Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salazar

Fernando Salazar

Vice President, Food & Beverage, Wyndham Hotel Group

Fernando Salazar, a 30 year lodging veteran, was appointed vice president of food and beverage for the upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand in July 2007. In his role, Mr. Salazar is responsible for the conceptual development and management of food-and-beverage operations for all Wyndham Hotels and Resorts properties. Additionally, Mr. Salazar recently assumed oversight of food and beverage for the select-service TRYP by Wyndham brand. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Salazar was vice president, food and beverage, for Omni Hotels in Irving, Texas, a position he held from 2002 to July 2007. From 1996 to 2002, he was director of operations for individual Omni Hotels, first for the Omni Houston Westside and then, in 1998, for the Omni San Antonio. From 1983 to 1996, Mr. Salazar served in food and beverage positions for Westin Hotels, including director of food and beverage at the Westin Cincinnati and the Westin Williams Center in Tulsa, Okla. He also held various positions at the Westin Galleria in Dallas and the Westin Oaks in Houston, including assistant director of food and beverage, director of restaurants and multiunit restaurant manager. From 1980 to 1983, he was head of service and wine training for Las Brasas, a Colombia-based restaurant management company. He began his career for the St. Moritz Hotel in New York's Central Park, now the Ritz-Carlton New York. Mr. Salazar, a frequent speaker at national conferences on topics related to food and beverage, received the 2010 Silver Plate Award as Hotel Operator of the Year from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) for his contributions to the industry. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) proclaimed him Ambassador of the CIA and awarded him the Gold Medal of Honor for creativity, leadership and mentoring efforts. He is a member of the Culinary Institute of America's Latin Cuisines Executive Advisory Council and the HM&LA Food & Beverage Advisory Board. He is also a member of the International Food and Beverage Forum, a group of 50 experts dedicated to the promotion of the industry worldwide and received the group's President's Award in 2009 and 2010 for his contributions to this organization. Mr. Salazar is International Advisor and permanent judge of the renowned Spanish National Tapas Competition and of the Annual International Encounter of Culinary Schools, a competition for culinary students from around the world; both events are celebrated annually in Valladolid, Spain. In November 2010, he was named International Advisor and Universal Ambassador of the International School of Culinary Arts in Valladolid, Spain, as a result of his extensive expertise in the industry. He is based in Wyndham Hotel Group's Parsippany, N.J. offices.

Mr. Salazar can be contacted at 973-753-6590 or fernando.salazar@wyndhamworldwide.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.