Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Clarke

Troy Clarke

Food & Beverage Director, Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston

Troy Clarke is passionate about food and beverage. He recently joined the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston as Director of Food & Beverage. In this role, he oversees all food and beverage operations at the hotel, including the hotel's extensive banquet operation for conferences, weddings and social events; ArtBar Restaurant & Patio; the culinary team, the pastry shop, the beverage team, mini-bar, and in-room dining for the property. The Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston features 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and 400 luxurious guest rooms at its location on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge. On a day to day basis, Mr. Clarke manages budgets, forecasting, menu development, payroll, creative direction and operational opportunities for an $8.4 million operation for Sonesta. This gives him plenty of opportunity to use his strong leadership, innovation and quality control skills. His strategic thinking has made him a leader in hospitality food and beverage, always seeking new trends to share with his team to aide in their growth and development, as well as showing how important knowing who and what you are is to the continued success of your establishment. Mr. Clarke has over 17 years experience in food and beverage with prior management roles at Loews Miami Beach, the Pfister Hotel, Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Ritz-Carlton Boston and the Westin Copley Place Boston. Through the years he has worked in all aspects of food and beverage, from washing dishes, waiting tables through banquet manager and outlets manager. In each position he found the opportunity to continue with his education as a sommelier - a personal passion through the years. Mr. Clarke is active in several professional organizations, including membership in the Society of Wine Educators, the United States Bartenders Guild, Guild of Sommeliers, American Sommelier, and is also a Hotel F&B Council Member. He is a candidate for Best Sommelier in America 2011.

Mr. Clarke can be contacted at 617-806-4301 or tclarke@sonesta-boston.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.