Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience.

Mr. Fernandez began his hospitality education with the Institut de Tourisme & D'Hotellerie du Quebec for hotel management and later, Barry University for a bachelor's degree in management. He went on to launch his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and managed numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and managed various properties for W Hotels.

Mr. Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts' flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, he was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

Mr. Fernandez is heavily involved in the local business community. He is the chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the boards of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Broward Chapter, as immediate past president and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He is a part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale GM Council and also sits on the Broward Tourism Coalition Council.

As general manager, Mr. Fernandez maintains the operations of the property, featuring 240 guestrooms boasting panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Opened in April 2019, he also supports Steelpan, the hotel's Caribbean-American fusion ocean-front restaurant.

Please visit http://www.sonesta.com for more information.

Mr. Fernandez can be contacted at +1 954-315-1460 or EFernandez@sonesta.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.