The Business of Hospitality: Travel and Dining

Hospitality is a vibrant global industry dedicated to creating rewarding customer experiences across many industries. While employing 1.6 million people* in the the U.S. alone, hospitality is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. In this course, we’ll focus on two key aspects of the industry: travel and dining. We’ll explore the psychological desire for away-from-home comforts, the financial attributes of the hotel and restaurant industries, and discover how to elevate the customer experience. We’ll review how hospitality plays into the success and failure of hotels and restaurants, and look at careers in the field. If you have a passion for this fast-paced industry, want to hear from experts in the field, and study with a top business school, this program is for you.

*SOURCE: Zippia The Career Expert

Program Dates

Choose the program length that works for you: 2-week sessions and 4-week sessions


For anyone interested in learning about business



Explore the exciting world of hospitality

​​Understanding the Power of Hospitality 

Analyze the psychological reasons we seek out hospitality, the main pillars of the business, and how to analyze a company's success in creating a transformational experience.

Vital Steps in the Customer Journey

Articulate how to enhance the customer journey. Explore creating a richer experience by managing customer and staff relationships. Understand the roles of empathy and brand loyalty.

The Essential Role Employees Play

Articulate why hospitality is more costly than basic customer service. Explain how a company’s culture, employee incentives, tactics, and programs create an exceptional customer experience. 

Transforming the Dining Experience

Focusing on restaurant hospitality, understand what it takes to succeed. Learn the importance of building customer loyalty. Determine how hospitality can aid in a restaurant’s longevity.

Elevating the Customer Lodging Experience

Delve into how hospitality affects customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. Identify how hotels build loyalty, and recognize when a hotel needs upgrades to boost finances.

Final Project

Create a plan of action for a hospitality business of your choosing. Provide a company overview and analyze customer and employee perceptions.

How You Will Benefit

  • Describe the importance in distinction between customer service and hospitality. 
  • Analyze and articulate various tactics that major companies use to stand out.
  • Provide recommendations to companies on how to improve hospitality in the customer journey.
  • Describe the technological innovations that are driving the future of hospitality.
  • Hear from guest speakers who are experts in the industry.
  • Complete a Final Project to demonstrate what you’ve learned.
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from Columbia Business School.

Female student studying the Business of Hospitality from Columbia Business School

Three Learning Advantages Designed For You

Final Project

  • Act as a consultant to the hospitality industry and create a pitch to a CEO or executive team for a property in the travel or dining business
  • Assess the current state of the company from the lens of hospitality: where it’s succeeding and failing
  • Assess customer feedback and reviews to determine how and where you need to improve customer experience
  • Make strategic recommendations in order to maximize profitability


  • Access to a mentor who provides support and answers questions to deepen your learning
  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
  • Inspiration and motivation to help you succeed
  • Brainstorming and ideation help as you prepare for your final project

Flexible Learning

  • 100 percent online; works with your schedule
  • 20 to 25 hours of instruction and program work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support
  • Access to a mentor who will who will guide your progress and help brainstorm ideas

Apply Now For the Next Available Program

June 23 - July 7

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,795.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 16, 2024

July 21 - August 4

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,795.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 14, 2024

All program options have the same educational content, learning materials, and number of assignments. We are offering a condensed version of the program in order to accommodate students’ individual schedules.


Stephen Zagor | Business of Hospitality Professor | Columbia Business School

Stephen Zagor, Adjunct Professor, Columbia Business School

Stephen Zagor is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School specializing in food businesses and entrepreneurship. He is also a consultant at Steve Zagor & Associates. Steve has over 30 years of experience in various aspects of the food industry. He was dean of culinary business and industry programs at The Institute of Culinary Education, and has been an adjunct at NYU School of Nutrition and Food Studies. He has a master’s from Cornell School of Hotel and appears frequently as a panelist and speaker at industry events and in national media. Steve appeared as a guest expert on the Food Network’s Recipes for Success. He was on the board of directors for a restaurant company at Universal Studios Orlando and WeWork Food Lab.

How To Apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application asks you to provide the following:

  • Your basic contact information
  • Why you wish to take this program, and a bit of your story, through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes to answer the questions.

Begin the process.

Male student taking the Business of Hospitality program from Columbia Business School

Want To Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you're admitted?

Answers To Your Questions Here


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven't applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn't fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.

The University reserves the right to modify the program as may become necessary.