Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, Appoints Keith Potter as Executive Chef

USA, Big Sur, California. July 04, 2019

Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, has appointed Keith Potter as executive chef of the celebrated luxury resort tucked between towering redwood trees and the California coastline in Big Sur. Potter, who brings over 15 years of culinary experience at acclaimed restaurants in Chicago, will oversee all food and beverage operations for the 59-room resort including its signature indoor-outdoor restaurant, The Sur House.

"I could not be more thrilled to join the team at Ventana Big Sur, a premier culinary destination in California," said Potter. "California's abundance of fresh, high-quality ingredients is so inspiring, and I look forward to creating unforgettable dining experiences that showcase the level of excellence which Ventana Big Sur is known for."

Potter most recently served as chef de cuisine at Cindy's Restaurant, a popular rooftop restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in Chicago, Ill. Previously, Potter was sous chef at Perennial Virant at Hotel Lincoln in Chicago, which was named to the Michelin Guide's 2013 Bib Gourmand list. His additional culinary experience in Chicago includes serving as executive sous chef at Park Hyatt Chicago's Michelin-starred NoMi Kitchen and working under Chef Bill Kim at Belly Shack.

Chef Potter received his culinary training at the Illinois Institute of Art. He is currently a nominee for Hyatt's Culinary Leader of the Year award and is a 2013 recipient of Hyatt's Rising Star of the Year award. When not helming the kitchen, Potter enjoys cycling, hiking, yoga and reading military history.

A hilltop resort overlooking Big Sur's rugged coastline, Ventana Big Sur is tucked among towering redwoods and meadows along California's most iconic stretch of Highway 1. The resort invites guests to get away from it all with mind-body-soul experiences including meditation, art classes, guided hiking excursions, photography workshops and more. In addition to luxury resort accommodations, the resort offers a rustic-luxury twist on traditional camping with 15 safari-style, canvas tents in its Redwood Canyon Glampsites.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.