Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salapka

Drew Salapka

Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation, Hotel Equities

Drew Salapka serves as Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Mr. Salapkaís responsibilities include leading the firmís sales and revenue organization which is responsible for setting top line strategy and managing the total inventory for all the firmís hotels. His team analyzes the demand for all markets, evaluates market strengths and weaknesses, and reports key statistics that impact the industry and individual hotels. The team also manages sales processes and directs the ongoing training of all key sales and revenue staff members. Beginning his hospitality career at the age of sixteen, Mr. Salapka worked as a housekeeper at the Residence Inn Alpharetta, GA while still attending high school. After his graduation from college, Mr. Salapka joined Hotel Equities in 1999 as an intern at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter Center. He moved quickly to the position of Bench Manager, covering various positions at several of the companyís hotels. He served as Operations Manager at the Fairfield Inn Midtown Atlanta before his promotion in 2000 to General Manager at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Macon, Georgia where he served for three years. In 2004, the company promoted Mr. Salapka to manage the TownePlace Suites in Kennesaw, Georgia. Marriott named him the General Manager of the Year for the brand two years later. In 2006, he accepted the challenge and responsibility of part-time Revenue Manager for the company and quickly expanded the work into a full-time position. Mr. Salapka is a graduate of Clemson University with a B.B.A. in Business Management. He and his wife reside in Cumming, GA. Active in his church, he leads a weekly small group study and serves as a Money Wise mentor. His interests include hiking, camping, waterskiing and traveling.

Mr. Salapka can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or dsalapka@hotelequities.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.