Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Starkus

Chris Starkus

Executive Chef - Urban Farmer Denver, Sage Restaurant Group

Chris Starkus grew up in Santa Clarita, California, enjoying from-scratch family meals made with local produce (and love) by his Italian grandmother and great-grandmother. He jumped into the kitchen at 15 and worked his way up from dishwasher to expeditor.

As Executive Chef of Urban Farmer in Denver, Chef Starkus curates a locally focused, sustainably sourced steakhouse menu influenced by the bounty of Colorado. Chef Starkus highlights his seasonally-driven menu with nose-to-tail cuts of naturally-raised meat, executed with finely honed French techniques.

Overseeing the whole animal butchery in-house, charcuterie program, and more, he also enjoys tending to the restaurant's rooftop apiary and patio garden. Chef Starkus unites ingredients grown on-site with those harvested from closely regarded purveyors to offer preparations with bold, straightforward flavors.

Chef Starkus has achieved numerous local awards, including Best New Restaurant 2018 (303 Magazine) and Best Eco-Friendly Restaurants in America (opentable.com, April 2019). Colorado Biz Magazine named him one of 2019's Most Influential Young Professionals (Top 25 Under 40).

For Chef Starkus, sustainability is success and has developed programs for comprehensive recycling and composting and is tracking to be at zero waste. He started the rooftop apiary at the Oxford Hotel and with his wife of 15 years runs Lost Creek Micro farm in Lakewood, Colorado. He also has contributed essays and appearances on sustainable culinary lifestyle to 303 Magazine, Diningout.com, themoderneater.com, 5280 Magazine, Heritage Radio and Slow Food Nations.

Chef Starkus truly lives the modern sustainable lifestyle through his work bringing his whole community to the culture of transparency, eco-conscious eating and urban farming. Like his culinary style, the chef's approach to management favors authenticity and transparency.

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

Mr. Starkus can be contacted at +1 303-262-6076 or chris.starkus@sagerestaurantgroup.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.