theWit Hotel Appoints Piers Smyth as Director of Restaurants & Beverage

USA, Chicago, Illinois. July 15, 2019

theWit Hotel, perfectly nestled in the heart of Chicago at 201 N State St., is thrilled to announce the recent appointment of Piers Smyth as the Director of Restaurants & Beverage. Smyth brings with him over 18 years of experience in hospitality, most recently as the Director of Food & Beverage at Hotel Julian and its restaurant, About Last Knife.

"With my new role, I hope to focus on the social aspect of truly hosting our patrons," says Piers Smyth. My passion is in hospitality, and I always try to push myself to create a better experience for my guests. At ROOF, I want everything to be about enjoyment. From the offerings and the content to the delivery, I hope to engage with people and make them feel comfortable. With our new programming and cocktail selections, I want to embrace the culture of theWit. The humor, creativity, and innovation. Comedy and wit are great tools to create a personal connection with your guests, rather than just a transaction. Simply having a good menu isn't enough."

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Smyth brings a unique perspective and genuine southern hospitality to his new role at theWit Hotel and ROOF on theWit. Prior to his current position, Piers served as the Director of Food and Beverage for Hotel Julian and its steakbar, About Last Knife, where he managed all food and beverage operations, along with menu development and hospitality training. Before that, Smyth helped open multiple hotels and restaurants in the Chicagoland area, including Cerise at Virgin Hotels Chicago, and I|O Godfrey prior to that.

In addition to Piers' impressive resume with previous positions at gastropubs and cocktail lounges to nightclubs and fine dining, Smyth is also a seasoned mixologist with numerous accolades. He has participated in competitions locally, nationally, and globally, including the 2015 Tullamore D.E.W. Bar Stories, where he took home the winning title and a trip to the Tullamore D.E.W. distillery in Ireland, and the 2017 Punch Kings Cochon555 Grand Cochon where he was the Chicago Punch King winner.

For the new beverage program at ROOF, Smyth plans to use compound infusions to keep drinks simple and approachable by nature, and complex in flavor while incorporating his love for sarcasm into his cocktail programming. Some humorous cocktails include his list of Spring Spritzes, like the Breaking News with Wolf Spritzer, (Itali)Kiss from a Rosé, My Name is ___, and I'm an (Aperol) ic. Smyth plans to make his menus an approachable experience for those looking to try something new in the city by creating concoctions that don't intimidate, but rather, welcome guests to explore something they wouldn't otherwise feel comfortable trying. Smyth also intends to develop an exclusive Decanter Collection, meant to showcase premium spirits, barrel-aged in house. Smyth will also lead the charge with a new Macallan experience featuring the Macallan 1824 Master Series, where guests can experience some of the rarest spirits in the world.

Smyth received his BFA in Industrial Design, with a second concentration in Architecture, from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Upon moving to Chicago, Smyth found a niche in designing bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, consulting to help create designs of these spaces for optimal use. In his spare time, Piers enjoys fitness, watch collecting, animals, and all things creative.

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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.