Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Grohs

Darin Grohs

Director Food & Beverage, W Hotel New Orleans

Chef Darin Grohs got the bug for hospitality with his first job as a bus-boy at age 13 working at a bowling alley in Rapid City, SD. He worked as a server and a dishwasher in addition and helped out in the kitchen when he could as he was not old enough to become a cook. After his time in the US Navy, doing anything but cooking, he got back into his groove and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where he graduated a term early and second in his class with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Grohs went on to attend Georgia State University to attain his four year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. All the while he focused on anything and everything in the food service industry. He worked at a liquor store to learn and understand his beverages and start his knowledge of wines. He even worked at a Bed and Breakfast for a well rounded understanding of the Hospitality business. He was classically trained in French Cuisine, he worked at multiple Italian restaurants and had the influence of his mentors in Atlanta who imparted the knowledge and understanding of the Low Country and all the flavors that are indicative of this area. He moved back to the Mid-West for a time, to Southern Florida with its Latin flavors and then landed in Southern California where he adopted the practice of market to table before heading to New Orleans. Chef Grohs believes in simple flavors that speak for themselves. With his vast background, he enjoys using local ingredients in new and inventive ways that could represent the culture at hand or the culture from where the dish came.

Mr. Grohs can be contacted at 504-207-5030 or darin.grohs@whotels.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.