HFT 4853 Trends and Challenges in the Hospitality Industry 

Professor Information

Instructor Profile Picture


Dr. Joel Feigenheimer


HM 364




(561) 212-0206

Office Hours

By Appointment



Turn Around Time

Within 24 hours

Additional Notes

Course Description and Purpose

All products used in a restaurant/hotel are purchased via use of standards and specifications.  From toilet paper to steaks, carpeting to vodka, these products must be identified, determined to be the best product for the specific concept and purchased at the right price, right quality and right time.  This class offers a review of basic information on sources, grades and standards, criteria for selection, purchasing, and storage for the major foods, including the development of specifications. Consideration of the menu pattern with particular emphasis on costing, pricing, and the work load placed on the production staff. Item analysis and merchandising features are emphasized.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify products required for their particular concept
  • Compare price, value and quality among products and vendors
  • Define the best products available for your property
  • Discuss product specifications and procedures to ensure a profitable purchasing process

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop a purchasing specification manual based upon a student built restaurant menu.
  • Students will become familiar w/ purchasing, receiving, storage and proper food & beverage handling and sanitation procedures.
  • Menu development will be based upon a variety of commodity and grocery products to give the student broad exposure to the wide range of product quality and choice.
  • Students will understand seasonality as it relates to menu prices/limitations and purchasing strategy.
  • Students will be able to efficiently purchase products and price menu items for profitability.
  • Students will understand different sources, grades and products standards and their relationship to guest satisfaction and profitability.

Course Pre-Requisites / Co-Requisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Textbook & Other Required Material

Textbook is not required, but recommended as a reference source. There will be significant online research expected as part of this course.

Course Procedures/Methodology

Class will focus on the relationship between the menu and the associated purchasing requirements to service that menu.  Product quality, price, seasonality and other factors will be reviewed to develop a product specification manual to be authored by each student.  Proper purchasing, receiving, storage and handling procedures will be reviewed.  It is expected that there will be professional speakers monthly.  

Important Information


Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses. For additional information, please visit FIU's Policy and Procedure Library.

 As a member of the FIU community you are expected to be knowledgeable about the behavioral expectations set forth in the FIU Student Conduct and Honor Code.

Technical Requirements and Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy, we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course, but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the What's Required webpage to find out more information on this subject.

Privacy Policy Statements for Partners and Vendors

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Accessibility and Accommodation

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-348-3532 or visit them at the Graham Center GC 190.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

Web Accessibility Statements for Partners and Vendors 

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for additional information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

Academic Misconduct Statement

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Academic Misconduct includes:


  • The unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids or assistance from another person on any academic assignment or exercise, unless explicitly authorized by the course Instructor; 
  • Assisting another student in the unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids, unless explicitly authorized by the Instructor; and 
  • Having a substitute complete any academic assignment or completing an academic assignment for someone else, either paid or unpaid; and


  • The deliberate use and appropriation of another are work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the Student's own.
  • Assisting another student in the deliberate use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. 

Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call (305) 348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

Inclusivity Statement

This course will serve to embrace the diversity and inclusivity found within Florida International University. We appreciate and respect diversity, equality, equity, cooperativeness, community, and sustainability within our online courses. We are committed to the ongoing education of our students and their participation within the course regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, geographical location, religion, and disability. We strive in encouraging collaboration by preparing our students to value the differences in others. At the core of our intentions is the encouragement of acceptance and appreciation of differences within our student population and community.

Course Prerequisites

If the course has prerequisites: This course has a prerequisite(s). Review the Course Catalog. webpage for prerequisites information.

If the course does not have prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Detail

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via the Canvas Inbox. Check out the Canvas Conversations Tutorial or Canvas Guide to learn how to communicate with your instructor and peers using Announcements, Discussions, and the Inbox. I will respond to all correspondences within 24 hours.

