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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

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International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education

The International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education is dedicated to the advancement of foodservice and hospitality education through research, curriculum development, executive training and consultation.

Carnegie Foundation-Recognized Research and Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation has recognized the university with top classification — R1 university — for “very high research activity.” In addition, South Carolina is one of few public universities that has also earned Elective Community Engagement Classification, a prestigious designation recognizing universities with strong community relationships.


Robin DiPietro speaks to a group of individuals while one person smiles in the background.
"The institute allows industry to connect with our students in a way that just guest speaking and visits to campus cannot do. We teach students about the foodservice industry using an integrated approach combining research, curriculum development and education." – Director Robin B. DiPietro, Ph.D.

One of the chief goals within the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTMT) with which the Institute is aligned — is preparing our students to become the best foodservice managers in the Southeast. To succeed, our graduates must be ready to answer relevant questions such as, "What is the foodservice industry’s employee commitment and turnover intention in the current economic market?"

To accomplish this goal, we align undergraduate and graduate students with dedicated faculty in close contact with industry leaders — foodservice owners and managers known for their hospitality expertise. Through these contacts, we then work to strengthen opportunities for real-time research on pressing trends, issues and problems affecting foodservice.

This adds value to the academic experience for our students while also providing a significant contribution to the hospitality field.

Institute Goals

  • Develop practical and relevant research that is applicable to current issues within the hospitality and foodservice industry.
  • Work with industry leaders (owners and managers) to solve current issues.
  • Forecast future economic conditions and trends for education and industry.
  • Develop and initiating training programs in an effort to further educate industry management and personnel.
  • Provide educational and research opportunities for students within the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HRTM) at the University of South Carolina.
  • Promote hospitality and foodservice research on a local, state, regional, national, and international level.
  • Develop educational forums that bring educators and industry members together to share relevant industry-wide information and data.
  • Collect data and developing instruments to assist students, managers, and industry consumers in making purchasing decisions.
  • Assist industry in educating new workforce personnel for future managerial and supervisory roles and responsibilities.
  • Educate the general population relative to activities in hospitality and foodservice management.

Get in Touch

For more information about the International Institute for Food Service Research and Education, please contact director Robin B. DiPietro, Ph.D. You can also learn more about our services and how to work with us on our website and view the extensive research done by director DiPietro.

Robin DiPietro headshot

Robin B. DiPietro, Ph.D.

International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education Director

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management


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