Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Nelson

Brad Nelson

Vice President Global F&B Portfolio, Culinary Discipline, Marriott

Brad Nelson has spent the last 40 years in hospitality, crossing through the hotel business and restaurant since his first real job as a night line cook at a Hilton in his hometown of suburban Seattle. His role in the industry spans from corporate to independent, having led above-property teams in a Southern Cal ten-unit restaurant chain and the 7,000 property strong global hotel giant.

Chef Nelson joined Marriott in 1998 after having spent time with luxury operator Fairmont Hotels, the California desert's La Quinta Resort and Club, and ITT Sheraton's pacific division on the Big Island of Hawaii, among others. He likes to say that all of those experiences merely prepared him for his current role, leading the food and beverage culinary strategy for Marriott's 30 brands worldwide.

In 2003 Chef Nelson was named VP Culinary. Over the last 16 years, Chef Nelson has led key priorities with his efforts on sustainable seafood, transfats elimination, animal welfare, food safety, and now plastics and food waste.

Overseeing 30 brands across luxury, premium, and select service segments, Chef Nelson leads a robust team, whose mandate is to constantly challenge food and beverage norms. Chef Nelson also uses his platform to give back, having raised over $ 5 million for the People with Disabilities charity foundation, Service Source Foundation, where Chef Nelson is a board trustee member.

Industry accolades include being named 2014 Silver Plate Foodservice Operator of the Year by the International Food Manufacturers Association; recipient of Food Arts Magazine November 2012 Silver Spoon; judging the NRA'S FABI innovation award. Chef Nelson is a regular at many industry events, having spoken at Cornell's annual Ezra event, CIA Flavors conferences, and man.

A 1984 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and recipient of the Richard T. Keating Award, he is a member of the Seafood Watch Foodservice Roundtable, International Corporate Chefs Association, James Beard Foundation, and CIA Alumni.

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

Mr. Nelson can be contacted at +1 301-380-4646 or brad.nelson@marriott.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.