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Ajai Ammachathram

Assistant Professor, Food and Beverage Extension Specialist, Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management Global Engagement Coordinator

Ph.D., Educational Leadership, Eastern Michigan University
M.S., Hospitality Management, Eastern Michigan University
B.S., Hospitality Administration, Southern New Hampshire University
B.Sc., Hotel and Catering Management, University of Madras

Dr. Ammachathram is a hospitality leader and educator who has been associated with hospitality management for over 20 years. He is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) from the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute, and currently serves as Vice President on the board of the Central Federation of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Education (ICHRIE). 

Areas of Expertise
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development
  • Minority and New Entrepreneurship Development
  • Retail and Franchising Management
  • Nutrition programs within Nebraska Public Education
  • Customer Service Management
  • Pro-Start Curriculum
  • Global Hospitality Education
  • Hospitality Curriculum Development
  • Higher Education Administration

Teaching Activities -70% Apportionment
  • HRTM 274 Introduction to Food and Beverage Management
  • HRTM 289 Introduction to Event Planning
  • HRTM 373 Catering Management
  • HRTM 374 Guest Services Management
  • HRTM 377 Franchising Management in the Hospitality Industry
  • HRTM 397 Internship in Hospitality Management
  • HRTM 474 Advanced Food and Beverage Management
  • HRTM 477 Hospitality Facility Planning and Purchasing
  • HRTM 481 Legal Environment in Hospitality Management
  • NUTR 449 Culinology Research Experience
  • NUTR 371 Applied Food Production Labs

Extension Activities -25% Apportionment

Extension and outreach programs with focus on: 

  • Improving Nebraska foodservice professionals' knowledge of best practices and to support them in providing safe food and exceptional service while maintaining high industry standards.
  • Increasing culinary and management skills among young minds for successful careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry through established curriculum development.
  • Enhancing the Public-school foodservice program to provide balanced dietary intake, promote higher satisfaction, and improve health among children through improving managers' serving practices.
Notable Works

2021, "Why Tipping is an American Custom" -CNBC Network interview

2021, "Why Does Alcohol Cost So Much When You Fly?" -Mel Magazine

2020, "Is Dining Out Done? A Nebraska Industry Expert Discusses" -BTN LIVEBIG

2020, "Hospitality Program Looks Towards Future Amid Uncertainty in Industry (COVID-19) -Nebraska Today

2019, "Surviving the Storm" -Food Quality and Safety Magazine

2019, "Foodservice Operations Management Checklist"

2019, "Be a Guide on the Side" -Hospitality quarterly, Nebraska Restaurant Association

2018, "Latest Food and Beverage Trends in the Hotel Industry" -University of Madras, India

2017-2019, "Spice Myth-busters" -Nebraska State Fair demonstration

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2021 College Distinguished Faculty Award2020 CEHS Outstanding Faculty Award2020 IANR Dinsdale Family Faculty Award2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 UNL Parents Association Teaching Award2020-2023 Vice President and President ELECT, Central Federation Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education2018-2020 Director of Education, Central Federation Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education2005-2025 Certified Hospital Educator, American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute
Foodservice business development in rural communitiesFood and beverage management in the airline industryNon-profit foodservice managementRestaurant management from luxury resorts (The Ritz Carlton)Retail industries and franchising operationsHealthcare patients
International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional EducationAmerican Hotel & Lodging Educational InstituteNational Restaurant AssociationNebraska Craft Brewers GuildResearch Chefs of AmericaComparative and International Education SocietyPhi Delta Kappa International