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Al Ferrone

As our labor force increases and we evolve into more of a leisure society, many of our new-generation workers do not want to spend as much time on their jobs as employees of the past. This means that one of the key words we as managers, should keep in mind when seeking new talent is balance. We need to make sure that the people who work in our industry keep a balance between work, family and leisure time. The more balance, the more stability. The more stability, the more productivity and less turnover. If we are going to attract the new wave of talented managers, we need to measure a person's worth or accomplishments based not on how much time is spent on the job, but rather on the person's productivity. A highly productive 50-hour, gung-ho enthusiastic manager who gives 110% is much more valuable than a tired, half-conscious 70-hour manager going through the motions. READ MORE

Al Ferrone

One thing we know for sure is that diet fads will come and go, but people will always have a desire to eat healthy. When the Atkins diet was introduced, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Hilton Hotels Corporation did not. In addition, many manufacturers rushed to produce low-carb products. I've sampled some low-carb breads that were tasteless and so hard that I doubt a beaver could gnaw or digest it. I thought, "Who in the world would want to endure that kind of an assault on the taste buds and digestive system?" I'm sure that eating a loaf of this bread would cause anyone to develop jaw muscles that pit bulls would envy. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

Although catering has always been an important factor in the success of hotel food and beverage departments, today it has evolved to share focal point status with the other outlets. Food quality and service is expected to equal, if not exceed, what you would find in the restaurant. Clients want creativity and variety. They are savvy, they hold numerous events in many different venues, and they are constantly challenging operators to come up with new ideas. READ MORE

Susie Ross

There are so many things you want to know about a person when you interview them, the most important being their work ethic. There are ways to find that out with proper questions and review of a resume. You want to set the stage from the beginning that you operate a professional business. It isn't just a caf'e, diner, restaurant or deli. It's your business and, if you want to take an aggressive approach, ask questions of your applicant that will reveal personality and the salesperson in her. This is assuming you want a personality that wants to sell and not take orders. READ MORE

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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.