Editorial Board   

Mr. Benton

David Benton

Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel

David G. Benton, recognized as one of the hospitality industry's most innovative and visionary leaders, serves as the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium Residences, and serves as a board member of many prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, The Restaurant School, the Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council and the Hero Scholarship Fund. He is presently vice president of the Philadelphia Art Alliance; and in the past has served on the International Visitors Council and the Arts & Business Council. Previously, Mr. Benton served as the general manager of Denver Place, a 335-suite hotel which included 193 luxury apartments, 2 1/2 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Denver, Colorado. Prior to his time in Colorado, Mr. Benton was the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Fiesta American Hotels located in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1989, Mr. Benton became the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, a 98-room luxury boutique hotel overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, The Rittenhouse Hotel is recognized as one of the world^aEURTMs foremost luxury boutique hotels and has received numerous awards by top travel and hospitality organizations and publications. These awards include the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award since 1991, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. In addition, Esquire Magazine named the Hotel^aEURTMs renowned restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse "Restaurant of the Year" in 2003, The Rittenhouse Hotel has been voted as one of the "best places to stay in the world" by Cond~A(c) Nast Traveler, Departures magazine named The Rittenhouse as the sixth best boutique hotel in North America and the Official Hotel Guide named The Rittenhouse the only Philadelphia hotel among its list of 101 Superior Deluxe Hotels worldwide in 2002. David Benton has been recognized as a highly focused innovative business leader with strong entrepreneurial, consumer visionary skills, particularly in corporate restructuring and rapidly changing business situations within the travel and hospitality industry. Born and raised in London, England, Mr. Benton is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School of Administration in Ithaca, New York. He is married with two children.

Mr. Benton can be contacted at 215-790-2527 or dbenton@rittenhousehotel.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.