Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salapka

Drew Salapka

Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation, Hotel Equities

Drew Salapka serves as Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Mr. Salapka's responsibilities include leading the firm's sales and revenue organization which is responsible for setting top line strategy and managing the total inventory for all the firm's hotels. His team analyzes the demand for all markets, evaluates market strengths and weaknesses, and reports key statistics that impact the industry and individual hotels. The team also manages sales processes and directs the ongoing training of all key sales and revenue staff members. Beginning his hospitality career at the age of sixteen, Mr. Salapka worked as a housekeeper at the Residence Inn Alpharetta, GA while still attending high school. After his graduation from college, Mr. Salapka joined Hotel Equities in 1999 as an intern at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter Center. He moved quickly to the position of Bench Manager, covering various positions at several of the company's hotels. He served as Operations Manager at the Fairfield Inn Midtown Atlanta before his promotion in 2000 to General Manager at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Macon, Georgia where he served for three years. In 2004, the company promoted Mr. Salapka to manage the TownePlace Suites in Kennesaw, Georgia. Marriott named him the General Manager of the Year for the brand two years later. In 2006, he accepted the challenge and responsibility of part-time Revenue Manager for the company and quickly expanded the work into a full-time position. Mr. Salapka is a graduate of Clemson University with a B.B.A. in Business Management. He and his wife reside in Cumming, GA. Active in his church, he leads a weekly small group study and serves as a Money Wise mentor. His interests include hiking, camping, waterskiing and traveling.

Mr. Salapka can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or dsalapka@hotelequities.com

Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.