Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Tighe

Diane Tighe

Director of Catering & Conference Services, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Diane Tighe is director of catering and conference services of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, the original AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel in Durham, N.C., located on the campus of Duke University. An award-winning catering professional, Ms. Tighe has been with the Inn since 1999.

As Director of Catering & Conference Services, Ms. Tighe leads all the Inn's conference planning initiatives, which entails collaborating with the JB Duke Hotel and servicing the many meetings, conferences, incentive trips, corporate getaways and intimate trade shows hosted at the Inn throughout the year.

Ms. Tighe and her team's efforts contributed to the Inn winning the prestigious Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award six times-a mark of a distinguished event planning team. Her role also encompasses maximizing opportunities created by the property's premier banquet facilities and special event venues including the many weddings and wedding-related events held annually at the Inn. Her and her team serve as onsite wedding consultants par excellence. Prior to her current role, she served as the Inn's director of catering and catering sales manager.

Ms. Tighe received the distinction of Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) in 2012, the most prestigious and widely respected professional designation from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). The CPCE is awarded after a rigorous study period and written exam that covers accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements as well as event management, food production, human resources and sales and marketing. She also received the 2017 Peter Daymont Lifetime Achievement Award from the Triangle Chapter of NACE.

Ms. Tighe has been an active member of the NACE since 2001, serving three terms as president and in roles of program chair, treasurer and secretary. She also served as National Association of Catering and Events National secretary for chapter presidents council in 2009 and NACE National Education Committee in 2008.

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

Ms. Tighe can be contacted at +1 919-490-0999 or dtighe@wdigc.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.