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What if labor shortage is a long-term threat to the hospitality and tourism industry?

The U.S. economy finally shows signs of a strong recovery from the pandemic. Nevertheless, the surging delta variant cases, inflation, and the global supply chain disruption, among other concerns, add considerable uncertainty to the economic outlook. Notably, the hospitality and tourism industry is unlikely to recover any time soon. On the one hand, there is no real sense of recovery until people are  traveling for business  again. Yet, more companies  have postponed the return-to-office plan  and let employees continue  working from home . On the other hand, the industry is facing an  extreme labor shortage  that slows down its recovery. A restaurant shut down after the entire staff quit Last week,  a burrito chain restaurant in Georgia  was forced to shut down because its entire staff quit. The staff put a sign in the front of the restaurant, saying that they had worked seven days a week for a month. They barely had any time off. Eventually, they quit due to being underpaid and a lac
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Want your employees to voice suggestions when customers treat them poorly? The double-edged effects of felt trust

  "The customer  is not always right , but your job is never to show them how they're wrong. Your job is to be professional, courteous, accommodating … even (and especially) under stress."   — Steve Dorfman, Driven to Excel When consumers know they are always right, they may breed a sense of superiority or entitlement, expecting the frontline employees to comply with any customer behaviors. A  report  shows that 98% of service employees had experienced unpleasant customer behaviors; over 50% of employees encountered rude customers at least once a week. In  a more recent case , a female customer pulled out a gun and fired shots at Burger King because she felt it took too long to receive the order. In organizational research, consumers' unpleasant behaviors toward the service staff are often referred to as either consumer incivility or consumer mistreatment. Current literature has identified customer mistreatment's negative effects on employees' psychological st

Research reveals effective social media crisis communication strategies during COVID-19 pandemic

The  COVID-19 pandemic  is a once-in-a-generation crisis with  lasting economic and societal consequences . Crises and disasters often bring unpredictable catastrophic  changes  to the market. Yet, effective management of a crisis can help businesses reduce the event's negative impacts and shorten the recovery time. As the global economy  begins to recover , businesses are making  changes to adapt  to the post-pandemic world. For example, more companies now let employees  work from home  permanently. When people work remotely and classes are taught online, social media plays an even more critical role in crisis communication than before. Research identifying the types of social media messages that get people's attention during the COVID-19 pandemic is timely and helpful in supporting business decisions regarding crisis communication. The empirical study about crisis communication strategies on social media I worked with Drs.  Jungwoo Lee  at Yonsei University in South Korea and

Travel prices are up, but there are still ways to save in the last minute.

Are you traveling this summer? If so, I hope you have already made plans/arrangements for the trips because everything is getting pricier as more Americans are hitting the roads again.   This WSJ report/video helps explain why rental cars are getting so expensive these days. Are you still looking for a last-minute deal? Here are a few tips: How to find low prices during travel's dynamic pricing era .  Summer travel tips to save money at the last minute .  Last-minute ideas, expert advice about summer travel from "The Points Guy" Brian Kelly .  Note: The picture was downloaded from  the Time magazine. 

Behind Dollar General's strategy to dominate rural America - A WSJ video

Do you shop at Dollar General? I don't, but I shop at the 99 Cents Only Stores, not because I don't like Dollar General, more because there is a 99 Cents Only Store in the neighborhood.  Do you wonder why Dollar General is doing so well even during the pandemic? Check out this Wall Street Journal video for more insights.  Do you believe its growth will continue after the pandemic?  Note: The picture shows Dollar General's first new small-format store called DGX in Nashville, TN (opened in Janurary 2017). The picture was downloaded from . 

Research shows that you should let consumers’ photos speak for your business

The advance of technology and the widespread adoption of smartphones and handheld devices in recent years have enabled us to publish our experience about a product or service through online photo or video sharing and provide a review. Online review websites have also updated their features, making it easier for consumers to attach pictures or videos to their reviews. As both consumers and businesses adapt to the new photo-sharing trend, it becomes crucial to expand our knowledge regarding user-generated photos’ (UGPs’) effect on  online reviews . An empirical study about user-generated photos I worked with a research team in an interdisciplinary project to assess UGPs’ effects on  the helpfulness of hotel reviews . We published our findings in the  Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research . The paper is entitled “Let photos speak: The effect of user-generated visual content on hotel review helpfulness.” The hypotheses We drew from the media richness theory and advanced five hypothes

Besides higher wages, what else can businesses do to address labor shortages?

Last week,  COVID-19 cases in the U.S.  hit their lowest rate since September. Deaths were also at the lowest point since April last year. Moreover, close to  60% of adults  in the U.S. have already received at least one dose of a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  announced on May 13  that: People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear face covers or maintain a social distance in any setting unless they are required to do so by laws or specific guidelines. Fully vaccinated people can also refrain from testing following a known exposure (with a few exceptions). Some businesses , such as Starbucks, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Sam’s Clubs, Universal Studios, and Disney parks in Florida, have decided to follow CDC’s new guidelines. Fully vaccinated people are no longer mandated to wear a mask in their establishments. The U.S. economy is recovering, with highest job gains in the leisure sector Under a much-improved situation, people are ready to  tra