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 August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.