The research performed by Broad College of Business undergraduates was on display at the 2014 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, held at the MSU Union on April 4. Twenty-seven students shared their results after months of work.
Allison Kubek (BA Hospitality Business ’15) and Ariel Lessens (BA Hospitality Business ’14) presented a research project titled “Restaurant Inspection Study: Ingham County.” For their project, Kubek and Lessens had students write opinions about restaurants in Ingham County that they visit. After the students viewed the restaurants’ inspection results, they were asked about their perceptions of food safety and how it affected factors such as their loyalty to the restaurant, whether they would talk positively to friends or family members about going to that restaurant, and whether they would post negatively online on Yelp or the restaurants’ Facebook pages.
“Our findings definitely aren’t conclusive–we just used a small data sample–but since no one else had studied the loyalty vs. inspection score issue, it was kind of exciting to do something that there wasn’t any published research on and to be the first ones in our findings,” Kubek said.
Kubek, who is a teaching assistant for Food Management: Safety and Nutrition, said their research could greatly influence the way employees treat food safety.
“Unfortunately, I think a lot of people in the restaurant industry look at food safety as just something you have to pass,” she said. “I think that’s something to consider and really bring to light, not only why it’s important for health reasons, but also the impact it has on business. It’s not just something that has to be done; it should be an imperative part of the business, and results like this, I think, really hammer that home.”
Courtney March (BA Accounting ’16) and Jiyeun Kim (BA Hospitality Business ’14) also presented their research, titled “Exploring MSU Food Truck’s Business Strategies and Customer Service,” which found that more than 50 percent of the students they interviewed did not know about the food truck on campus.
“We came to the conclusion that the MSU food truck does have significant room for growth,” March said. “It just needs a better way to reach its customers, so that those customers can know about the food truck and where it’s at and what they have to offer. They’re missing some customers because they haven’t found that way to really connect with their customers and the MSU base. They’re new, but they’re in a great market where they can really reach out and expand that.”
March said the experience of working with their faculty mentor, MiRan Kim, and getting the perspective of a professional was very helpful.
“She had a lot of ideas to help me, so I was able to have a stronger study,” March said. “This project really has helped me learn so much more about business and business growth and business strategies and customer service.”
The complete list of business students who presented at UURAF includes:
- Allison Bengel (BA Supply Chain Management ’16)
- Michael Booth (BA Finance ’17)
- Kyle Brown (BA Finance ’14)
- Joseph Burzych (BA Finance ’16)
- James Carlstedt (BA Accounting ’17)
- Xi Chen (BA Finance ’16)
- Sungmin Choi (BA Hospitality Business ’15)
- Machlin Fink (BA Accounting ’14)
- David Golembiewski (BA Accounting ’14)
- Alexander Heavin (BA Finance ’17)
- Jiyeun Kim (BA Hospitality Business ’14)
- Allison Kubek (BA Hospitality Business ’15)
- Ariel Lessens (BA Hospitality Business ’14)
- Jiraqi Li (BA Accounting ’16)
- Wei Li (BA Finance ’16)
- Zhechao Ma (BA Finance ’14)
- Sarah Mackenzie (BA Marketing ’16)
- Courtney March (BA Accounting ’16)
- Liam McFall (BA Finance ’16)
- Alex Pouba (BA Supply Chain Management ’16)
- Spencer Raymond (BA Hospitality Business ’14)
- Joshua Roberts (BA Hospitality Business ’14)
- Kassia Salisbury (BA General Management ’15)
- Andrea Scherlinck (BA Marketing ’16)
- Pamela Stefan (BA Supply Chain Management ’14)
- Rodney Weng (BA Hospitality Business ’14)
- Karlie Zuchowski (BA Supply Chain Management ’16)