Texas Tech University

Student Testimonial: Research Opportunities for Hospitality and Retail Management Students

Hannah Fields

September 4, 2020

Mawufemor Yayra Amuzu TTU

Mawufemor Yayra Amuzu's passion for Hospitality and Retail Management continues to grow through her research

Since her days as a high school student, Mawufemor Yayra Amuzu has been passionate about the hospitality and retail management field. This passion led her to pursue a diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management (2012), a bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management (2015), and now both her master's and Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration.

"I have had a passion for this program since senior high school and this passion has only grown stronger over the years," Mawufemor said. "I aspire to become a professor in my field and become well vexed in research. I believe the Texas Tech Hospitality and Retail Management program offers the opportunity for rigorous research work with guidance from dedicated and outstanding professors – particularly Dr. Catherine Jai, who has been my advisor and a key motivator."

Mawufemor's's research, titled "The Effect of Social Media Message on Consumer Engagement During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Focus on the U.S. Restaurant Industry," focuses on the impact the pandemic has had and continues to have, on the restaurant industry in terms of the change in consumer behavior toward restaurants. This includes impacts such as a decrease in revenues leading to job losses and the closure of some restaurants.

Her research has found that many restaurants resonating with consumers are those who have managed to stay afloat, especially those utilizing social media.

"With the growing importance of social media as a useful tool in crisis communication and consumer engagement, my research intends to devise the most efficient approach that will serve as a future reference for other restaurants facing similar crises," Mawufemor explained. "This study provides a valuable contribution to the theoretical understanding of the importance of crisis communication strategies and how it impacts behavioral intentions such as purchase intention and the loyalty of stakeholders."

Because of the risky nature of the restaurant industry, especially in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Mawufemor says her research findings can benefit managers and executives of the restaurant industry when developing or implementing crisis management strategies.

Upon completion of her studies, Mawufemorintends to continue a career path in academia, hoping to secure a faculty position with a college or university where she can continue her research.