Discussion Forums

Discussions may be required on a regular basis, as students must answer the discussion question for the module and respond to two other students in a meaningful and constructive manner that adds to the discussion. Points will be given based on the depth and clarity of the response, whether or not students answer the question correctly, and for the level of thinking and application of classroom concepts that the student displays.

Discussion Rubric

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In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

All assessments will auto-submit when (1) the timer runs out OR (2) the closing date/time is reached, whichever happens first. For example, if a quiz has a closing time of 5:00 pm but the student begins the exam at 4:55 pm, the student will only have 5 minutes to complete the quiz.

  • List all assessments (i.e. graded or practice)
  • Provide the dates and times when assessments will become available (i.e. From Monday 10:00 am – Tuesday 11:59 pm)
  • Provide assessment duration (i.e. 30 minutes, 1 hour)
  • Provide details for results
  • When will students be able to see the results (i.e. Immediately after exam, after the availability period has ended, or not at all)
  • What will they be able to see the results (i.e. Total score only, all of the questions and answers, etc.)
  • The expected turn-around time for feedback or grade.\

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Canvas Help Team.

Course Grades Breakdown

Grading Table

Course RequirementsNumber of ItemsPoints for EachTotal Points Available

Weekly Assignment Responses


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Grading Scale

GradeRange %


This is a survey regarding your experience in this class. You will find it in your MyFIU account towards the end of the semester. This is your opportunity to evaluate me and the course so that I may learn how to improve for the future.


Communication Policy

You are welcome to email me either through Canvas or directly to my FIU email. In your emails, please include the course and section numbers in the subject line. You are also expected to write in a professional manner, meaning there should be a salutation, body, and signature. I will do my best to respond to emails on a weekday within 24 hours. I will return emails sent over the weekend on the next business day.

Attendance and Tardy Policy

You are all adults, so whether you come to class or not is up to you. However, what I know about learning is that the time we spend together as a class is the most valuable part of the course. You will receive 2 points for every class in which you show up on time and stay. (Not applicable for on-line classes) 

Make-up Policy

It is assumed that students will attend all classes, take all exams on the assigned day, and turn in all assignments on time. I will follow all university policies regarding classes missed due to religious holidays or university events. If you will miss because of a religious holiday, you must notify my 2 weeks prior, per University policy. The only other types of excused absences that I will consider allowing students to make up missing tests or the larger assignments for are illness or hospitalization verified with a doctor’s note and family emergencies with documentation. If at all possible, please contact me in advance of the missed assignment or test.

Course Calendar

Weekly Breakdown

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Week Breakdown

Resources and Learning Activities

Assignments and Assessments due

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

The movie, "Food Inc."

Weekly Assignment 1-Commentary on the movie Food Inc. as required in module number one.

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

Research online sources focused on menu design and separately, menu engineering.
Weekly Assignment 2-Complete the written assignment pertaining to the importance of the menu as a profit driver, and the difference between menu design and engineering.

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

Research online food product specifications.
Weekly Assignment 3-Complete assignment pertaining to development of product specifications as required in module three.

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

Research online inventory management and control procedures specifically as it relates to food service operations.
Weekly Assignment 4-Complete written assignment pertaining to inventory management and control in module four.

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

Research online using the following sources.
www.nonGMO project.org

Weekly Assignment 5- Complete written assignment pertaining to genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our food system.
6Weekly lecture
Weekly zoom call
Research online ethics in the restaurant business.
Weekly Assignment 6 - Complete written assignment pertaining to hospitality ethics as detailed in module 6.

Weekly lecture recording.

Weekly zoom call recording.

Research online the three-tier beverage distribution system.
Weekly Assignment 7- Complete written assignment pertaining to the three-tier beverage system as detailed in module 7.
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Due Sep 05 2021 at 11:59 pm | 100 pts
Due Aug 29 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
Due Sep 12 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
Due Sep 19 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
Due Sep 26 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
Due Oct 03 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
Due Oct 10 2021 at 11:59 pm | 50 pts
200 pts
200 pts