Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pearson

Donnie Pearson

Director, Food & Beverage, Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village

Donnie Pearson is director of food and beverage at Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village in Spring, Texas, which is managed by Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality.

Aimbridge Hospitality brings together the most experienced team of hospitality executives offering creative solutions to accomplishing the goals and objectives of each and every owner. Aimbridge understands the real estate and operational components of the industry and with a dedicated and highly accomplished team have the unique ability to continuously drive value.

In his role at the hotel, Mr. Pearson oversees the entire food and beverage program, which includes the property's SwitcHouse "Plates N' Pours" bar and restaurant menus, and also for the hotel's meetings and events, which includes menus for corporate groups, social gatherings, and weddings.

Mr. Pearson has nearly 40 years of hospitality food and beverage experience, starting his career in 1981 at the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a banquet chef, then moved to the Chattanooga Marriott Downtown in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to become executive sous chef of the hotel. From there, Mr. Pearson became executive chef at Houston Marriott North, where he worked for almost 24 years, starting in the kitchen, and eventually being promoted to food and beverage director in 2007.

After Houston Marriott North, Mr. Pearson took over as food and beverage director at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza, where he worked for four years, overseeing menus and operations for that property's bar, restaurant, and coffee shop.

Mr. Pearson joined Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village in May 2018. Mr. Pearson has a lifelong passion for hospitality, focused on serving guests from the heart, while creating a positive environment for his team to thrive.

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

Mr. Pearson can be contacted at +1 281-350-4000 or donnie.pearson2@marriott.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.