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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.