Editorial Board   

Mr. Baker

Dennis M. Baker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Avendra, LLC

Dennis M. Baker is the president and chief executive officer of Avendra, LLC, the leading independent, business-to-business procurement company serving the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Avendra, Mr. Baker was the executive vice president and general manager of The Marketplace by Marriott, a division of Marriott International responsible for developing and implementing an innovative, new strategy for consolidating and streamlining the company's procurement activities. There, Mr. Baker was responsible for the division's overall operations, including strategic direction and business planning. Mr. Baker began his career at Marriott International in 1987. He joined Marriott Distribution Services in 1991 as their business began its push towards penetrating the external chain restaurant food distribution market. This division also housed Marriott's centralized food procurement functions.

Mr. Baker can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or Dennis.baker@avendra.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.