Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hepditch

Duane Hepditch

President & CEO, Guestfolio

Duane Hepditch is an innovator within the hospitality software industry. Seeing a void in the guest service transaction, Mr. Hepditch co-founded Guestfolio, the "world's leading hotel CRM” recognized by the World Travel Awards in 2014. His company is growing rapidly throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has the privilege to work with hotels such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Brownsword Hotels, Six Senses Resorts & Spas and many other unique boutique and resort properties around the world. Mr. Hepditch's passion for travel and guest service motivated him to co-found Guestfolio in 2008 and in turn reach his goal to provide solutions for hoteliers so they may better service and learn from their guests throughout the travel journey. Guestfolio is a hotel marketing platform that drives guest engagement, retention and conversion throughout the travel journey. Mr. Hepditch's mission for Guestfolio is to personalize the travel experience for guests and provide insights and tools that build lasting brand loyalty for his customers. By working with hotels world-wide Guestfolio is able to capture valuable data on guest behaviour and trends and leverage that for his customers in ways they never thought were possible. Mr. Hepditch resides in Whistler British Columbia, Canada. He is the Chair of Whistler.com, a subsidiary of Tourism Whistler and was a board member of Tourism Whistler for 4 years. Whistler is one of the leading resort destinations of the world and was home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His role at Tourism Whistler was to represent the commercial group of companies within the resort and provide input on global advertising and marketing initiatives. Mr. Hepditch is passionate for business dialogue and small business incubation. He has owned and sold 2 internet related companies since 2000.

Mr. Hepditch can be contacted at 604-932-2510 or duane@guestfolio.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.