Editorial Board   

Mr. Smith

Donald R. Smith

Executive Vice President, Nor1 Inc.

Don Smith, a noted expert in ecommerce for hospitality, is responsible for developing strategic supply partners worldwide and creating additional revenue opportunities through innovative upgrade processes and other up-selling related modules and processes. Mr. Smith also oversees the implementation of the Nor1's suite of revenue enhancement products with these suppliers. Prior to Nor 1 Inc., Mr. Smith most recently headed up Business Development at SideStep from their early stages in 2004, maximizing SideStep's revenues and building the most comprehensive supply network in online travel, positioning the company for the successful sale to Kayak Software in December 2007. Prior to SideStep, Mr. Smith headed up the sales efforts at WorldRes, the first the real-time internet based hotel distribution platform. Mr. Smith was the founder of Performance Marketing, a corporate meeting planning, representation and consulting group. Mr. Smith has also held senior level sales and marketing positions at Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels and Princess Hotels International. He currently plays leadership roles in a number of different hotel industry associations, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA). Mr. Smith lives on the San Francisco Peninsula with his wife and three children.

Mr. Smith can be contacted at 408-996-7417 or don.smith@nor1.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.