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SHA to introduce new restaurant concentration in the Fall

school of hospitality administration at boston university
School of Hospitality Administration. SHA announced March 22 it will introduce a new concentration in Restaurant Management and Experiences beginning Fall 2021. SERENA YU/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration announced March 22 the launch of a new concentration, Restaurant Management and Experiences, that will be offered beginning Fall 2021.

The new concentration will complement existing concentrations — Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Real Estate and Finance, Digital Marketing, Business of Senior Living and Revenue Management and Analytics, according to a SHA press release.

“This set of courses establish SHA’s commitment to preparing students for a new world of hospitality,” the press release states.

SHA Graduate Program Chair Leora Lanz said the concentration was designed to offer students a well-rounded understanding of restaurant management.

“The whole package allows our students to be creative, financially prudent, logistically, and managerially smart with operations,” Lanz said. “It’s really kind of a nice package of courses to have people better prepared.”

She noted three new concentrations were added to the Master of Management in Hospitality Program this year to make it “more robust.”

“For next year’s class, there’s going to be a lot more options, which is really terrific and truthfully we needed these,” Lanz said. “One, to be competitive with other hospitality management master’s degrees, but also the pandemic really kind of catapulted what we needed.”

Lanz noted COVID-19 has “tossed everything out the window” and “no rules apply,” increasing the importance of innovation.

“The more innovative we can be with what we’re producing and presenting in hospitality with experiences to guests,” she said, “the more we stand out.”

Lanz said applications for the master’s program were a determining factor in the decision to add the Restaurant Management and Experiences concentration.

“We got a really strong sense from the applicant pool for the passion for restaurants,” she said, “and the desire to learn how to operate restaurants smartly.”

SHA professor Kealoha Pomerantz, an operations and culture manager at RealFood Hospitality Strategy and Design, noted the importance of understanding food and beverage in the hospitality industry.

“They need to be really well-versed in food and beverage, even food and beverage within a hotel, and the numbers side of it, and the practical side of it, and the ownership side of it,” Pomerantz said. “They need to be well-rounded.”

The addition of the restaurant concentration will also be a “selling point” for the school, she added.

“It was for the industry, it was for the students, it was for the school, it was for the better,” Pomerantz said.

SHA senior Isabella Very said the new concentration comes with the support of students, some of whom had previously asked for it to be added.

“It’s actually been requested by students for a really long time,” Very said. “I know a lot of people who have been kind of putting pressure on the administration to start something similar.”

While many current students have wanted this concentration, Very said it will not entirely apply to seniors like herself.

“Unless those classes have been part of our SHA curriculum from the very beginning, we wouldn’t have time to dedicate to getting that concentration,” she said. “I think it’s primarily for the younger students.”

Dorian Gold-Diamond, a first year master’s student in SHA, said she is “excited and proud” of the program’s development.

“I think it’s really great that it’s something that the school saw that there was demand for it, and that they’re putting it into place,” Gold-Diamond said. “I think that’s important and something to be proud of.”

Gold-Diamond added these new concentrations are valuable for students who will be entering the job market.

“It’s growing, and I think it’s really important that students are getting this kind of knowledge,” Gold-Diamond said. “I think it’s really meaningful and practical.”

Emily Stevenson contributed to the reporting of this article.

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