Editorial Board   

Mr. Batters

Kevin Batters

Vice President Food & Beverage, Stanford Hotels Corporation

Serving as vice president of food and beverage for Stanford Hotels Corp., a San Francisco-based company specializing in the management, ownership and development of full-service hotels, Kevin Batters collaborates with hotel staff at Stanford's 13 properties to find new ideas and unique ways to offer food and beverage. His responsibilities are to develop and improve catering and banquet functions, increase consistency and quality, as well as provide promote the Stanford standard of excellent service. A 40-year veteran of the hotel industry, Batters is a graduate of the Hotel School at Westminster College in London, England. He began his career with Hilton International as part of the trainee/management program working at the Hilton Park Lane, London, Hilton Orly and the Paris Hilton before moving to Bermuda and working for Trust House Forte in various positions at the Belmont Hotel. Kevin joined Stanford Hotels as Vice President Food and Beverage in July 2006.

Mr. Batters can be contacted at 415-398-3333 or kbatters@stanfordhotels.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.