Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Emmenes

Michael Van Emmenes

Director, Food & Beverage, Landsdowne Resort

Born in South Africa, with a passion for food/beverage, service and travel, Michael Van Emmenes left his country and jumped on cruise ships to travel gain exposure to various cultures, customs and people. He was very fortunate enough to travel through Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Mediterranean. All ports of call offering him new insight into various foods, beverages and service levels. Post cruise ships, Mr. Van Emmenes knew the importance of an education and attended the Swiss Hotel Management School in Caux, Switzerland - studying Hotel Management with a specialty in Events. While attending college he was fortunate enough to land internships at the prestigious Lausanne Palace in Switzerland and then at the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai (part of the Kerzner Collection). After graduating Mr. Van Emmenes secured a position at the Hilton Atlanta where he honed his service skills; while working there he had opportunities to travel and assist various sister properties (including opening of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort). After 3 years in Atlanta Mr. Van Emmenes received a promotion and moved to Chicago where he worked at the historic Palmer House Hilton; assisting the hotel through the $200m renovation of the hotel and creating the hotels new concept restaurant and bar. Mr. Van Emmenes was then asked to join the opening team at the Hilton Orlando Convention Center. The hotel won the Connie Award for best service within the company - an accomplishment he believes is from the execution of hiring the right team for the perfect job. Mr. Van Emmenes has now settled down in Northern Virginia at Lansdowne Resort as Director of Food and Beverage and hopes to bring his service culture, personality and passion for the industry to his new found home.

Mr. Van Emmenes can be contacted at 703-858-2107 or mvanemmenes@benchmarkmanagement.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.