Editorial Board   

Mr. Benton

David Benton

Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel

David G. Benton, recognized as one of the hospitality industry's most innovative and visionary leaders, serves as the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium Residences, and serves as a board member of many prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, The Restaurant School, the Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council and the Hero Scholarship Fund. He is presently vice president of the Philadelphia Art Alliance; and in the past has served on the International Visitors Council and the Arts & Business Council. Previously, Mr. Benton served as the general manager of Denver Place, a 335-suite hotel which included 193 luxury apartments, 2 1/2 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Denver, Colorado. Prior to his time in Colorado, Mr. Benton was the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Fiesta American Hotels located in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1989, Mr. Benton became the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, a 98-room luxury boutique hotel overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, The Rittenhouse Hotel is recognized as one of the world^aEURTMs foremost luxury boutique hotels and has received numerous awards by top travel and hospitality organizations and publications. These awards include the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award since 1991, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. In addition, Esquire Magazine named the Hotel^aEURTMs renowned restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse "Restaurant of the Year" in 2003, The Rittenhouse Hotel has been voted as one of the "best places to stay in the world" by Cond~A(c) Nast Traveler, Departures magazine named The Rittenhouse as the sixth best boutique hotel in North America and the Official Hotel Guide named The Rittenhouse the only Philadelphia hotel among its list of 101 Superior Deluxe Hotels worldwide in 2002. David Benton has been recognized as a highly focused innovative business leader with strong entrepreneurial, consumer visionary skills, particularly in corporate restructuring and rapidly changing business situations within the travel and hospitality industry. Born and raised in London, England, Mr. Benton is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School of Administration in Ithaca, New York. He is married with two children.

Mr. Benton can be contacted at 215-790-2527 or dbenton@rittenhousehotel.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.