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 www.washingtondukeinn.com for more information.

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