Industry Update
Press Release22 March 2018

What does it take to inspect and rate the finest hotels, resorts, restaurants and spas?

The students in the hospitality management program at USCB are about to find out.

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USCB - University of South Carolina Beaufort

Bluffton, SC -- When Su Gibson stepped down from her role as field evaluator for the Forbes Travel Guide last month, she knew it wouldn't be the end of her dedication to the improvement of service. "Growing up on Hilton Head Island, hospitality has always been in my blood. I'm a true believer in the importance of providing excellent service to our local patrons and visitors. Our way of life depends on it."

Su teaches for USCB and is developing a course in service quality management for launch this Fall. In the course, students will gain real-life experience evaluating restaurants thanks to SERG restaurant group's quality control initiatives. Alan Wolf, director of operations for SERG, is making the customer experience first priority for the group's 12 restaurants, which already have a reputation for excellence and are collectively one of the largest employers in the area. A pilot program is currently under way, and once the course is in session, students will use concepts taught in the classroom to evaluate a restaurant experience first-hand, gather additional customer feedback and offer suggestions to management based on their findings.

USCB's Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training also has plans to expand the secret shopping training and offer valuable inspection and evaluation services to the area's other hospitality companies at little to no cost to them. "We're already a world-class destination because of our pristine beaches, beautiful golf courses and exciting annual events like the upcoming RBC Heritage golf tournament. If we build on our culture of hospitality and focus on improving customer service in a systematic way, we'll be the top pick for potential visitors. All our local businesses will benefit," says Su, who is eager to work with business owners and managers through the center.

With the new USCB hospitality management campus on track to open later this year, the future looks bright for the Lowcountry's service industries. But what will Su miss most about her work with the Forbes Travel Guide? "The spa treatments. If there are any spas needing quality checks, I'm ready!"

Su Gibson
Instructor Hospitality Management Department at USCB
Phone: (843) 208-8225
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