Close

Cart

Total $0.00

Checkout
Ithaca, NY, November 5, 2013 - The results of a study of guests' reactions to hotel employees' appearance were mostly what you might expect. The study, published in the November 2013 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, found that hotel guests think that the most effective employees are men and women who smile and are attractive. When it comes to facial hair, however, the guests weren't so sure. They assigned greater assurance ability to clean-shaven men, but for reasons that are not clear this effect held true only for Caucasian men and not for African-American men. 

The study, "The Frontline Provider's Appearance: A Driver of Guest Perceptions," is the featured article in the November 2013 Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, which is published by Sage Publishing for the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. For a limited time, Sage will make this article free for access. The authors are Vincent P. Magnini, Melissa Baker, and Kiran Karande. Magnini and Baker are at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, and Karande is on the faculty at Old Dominion University.

For this study, the researchers used the concept of how appearance translates to assurance. They asked a panel of 102 people drawn from a national consumer panel to judge employees' knowledge and courtesy and their ability to convey trust and confidence-all based on their photograph. From this comparison of carefully designed photographs of models, hotel guests ascribed greater assurance ability to clean-shaven men, and to all men and women who smile and are attractive. The beard effect did not influence the guests' assessment of the African-American models, but the bearded Caucasian men were judged less effective than their clean-shaven counterparts (smile or no smile). 

The authors suggest that the practical implications of their findings are that: (1) hotel firms generally should not permit their employees to wear beards, except in special situations; (2) hotel firms should incorporate genuine smiling training in their customer service training (since guests can immediately determine when an employee is faking it); and (3) within appropriate legal and ethical boundaries, hotel firms should put in place, manage, and enforce grooming policies that could influence the facial attractiveness ratings of their employees.

About the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

The Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) editorial content is broad, and the CQ publishes research in all business disciplines that contribute to management practice in the hospitality and tourism industries. The objective of the CQ is to help all those involved or interested in the hospitality industry to keep up-to-date on the latest research findings and theory development in order to improve business practices and stay informed of successful strategies.

About the Cornell School of Hotel Administration

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit www.hotelschool.cornell.edu.

Contact: Ashlee McGandy

am754@cornell.edu / 607.254.1368

Related News

Top 5 Takeaways from Cornell's Master of Management in Hospitality Leadership Development Program

Cornell Study on Labor Law: When Rules Are Made to Be Broken: The Case of Sexual Harassment Law

Cornell Study Examines Emerging Trends in Hotel Revenue Management

Cheryl Boyer to Serve as 2017 Cornell Hotel Society President

Cornell Study Highlights Diversification Benefits of REIT Stock Investments

Hotel Investment Climate Remains Favorable Despite Interest Rate Increases, Cornell Study Suggests

Roundtable Focuses on High-Tech Adoption in Hospitality Industry

Hospitality Money Managers Should Avoid Short-term Trading According to New Cornell Study

Changing Relationship of Supervisors and Employees Revealed in Cornell Study

Cornell Study: Charging for Restaurant Reservations May Gain Acceptance

Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition Ends with First-ever Tie

91st Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell to Analyze Trends in Real Estate Ownership and Investment, Food and Beverage Industry

91st Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell to Examine the Dynamics of Workplace Diversity, Hotel Distribution, Social Media

Text Analytics Reveal the Impact of Guest Sentiment on Hotel Review Scores

2015 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship Winners Announced

Cornell Analysis Finds Confusion in Recent Supreme Court Employment Decisions

Cornell Study Analyzes Effects of EB-5 Financing on Hotel Development

Concept to Re-Use Lost and Found Hotel Items Wins Cornell Students Sustainability Competition

Cornell Study Finds That Sustainability is Overall Revenue Neutral for Hotel Industry

Cornell Quarterly Study Finds Increasing Balance in Online Hotel Reviews

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.