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 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.