Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Restaurant Research Gains National Recognition

Recognition by one national organization is good; two is great; three is fabulous. Throw in a state honor and you’ve got phenomenal success. That’s what was achieved by four students at the University of West Georgia for a marketing research project they conducted.

Ameen Kazerouni, Chelsea Briant, Adam Szaruga, and Armando Ramos performed graduate level marketing research under the guidance of UWG President Beheruz N. Sethna, who is a marketing professor.

The research project was an extension of his Business Challenges class, and consisted of comparing the businesses of Mexican restaurants in the local Carrollton area. The students pinpointed variables that could influence the success or difficulties the businesses might face.

The students worked for about five months gathering information on the two restaurants, The Border and The Grillage.

They discovered that the variables that had the strongest influence on the restaurants’ business were cost, quickness, and variety. They presented their information to the restaurants and felt that the restaurants appreciated the hard work that they put into the project.

Once the project was finished, the National Social Science Association (NSSA), the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council (GCHC) recognized the students’ results. Members of the team attended conferences for all three organizations, and they were invited to attend the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conference, which will be held in October.

The team also won first place at the NSSA conference.

“Our goal was always to go to a conference,” Briant said. “Our focus wasn’t so much on the fact that the project was a part of our class, but we definitely wanted to make sure the quality was strong enough to be accepted by a national conference.”

“Getting together with colleagues to conduct this experiment was a brilliant rush,” Kazerouni said. “We put a lot of sweat, blood, and tears into this project, and we were blessed to be recognized by four conferences.”

The students also agree that the project could not have been completed without Sethna.

“He was not just our professor, he was an essential part of the team,” Kazerouni said.

“He was also the most enthusiastic member of our group; Dr. Sethna is a genius,” Briant said.

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