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 December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.