Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Wells

Dawn Wells

General Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North

Dawn Wells is the General Manager of the 102-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North in Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel is managed by Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Ms. Wells also serves as a Lead General Manager for the firm. She is active in the Charleston Business Council. As General Manager, Ms. Wells holds responsibility for overseeing all financial and management operations of the hotel, including hiring the employees, setting and meeting budget goals and representing the company in the community. Tapped as a Lead General Manager because of her outstanding performance, Ms. Wells provides leadership, direction and results in revenue, profit and quality to the group of properties assigned to her. Instrumental in scouting talent and developing leaders within Hotel Equities, Ms. Wells assists with the firm's Management Development Program (MDP). Recently, she mentored four individuals and helped each one research, execute and evaluate a final project to utilize what they had learned through the MDP and add value to his or her hotel. Ms. Wells started her hospitality career by joining John Q. Hammons Hotels after graduating from Johnson & Wales University. To gain additional experience, Ms. Wells moved with JQH hotels to Concord, North Carolina as Front Office/Reservations Manager at the Embassy Suites Concord-Golf Resort & Spa. The firm promoted her to Sales/Catering Manager where she served for more than a year before returning to Charleston with a promotion to General Manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott in Charleston. Ms. Wells held that post for three years before moving to her current position at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North. She joined Hotel Equities in 2012 when the firm took over management of her hotel. Ms. Wells holds an Associate Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and a Certificate in Hospitality Leadership Development from the School of Business, College of Charleston.

Ms. Wells can be contacted at 866-576-5693 or dawn.wells@marriott.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.