Journal Issue:
Special Issue: Economics of the Foodservice System

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Note from Special Issue Guest Editors and Invited Contributors
(2021-04-27) Sharma, Amit; Okumus, Bendegul; Lee, Seoki
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Impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. Restaurant Industry from the Global Perspective
(2021-04-27) Lee, Seoki; Song, Hyoungju; Lin, Michael S.; Sharma, Amit
The current study explores the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. restaurant industry in terms of its stock performance, and further incorporates a global perspective into this examination by testing both the main and moderating effects of non-U.S. COVID-19 and also the moderating effect of the internationalization strategy of the U.S. restaurant industry. Findings of this study confirm that U.S. COVID-19 had a negative influence on U.S. restaurant firms' stock returns while non-U.S. COVID-19 had a positive impact. Further, the non-U.S. COVID-19 had a positive moderating effect on the relationship between U.S. COVID-19 and restaurant firms' stock returns. Unexpectedly, the study finds that U.S. restaurant firms' internationlization strategy does not moderate the negative impact of U.S. COVID-19 on restaurants' stock performance. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.
Publication
Cost-benefit Analysis Rules for the Foodservice System
(2021-04-27) Sharma, Amit
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an established approach to help make informed decisions. The practical technique has been used extensively in several areas of study, and there is a robust literature on numerous aspects of CBA. While the functional characteristics have been well expounded, the incorporation of CBA into varied disciplinary contexts remains scanty. Foodservice systems can be viewed as an extension of the broader food system. Within food system economics literature, a critical gap remains in the study of behavioral decision-making through the lens of microeconomic approaches. CBA provides a theoretical approach to conduct such inquiries. Two rules in the CBA, opportunity cost and sunk cost, relevant to behavioral decisions, remain understudied, not just in context of the food system (and therefore the extended foodservice system) but also in the general literature in CBA. In this paper, we provide an overview of those two CBA rules. We do so in context of the key concepts and ideas that define the economics of the foodservice system. Opportunity cost and sunk cost research presented here offers perspectives from business focus, supply chain, and consumer aspects. In articulating an agenda for future research, we highlight the value of employing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches for such inquiries. Novel methodologies can also ensure we capture the true nature of decision behavior within these CBA rules. The most apparent of these is the measurability of costs and benefits. In this paper, we describe going beyond measurable costs and benefits, and tapping into the opportunities to broaden the framework of systematically understanding decision-processes. While we focus the discussion on the foodservice and food system, the discussion is as relevant to the broader hospitality research endeavor.
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Food Policies and Issues in the United States, Europe, and Asia
(2021-04-27) Okumus, Bendegul
This study examines global and local food policies in United States, Europe, and Asia and discusses possible challenges and gaps for public and food actors, particularly from an economic perspective. In this paper, food policies and regulations are assessed by reviewing global reports, documents, and scholarly journals. The paper emphasizes the possible risks and disjunctions between theory and application of economic food policies in the foodservice industry. Food regulations, inspection challenges, food insecurities, and food safety issues are summarized. Regardless of the level of strict food policies and facilities, unsatisfactory results still exist in developed and developing countries and have increased during COVID-19.
Publication
Factors Impacting Food Away from Home (FAFH) Spending in the United States: A Macroeconomic Perspective
(2021-04-27) Lin, Michael S.; Jung, Inhaeng N.; Huang, Yidan
In the United States, individuals spend more than half of their food expenditures on food away from home (FAFH), and this trend is growing. This study aims to examine the factors that impact FAFH from a macroeconomic perspective. Macroeconomic and FAFH spending data from January 1997 to February 2020 were obtained from the various databases. The results reveal that the unemployment rate, Consumer Price Index (CPI), stock index, and oil price had a significant negative influence on both nominal and constant FAFH spending percentage, and oil price had a significant positive influence on constant FAFH spending percentage. This study contributes to the literature by concentrating on FAFH consumption, given that the extant literature focuses on household overall spending patterns. It also provides policymakers a better understanding of FAFH activities that are related to small business viability and community development.
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