Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith Perez

Briane Smith Perez

Director of Restaurants, Beverly Hilton

Briane "Bre" Smith is a highly accomplished hospitality professional with over ten years of luxury hotel and food & beverage experience. Her career started in Marina Del Rey, California with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and has since been involved with over seven restaurant openings and six task-force assignments including The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, and Puerto Rico. Ms. Smith's hands-on leadership style and ability to work hand-in-hand with her team has made her one of the most sought after leaders in food & beverage. Her responsibilities include the hiring, training, and management of a union staff of hundreds. She has developed new revenue sources and fine-tuned existing programs to maximize guest and employee satisfaction, while increasing the bottom line. As an expert in strategic delegation, she encourages her management team to “own” projects, helps them along the way, and always recognizes successful outcomes. Ms. Smith believes that her guests should always have an exemplary experience in her outlets, and has built long lasting relationships with VIPs across all brands. Recently, Ms. Smith joined The Beverly Hilton as Director of Restaurants where she manages a team of over 85 ladies and gentlemen, and oversees the successful operations of Circa 55, Trader Vic's Lounge, Aqua Pool, the Lobby Lounge, and In-Room Dining. Recently, Ms. Smith joined The Beverly Hilton as Director of Restaurants where she manages a team of over 85 ladies and gentlemen, and oversees the successful operations of Circa 55, Trader Vic's Lounge, Aqua Pool, the Lobby Lounge, and In-Room Dining. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, and recently attained her Masters of Science in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego. In her free time, Ms. Smith enjoys painting abstracts with acrylics and cheering on her home teams the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings, and Dodgers. They say one must balance their work and personal life, but for Ms. Smith it is definitely balancing her work and sports life. She currently resides in Hollywood, California.

Ms. Smith Perez can be contacted at 310-285-1365 or bre.smith@hilton.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.