Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara Appoints Travis Watson as New Executive Chef

USA, Santa Barbara, California. September 09, 2019

Shaking up the culinary scene in Santa Barbara's trendsetting Funk Zone neighborhood, Hotel Californian announces the appointment of a new Executive Chef, Travis Watson, who will lead the creation of a fresh culinary experience at Blackbird. The signature restaurant will relaunch in Fall 2019 as Bar Blackbird, a lively and upscale bar-first concept, featuring an inventive cocktail program from Houston Hospitality veteran Devon Espinosa and celebrating the intersection of food and beverage on California's Central Coast. Chef Travis will also infuse new culinary inspiration throughout the resort, including breakfast, lunch and dinner al-fresco at Goat Tree; the Djinn library bar; Tan-Tan rooftop pool deck; and the banquets and in-room dining programs.

Travis Watson brings 20 years of award-winning culinary experience to the American Riviera and will lead the team to construct modern, seasonal cuisine that elevates all facets of the Hotel Californian culinary program. Watson's career has led him all over the world, including France where he served as an apprentice to Chef Georges Paccard of Michelin-starred La Ciboulette. He most recently served as Executive Chef at Rancho Bernardo Inn & Spa in San Diego and is thrilled to tap into the distinctive terroir of the Central Coast.

"We are thrilled to welcome this culinary thought-leader to our award-winning Hotel Californian team," said Warren Nocon, General Manager, Hotel Californian. "We are excited for Chef Travis to unleash his endless passion and creativity to create inspiring new culinary experiences that resonate with our guests and the Santa Barbara community."

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Coming up in October 2019...

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.