Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Eftekari

Mehdi Eftekari

General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Mehdi Eftekari is a prominent leader in the hospitality industry and has spent the last 24 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Eftekari began at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as the director of food and beverage shortly after the hotel’s opening in 1988, then spent 12 years as general manager of Four Seasons Newport Beach, and returned eight years ago as general manager of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. His discerning taste and attention to detail contributed to the success of the opening of Culina, Modern Italian, which was the first destination restaurant to open at a Four Seasons Hotel without a celebrity chef component. Mr. Eftekari was involved in every step, from restaurant design to chef and menu selection. Culina has already been awarded by Esquire as one of the “nation’s best new restaurants,” Wine Enthusiast Magazine for the wine list, and received a design award from Zagat. Mr. Eftekari was also heavily involved with the recent $35 million renovation of all guestrooms and suites, pool deck, and legendary Windows Lounge, and his leadership on providing dedicated, personalized service is evident throughout the hotel. During his career, Mr. Eftekari has made a career of weaving his way into the fabric of the community while earning the trust and friendship of his hotel guests. He is very involved in numerous charities including Toys for Tots and he sits on the board of several Los Angeles based organizations. He has established Four Seasons Los Angeles as a haven for Entertainment industry actors and executives, and as the top hotel in Los Angeles for press junkets. Eftekari has been instrumentally involved in the launch of the new iPads with ICE technology, as he deeply believes in providing cutting-edge amenities for Four Seasons Los Angeles’ savvy guests. Mr. Eftekari’s love for hospitality started at an early age. He arrived in the United States from Tehran and went to Georgetown University. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in business management and marketing at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, he pinned his future on hotels, beginning with Hyatt Hotels, working in food and beverage before joining Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Eftekari can be contacted at 310-786-2212 or mehdi.eftekari@fourseasons.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.