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Cornell Study's Paint a Mixed Picture for Restaurant Daily Deals and
Sustainability in Hospitality Making Slow but Steady Progress

Ithaca, NY, December, 2012
 - While many restaurant operators gained new customers and made money on their daily deal offers, others lost money and found their regular customers taking advantage of the flash promotions, according to a new study published by Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research at the School of Hotel Administration. The study, "Restaurant Daily Deals: The Operator Experience," written by Joyce Wu, Sheryl E. Kimes, and Utpal Dholakia, is available at no charge from the Center for Hospitality Research.

"One big concern for restaurant operators is whether they can get customers to return without having more daily deal promotions," said Kimes, who is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor of Asian Hospitality Management at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "Our research indicates that customers will return without coupons, if they enjoy their experience. So, the best strategy for the restaurant is to give all customers full value so that they can really experience the restaurant." Wu is an analyst for Nomura Securities and Dholakia is a professor of marketing at Rice University.

The researchers surveyed 273 restaurateurs who have offered daily deals. A solid majority of the responding restaurants were independent operators. The survey found that about 40 percent of the deal purchasers were new customers, and 35 percent of the deal customers returned to the restaurant without a further incentive. The number of operators who said they made money on the deal was about the same as those who lost money. Nation's Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality provided assistance in conducting the survey.

Cornell Roundtable Investigates Key Sustainability Issues

Many hospitality firms are making every effort to report the status of their sustainability initiatives, but a challenge arises in exactly what to report and how to report it. As explained in a new proceedings, the 2012 Sustainability Roundtable addressed the many factors connected with sustainability reporting. The proceedings, "Hospitality Sustainability Reporting: Slow, Steady Progress," by Eric Ricaurte, Rohit Verma, and Glenn Withiam, is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR), which produced the roundtable. The sessions were co-chaired by Ricaurte, principal of Greenview, and Verma, a professor of service operations management at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Withiam is the CHR's director of publications.

The roundtable covered current issues in reporting, benchmarking, the supply chain, and customer sustainability perceptions, as well as innovations in green operations. "One frustration that we observed for all hospitality firms is that it's impossible to come up with 'one number' for sustainability reporting," said Ricaurte. "Even so, the industry is working diligently to identify the key issues that matter the most to stakeholders. However, each stakeholder has a different focus on sustainability."

Verma added: "A big element in sustainability reporting involves supply-chain issues. Hotels have their own supply chain but they are also part of other companies' supply chains. This becomes very complex. One other point that is critical to remember is that sustainability impacts are not all negative. The hospitality industry uses many inputs to create a major positive economic impact for destinations globally."

About The Center for Hospitality Research

A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 79 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit


Jane Henion

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