Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Holmerud

Justin Holmerud

Global Social Media Manager - Platforms & Tools, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Justin Holmerud is Global Social Media Manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, responsible for driving platform and tool development to meet the needs of the company's more than 1,110 hotels around the world. Mr. Holmerud joined Starwood in 2007, out of their regional Field Marketing office in San Diego. In his five years with Starwood, Mr. Holmerud has led regional hotel online marketing as well as search engine optimization and social media for all of the North American hotels. In April 2012, he was promoted to his current global role within Starwood's digital team, focusing on platforms, tools and analytics. Prior to joining Starwood, Mr. Holmerud was the online marketing manager for the Dyson News Network. Working with Yahoo! Finance, Mr. Holmerud helped syndicate the Real Estate news videos that DNN produced on a daily basis. He also led the paid search and SEO efforts for the company with a focus on reporting and analytics. Mr. Holmerud is a graduate of San Jose State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism. During his time there, he interned with the marketing team for Fox Sports Bay Area.

Mr. Holmerud can be contacted at 206-494-0132 or justin.holmerud@starwoodhotels.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.