Alex Susskind is a Professor of Food and Beverage Management and is currently serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Professor Susskind earned his Ph.D. in Communication from Michigan State University with a specialization in organizational communication and his MBA with a concentration in personnel and human relations. He earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management and is also a trained chef with a degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Prior to starting his career in academia, Professor Susskind was a chef and restaurant operator for both independent and multi-unit restaurant companies in the Northeastern and Southeastern United States.
Hospitality Operations Financial Decision-Making
In this session, you’ll practice using financial statement analysis tools to increase profitability within your operation. You’ll examine techniques to make more strategic operational decisions about costs, volume, and profit, and understand the differences between operating and capital budgets. Managerial accounting tools will also be explained, examined, and applied as they relate to the decision-making process within the organization. Common terminology used by owners and operators will be defined and incorporated in an operational analysis.
Foodservice Tactics and Analysis
Due to recent fluctuations in consumer demand and access to dining options, the food and beverage industry has been forced to reinvent many of its standard practices. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also continues to cause disruptions in the supply chain and create labor force challenges. In this session, you will augment your existing management skills and competencies to improve your ability to manage new aspects of food and beverage operations. Using a case study, class discussion, and breakout groups, you will further develop your analytical and problem-solving skills surrounding operational, marketing, and financial issues. These activities will lead you to a better understanding of the market in which you operate as well as the key competitive elements that drive your success.
Innovations in Marketing
This session offers you innovative and practical approaches to address marketing challenges to help you improve profits and customer loyalty. By focusing on fundamental aspects of managing hospitality brands and creating memorable digital and in-person customer experiences, you will gain critical skills and knowledge to implement innovative service marketing strategies and create unique value, particularly in the context of evolving post-pandemic customer needs and expectations. Through class discussions, case studies, and real-world examples, you will be equipped to apply strategic thinking and analysis to marketing challenges.
Leading with Effective Communication
Effective communication is essential for succeeding in the fast-paced hospitality industry. In this session, you will discover how your patterns of behavior when interacting with others impact your effectiveness with key stakeholders: guests, colleagues, and senior leaders. In the process, you will also explore how to read others in order to adapt your style to the needs of your audience. You’ll practice designing and delivering compelling and clear messages that are specifically designed to influence. The format involves self-assessment, hands-on activities, and lectures, as well as instructor and peer feedback.