Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Grohs

Darin Grohs

Director Food & Beverage, W Hotel New Orleans

Chef Darin Grohs got the bug for hospitality with his first job as a bus-boy at age 13 working at a bowling alley in Rapid City, SD. He worked as a server and a dishwasher in addition and helped out in the kitchen when he could as he was not old enough to become a cook. After his time in the US Navy, doing anything but cooking, he got back into his groove and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where he graduated a term early and second in his class with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Grohs went on to attend Georgia State University to attain his four year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. All the while he focused on anything and everything in the food service industry. He worked at a liquor store to learn and understand his beverages and start his knowledge of wines. He even worked at a Bed and Breakfast for a well rounded understanding of the Hospitality business. He was classically trained in French Cuisine, he worked at multiple Italian restaurants and had the influence of his mentors in Atlanta who imparted the knowledge and understanding of the Low Country and all the flavors that are indicative of this area. He moved back to the Mid-West for a time, to Southern Florida with its Latin flavors and then landed in Southern California where he adopted the practice of market to table before heading to New Orleans. Chef Grohs believes in simple flavors that speak for themselves. With his vast background, he enjoys using local ingredients in new and inventive ways that could represent the culture at hand or the culture from where the dish came.

Mr. Grohs can be contacted at 504-207-5030 or darin.grohs@whotels.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.