Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. McKeown

Thomas McKeown

Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Armed with a wealth of international culinary experience, Chef Thomas McKeown joined Hyatt Regency Atlanta as Executive Chef. Before his current role overseeing the property's dining experiences, Polaris, Sway, Twenty-Two Storys and Market, as well as its in-room dining, special events and banquet operations, Chef McKeown served as Executive Chef at Grand Hyatt Atlanta for five years. Born and trained in Europe, Chef McKeown began his culinary career at the prominent Limerick Golf Club in Ireland. He completed his culinary training on both sides of the Atlantic at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland and Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, where he earned a Master's degree in Food Service Education. Following his studies, Chef McKeown refined his knowledge of contemporary American cuisine as Sous Chef at the exclusive Somerset Club in Boston and moved on to become Executive Chef at the Ellis Hotel in downtown Atlanta, where he concentrated on local sustainable cuisine. Chef McKeown is a member of Hyatt's Sustainable and Responsible Eating Team, a Corp. initiative which promotes serving local, healthy and responsibly raised ingredients in all Hyatt dining experiences. In 2013, Chef McKeown was awarded “Executive Chef of the Year” by Hyatt Hotels. Passionate about food and an advocate of local and sustainable sourcing, Chef McKeown is also involved with the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia. When he's not in the kitchen, he can be found at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market or at local farms alongside his wife Lacy and two children, Aiden and Conner, where he has started Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

Please visit http://www.hyatt.com for more information.

Mr. McKeown can be contacted at 404-577-1234 or thomas.mckeown@hyatt.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.