Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Walton

Greg Walton

Vice President, Hospitality, RTKL

An architect and interior designer with 30 years of experience, Greg Walton is a Vice President of RTKL's hospitality group in Miami, where he directs the firm's cruise ship interior design studio. Mr. Walton has worked on a wide-range of hospitality and entertainment projects throughout the U.S. and abroad, including cruise ships, restaurants, spas, and hotels. Mr. Walton's portfolio includes extensive work with noted clients including Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Yachts of Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Loews Hotels, the Ritz-Carlton and Intercontinental Hotels. Mr. Walton holds a Master's of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master's of Science in International Business from Johns Hopkins University. He was recently appointed an adjunct professor at Florida International University, where he teaches the school's first course offering focused on cruise ship interiors.

Mr. Walton can be contacted at 786-268-3200 or gwalton@rtkl.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.