Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Watkins

Jane Watkins

President, Watkins Public Relations

Jane Watkins, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Croix, was raised understanding the value of water. With only a cistern to provide water to the household, water conservation was critical because if the cistern was empty - you would be out of water until the next rainfall. Upon moving to the continental USA, Ms. Watkins was horrified to see people watering their grass. Having lived in Florida for the past ten years, where watering the lawn seems to be a daily ritual with most homeowners, Ms. Watkins still refuses. “I am working on eliminating as much grass as possible in my yard by planting drought resistant natives and pollinator attracting plants.” Having worked at resorts and boat charters since a teen, it is no surprise Watkins, a marketing communications specialist, focuses on the hospitality industry. A graduate of Florida State University, she has built a track record in integrated marketing communications including launches, events, promotions, sponsorships, media relations, collateral, and advertising. Her vertical marketing experience includes food and beverage, movies, retail, travel and tourism, art, and youth marketing. She has represented hotels and destinations worldwide. Ms. Watkins has managed marketing efforts for Atlanta Pride, Glory Foods as well as national accounts. She is a volunteer for the St. Croix Foundation, the Center for Great Apes and select non-profits. In 2011, she produced the cookbook for her client, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, to benefit the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit serving the US Virgin Islands.

Ms. Watkins can be contacted at 305-235-8575 or jane@watkinspr.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.