Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gharbie

Rani Gharbie

Head of Acquisitions & Development, The Pod Hotels

Rani Gharbie is currently the Head of Acquisitions & Development for The Pod Hotels where he is responsible for identifying investment opportunities and working closely with capital partners and strategic investors to fund future projects for the brand. Formerly, he oversaw development and acquisitions for North America at Virgin Hotels.

Prior to Virgin Hotels, Mr. Gharbie was the Managing Director and Founder at Cedar Funds, a New York City based development and investment firm with a focus on progressive hotel and real estate assets, as well as regional Director of Development with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was responsible for actively expanding InterContinental Hotels Group's premier hotel brands including InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn.

In his career, Mr. Gharbie has overseen and contributed to the growth of 20 hotels worth over $1.8B in real estate value. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia's Master in Real Estate Development program, where he teaches the spring course Private Equity Development, Hotel Focus. He also holds a Master Degree from the program, an M.B.A. from the HEC Business School in Montreal, a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management from the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in New York.

Mr. Gharbie is a regular guest speaker at many key industry conferences and is an avid traveler, runner, cyclist, golfer and Vinyasa Yogi. He speaks three different languages and currently resides in New York City with his wife Alisha and their son Reece.

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

Mr. Gharbie can be contacted at +1 646-973-4849 or rani@thepodhotel.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.