Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research Offers New Restaurant Table Tool and Examines...

May 15, 2012

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.254.8987,


Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research Offers New Restaurant Table Tool and Examines International Challenges and Opportunities

Ithaca, NY, May 15, 2012 - A new restaurant table simulator, an analysis of international hotel challenges and opportunities, and a profile of Schneider Electric's Energy University have been newly posted by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the School of Hotel Administration. Part of CHR's popular Hospitality Tools series, the simulator tool and all publications are available at no charge from CHR.

New Cornell Restaurant Table Simulator Uses Excel Platform

The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) has released the Restaurant Table Simulator (RTS), which gives restaurant managers a way to analyze table usage in their restaurant. The RTS was developed by Gary Thompson, a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. It is available at no charge from the CHR.

"I wanted to make the simulator more accessible and useful to the restaurant industry," said Thompson. "So, it's based on Excel, which will allow a wide application. All the users have to do is plug their numbers into the spreadsheet and it will return such metrics as table usage, customer wait, and customers lost, given a particular set of inputs."

The RTS provides a series of charts and results tables that allow managers to test "what if" scenarios, so that they can improve their restaurant's mix of tables. One other innovation of RTS is that it accounts for the many restaurants where customers select their own tables, instead of being assigned to a table by a host or hostess.

Cornell Roundtable Focuses on International Opportunities and Challenges

The global hospitality industry is gaining strength, but certain challenges remain, according to participants in the first International Hospitality Roundtable, produced by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). One major challenge involves human resources, although the specific issues change from country to country. Proceedings for the roundtable, "The International Hospitality Industry: Overcoming the Barriers to Growth," by Jan Hack Katz and Glenn Withiam, are available at no charge from CHR. Katz is a senior lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, and Withiam is the CHR's director of publications.

To start the roundtable, Katz, who chaired the roundtable, presented the results of a survey of 143 hotel managers in 56 countries. "I found that the hotel managers worldwide were optimistic about their future prospects," she said. "The hotel managers identified a general rise in tourism and an expansion in both international and domestic travel. However, there remains a perception that guests are still being careful in spending."

Regardless of the local development issues for each nation, roundtable participants identified excellence in operations as the key to success. Thus, hotel companies must work to ensure high quality service in a superior facility at the right price.

Cornell White Paper Features Energy University

Schneider Electric's innovative website offers free, university-level information

A new paper in the Cornell Hospitality Industry Perspectives series highlights Energy University, developed by Schneider Electric for the benefit of building managers in all industries, including the hospitality industry. Available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, the white paper, "Energy University: An Innovative Private-Sector Solution to Energy Education," was written by R. Sean O'Kane and Susan Hartman, both of Schneider Electric.

"Our model is similar to the CHR, since we provide all our course materials and information without charge," said O'Kane, who is Schneider's director of hotel strategic alliances. "Also like Cornell we are vendor neutral. Our goal is to provide the information required by building managers to make good decisions to be become more energy efficient."

Added Hartman: "There was a real need for energy education when we started Energy University three years ago. We are delighted at the hospitality industry's response, and we particularly appreciate the alliance with the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, which uses our courses for professional certification." As Schneider's global manager of customer education programs, she manages Energy University.

With more than 70 courses in 11 languages, Energy University is a virtual, professional, college-level training program focused on energy consumption and efficiency that can be used by building and facility managers at all levels. O'Kane and Hartman emphasize that the decision to make the information vendor neutral has been critical to the success of this idea. Then, by opening the courses to all people, whether customers or not, Schneider has created an unmatched resource, both in terms of depth and breadth of courses. 
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 77 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

Center Senior Partners: ASAE Foundation, Carlson Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, National Restaurant Association, SAS, STR, and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Center Partners: Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., HVS, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, McDonald's USA, newBrandAnalytics,, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd., Schneider Electric, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG and Wyndham Hotel Group

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