Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fortney

Eli Fortney

Executive Chef, Topnotch Resort

Eli Fortney grew up in Montpelier, Vermont. A high school community-based learning program led him an internship at A Single Pebble, a fine-dining classic Chinese restaurant. During his time there, the restaurant was recognized as the best restaurant in Vermont by several publications. His experience incited a passion to continue his education at The Culinary Institute of America, where he interned and became sous chef for a fine dining restaurant group in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Fortney's culinary curiosity led him to the prestigious Broadmoor Resort in Colorado, the country's oldest five-star/five-diamond property, and then to Las Vegas. A variety of positions on the strip gave him experience in high-volume, fast casual, and fine dining. He was chosen to collaborate with celebrity chef Kerry Simon in opening a gourmet burger restaurant. He continued his career in hotel dining for Maine-based Olympia Hotel Management Group, which led him to Portland, Maine, and Durham, North Carolina. During his time with Olympia Hotel Management Group, Mr. Fortney worked with a team that together earned the distinction of being named the number one hotel out of over 660 properties worldwide for a Hilton brand. Mr. Fortney is accredited as a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator by the American Culinary Federation. Mr. Fortney's desire to return to his roots led him to explore opportunities in his home state of Vermont. He is currently the Executive Chef for Topnotch Resort and Spa, where he oversees all aspects of the culinary team for two restaurants and a high-volume banquet and catering department.

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

Mr. Fortney can be contacted at 802-253-6479 or efortney@topnotchresort.com

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.