Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Vitale

Richard Vitale

General Manager Food & Beverage, Hotel Monteleone

Richard Vitale serves as general manager of the Carousel Bar and the Criollo Restaurant and Lounge inside the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. Mr. Vitale received an International Business Management/Finance degree from Western Illinois University and continued his education with James Cook University in Australia and Penn State University's F&B management training program. He is pursuing an F&B master certificate program with Cornell University. Mr. Vitale was most recently director of beverage at Wild Horse Pass Resort and Casino in Phoenix, Arizona. His responsibilities included 8 bars and lounges, a Las Vegas style nightclub, a 1400 seat concert venue and the beverage relationship with two franchise operations, Shula's Steakhouse and Ling and Louie's. He was part of the opening team for Intercontinental Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, where he served as assistant general manager. While there, Mr. Vitale was responsible for the day to day operations of the resort's featured outlet, specializing in authentic cuisine from southern Spain. Previous to that, Mr. Vitale was restaurant manager at T. Cook's, the upscale dining facility at Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Mr. Vitale also worked as restaurant director at Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham, Alabama, and as assistant restaurant manager at The Breakers in Palm Beach Florida, as well as in several capacities at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in Chicago. Like most dedicated F&B professionals, Mr. Vitale's career began when he worked as a server at Oystercatchers and Armani's, the two high-end specialty restaurants at Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida.

Mr. Vitale can be contacted at 504-523-3341 or rvitale@hotelmontelone.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.