Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Dawood-Farah

Majed Dawood-Farah

Food & Beverage Director, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Majed Dawood-Farah is Food and Beverage Director of Hyatt Regency Atlanta. In his role, he oversees banqueting for the hotel's 180,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and direct in-room dining for its 1,260 guest rooms. Mr. Dawood-Farah also manages the innovative new restaurants, Sway and Twenty-Two Storys, as well as the hotel's 24-hour market. Mr. Dawood-Farah launched his Hyatt career as Director of Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. It was the first of several positions he held at the hotel, including Director of Banquet Operations, Director of Catering and Convention Services, and for five years, Food and Beverage Director. In 2010, he relocated to Florida to become Food and Beverage Director of Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, where he managed an $18 million F&B operation that finished in the top 10 in customer service scores for all Hyatt hotels in 2011. Mr. Dawood-Farah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Administration from Missouri State University, as well as a Technical Diploma in Tourism/Culinary from the Ministry of Tourism in Damascus, Syria. Mr. Dawood-Farah is fluent in Arabic, French and English and holds a diploma in Mediterranean Cookery and French Cuisine. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Carol, and their two daughters.

Mr. Dawood-Farah can be contacted at 404-577-1234 or majed.dawood-farah@hyatt.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.