Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Denston

Dan Denston

Executive Director, Mystery Shopping Providers Association - North America

Dan Denston, the Executive Director of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (North America), has an extensive history with associations and association management throughout the country, as well as other varied business and educational experience. Mr. Denston, hired to lead MSPA-NA in 2011, began his association career as a membership coordinator for the National Association of Brick Distributors. After holding various positions with the association over 6.5 years, he was named the Executive Director of the NABD, a post he held for 2.5 years. While there, Mr. Denston developed a national marketing campaign working with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Brickyard 400 race and won an ASAE Gold Circle Award for the association's magazine. Mr. Denston has worked for and with associations and association management companies in the Washington area in membership and member services, conventions and trade shows, marketing, publishing, and government relations. In addition to mystery shopping, his association management experience has included work with the construction, manufacturing, and medical industries. A graduate of Union University in Jackson, TN, Mr. Denston began his professional career as a high school teacher, teaching U.S. government and coaching high school football and baseball in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. He also managed and co-owned a restaurant business. He also started founded his own publishing company, publishing a life-style magazine for a beach community in North Carolina covering topics ranging from history to current events, environment to business development, and government and community affairs to topics of local interest. He also was elected as a Board member of the Chamber of Commerce and represented the business membership to the local government and community.

Mr. Denston can be contacted at 502-574-9033 or dan@mysteryshop.org

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.