The DAYTONA Appoints Jason Ward As Executive Chef

USA, Daytona Beach, Florida. July 09, 2019

Jason Ward has been appointed Executive Chef of The DAYTONA. The boutique, Marriot Autograph Collection hotel opened its doors in April and is located directly across from the world-famous Daytona International Speedway.

A Boston, Massachusetts native and certified Executive Chef in the American Culinary Federation, Ward has more than 25 years of experience working with Marriott hotels and restaurants across the United States. Most recently, he was Executive Chef of Trilogy at Ocala where he oversaw the golf resort's community clubhouse and restaurant, managed daily food and beverage operations, conceptualized menus, and oversaw culinary operations.

Chef Ward showcases his fresh, innovative take on classic American fare at Sir Malcolm, the hotel's full-service, on-site restaurant. The eatery gets its name from the legendary British racing motorist, Sir Malcolm, who's known for setting various land speed records - five on the track in Daytona. The restaurant is upscale and contemporary with international influences and soulful menu items that showcase Ward's whimsical twist on classic comfort food and pay homage to the area's iconic racing history. Menu highlights include house-made corn bread with Moonshine butter, chili shrimp corn dogs with miso mustard, and dulce de leche waffles paired with smoked bourbon ice cream.

"Food is a common touch point for everyone. A great meal will not only bring our guests together at the table, it'll also make them excited about staying with us and visiting the Daytona area," said Ward. "I'm thrilled to be joining The DAYTONA's talented food and beverage team and look forward to creating culinary experiences that take our guests to the raceway, the beach, the boardwalk, and beyond."

In addition to Sir Malcolm, the DAYTONA features The Blue Flame, a contemporary bar with more than 16 custom craft beers on tap and cocktails inspired by the area's legendary racing history. In addition, The Blue Flame features a signature Moonshine lighting ritual, and has a distillery partnership with Sugarland's Shine, the official Moonshine of NASCAR®.

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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.