Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Allen

J.Carter Allen

Managing Director, HVS Houston

J. Carter Allen, MAI, is the Managing Director of the Houston office of HVS, a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and a state-certified general appraiser. While Mr. Allen's expertise is focused on markets in Texas and the Southeast, he has consulted on hundreds of hotels and resorts throughout the country.

Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management with an emphasis on Hospitality Finance and Development and a minor in Finance from the university's Bauer School of Business. He has also completed an advanced set of courses in the analysis and valuation of real estate through the Appraisal Institute.

As an undergrad, he served as President of the University of Houston's student chapter of Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals. Mr. Allen also served as President of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and went on to consult for Pi Kappa Phi Properties in Charlotte, North Carolina, before joining HVS.

His experience also spans front-line work at The Houstonian hotel and operations and management internships with JW Marriott and CenterPointe Hotels. As part of The Abilities Experience, Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropic arm, Mr. Allen biked 4,000 miles across the country in 2007 to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. He continues to support the charity and has since run the Marine Corp Marathon and participated in Summit Vision, a four-day excursion in the mountains of Colorado focused on reaching some the highest peaks in the state and proving the inability to see does not affect one's vision of possibility.

Mr. Allen can be contacted at 713-252-5595 or callen@hvs.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.