff, increasing productivity and revenue, and attracting new staff.

“Teachers in these programs are, therefore, an important plank in industry's platform designed to recruit students with appropriate background knowledge and interest in their operations,” Ninemeier says.

Your author actually illustrates the survey results, in table form. The importance to an employee, of tangibles and intangibles such as morale, ego/esteem, wages, and benefits are each explored through the survey.

According to the study, an interesting dichotomy exists in the institutional property element. Although, beliefs the academics hold about the institutional element suggest that it offers low job stress, attractive working conditions, and non-demanding competitive pressures, the survey and Ninemeier also observe: “Academics do not believe that many of their graduates will enter the institutional segment.”

“If academic beliefs are incorrect, an educational program to educate academics about management and employee opportunities in the segment may be in order,” Ninemeier waxes philosophically.