Juicer and carrot juice. Fruits in background

In Vino Veritas LX – Making Sense of the Clean Drinking Craze

I’ve been wise to this growing trend for a while now but haven’t felt the urge to write about it until I happened upon a recent National Post (one of Canada’s leading newspapers) article using the catchy title of, “You can’t have your cake and drink it too.” The best parts of this editorial are its headline as well as its citing of specific examples of cocktails and wine products that infuse healthier foods. Beyond that, the author may have overstated a few of her critiques as this is indeed a trend that your lobby bar or restaurant should consider. To start, a summary of what’s happening is in order. Fruit and vegetable juicing has long been in vogue as a means of cleansing our bodies of toxins by giving us the extra vitamins, antioxidants and micronutrients they need – in a blended and thus more readily digestible form – to more …

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Bobby Orr The Hotelier

Who would have thought that the 114-room Ames Hotel in Boston would become a shrine to one of the titans of hockey, Bobby Orr. Yet, with the recent opening of their Bobby Orr Suite, this property is on-the-map insofar as a destination for any of his devoted fanbase. For those who are not fans of the sport, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Bobby Orr brought the one-time-lowly Bruins out of the NHL cellar and propelled them to Stanley Cup victories in 1970 and 1972. Orr’s list of accolades stretches longer than most anyone in the game, perhaps second only to ‘The Great One’, Wayne Gretzky. “It is safe to say that Bobby is among the most celebrated and appreciated athletes in Boston history and certainly a hockey legend,” noted Jeff McIntyre, partner in Benchmark® a Global Hospitality Company, which is the owner and manager of the property, “and …

lmaadminBobby Orr The Hotelier
Young Asian male frustrated, confused and headache by WannaCry ransomware attack on desktop screen, notebook and smartphone, cyber attack internet security concept

Cyber Crime, Cyber Liability and Cyber Liability Insurance

It is a hotelier’s worst nightmare – the theft or loss of guest records. Recall the data security failure at Target Stores HQ or the more recent challenges being faced by Sabre Corporation on their SynXis booking system. Now, imagine that this happened to your IT system. How would you explain this to your past guests? What steps would you take to remedy this situation, and at what cost? The simple fact is that when it comes to cyber security, no one can claim to be 100%, ironclad safe insofar as protection of data. If it is not hackers then it could be an internal breach from, say, a disgruntled employee. As a general manager, it is your responsibility to your guests as well as to your owners to take both the appropriate precautionary steps in protecting data, but also to consider means of mitigating damages to the company in …

lmaadminCyber Crime, Cyber Liability and Cyber Liability Insurance
view from above restaurant style cuisine fine food meals starter main salad

Benefiting From Chefs’ Tasting Menus

Are chefs’ tasting menus merely a snapshot of the day’s fare? Hardly! Tasting menus are designed to demonstrate the superlative qualities of the chef’s creativity and culinary acumen. In order words, they are meant to show off the best of the best. Every tasting menu that I have had the pleasure of eating my way through has formed not only a lasting impression, but also elicited recommendations to others both in person as well as on social media. Hence, while they are a daunting task to set up, the payoff extends far beyond what your bean counters can count as they can have a halo effect for the rest of the restaurant’s menu and the entire property as a whole. Most recently, as a guest of Montage Deer Valley in Utah, I had the opportunity to experience a tasting menu at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Apex. I caught several of the …

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Hand with compass at mountain road at sunset sky in Kazakhstan, central Asia

Lever Your Location

There is only one aspect of your property that you absolutely cannot change – your physical address. Renovate, replace staff, add new operations, re-flag or re-brand, it makes no difference; you are where you are! Your location is uniquely yours, so why not make the most of it? When a guest arrives – especially for the first time – they rarely have the in-depth knowledge of your neighborhood to go about on their own without some guidance. While nowadays there are numerous online resources that can give visitors a broad overview of the top highlight, your guests will nevertheless want your help in discovering what truly makes your area special. The best part about levering your location for better guest satisfaction is that becoming the local expert is not overly complex. However, it will require some leg work on behalf of your team to break ground for your guests, find …

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A Hotel School That Supports Alternate Lodging Providers?

When asked to name a hotel school, what immediately comes to mind? Perhaps your thoughts run to the prestigious École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland or the stateside Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (now a part of The SC Johnson College of Business). Ranking fourth in the QS 2017 World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management is Les Roches Global Hospitality Education with over 3,000 students spread across three campuses, tremendous global diversification in that no single country claims more than 10% of the student population and a very entrepreneurial outlook. Nicolas Graf David Fudge This is a hotel school advocating that its students learn and embrace everything there is to know about alternate lodging providers and all the various ways in which the sharing economy might disrupt the hospitality industry. To elucidate why this is the case and what established hoteliers can glean from this shift in …

lmaadminA Hotel School That Supports Alternate Lodging Providers?
Beautifully multicolored decorated catering banquet table with different food snacks and appetizers with sandwich, caviar, fresh fruits on corporate party event or wedding celebration.

No-Holds-Barred Catering

Events that showcase on-property chefs are not on every hotelier’s calendar, most likely because they typically deliver an expense line well above operating revenues. However, they provide significant value in several indirect ways. First, events like this allow a hotel to demonstrate unbridled culinary excellence. Next, they allow your chefs to demonstrate creativity. Thirdly, they afford your public relations team with great fodder for continued media interest. There’s a powerful fourth attribute that I’ll get to in a moment. Oh, and did I also mention that these events can be a lot of fun? This past July, I had the opportunity to attend the Park City Food & Wine Classic in scorching hot Utah. While there, we attended several wine seminars and dinners, with the signature launch event held at Montage Deer Valley, an ultraluxury property nearby. The 400- attendee, outdoor terrace affair was comprised of a series of four …

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Bangkok, Thailand - June 6, 2016 : Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications.

HAC on the Attack

Anyone who has read my columns on the topic of alternate lodging providers knows that I have my qualms with Airbnb. While I have the utmost respect for this organization and am in awe of its marketing prowess, I am increasingly concerned that its rapid growth is occurring at the expense of the more traditional accommodations industry. Not to be a luddite insofar as stubbornly standing in the way of logical industry disruptors and the inevitability of technological progress, my anxiety stems from the fact that most hoteliers are less worried than I am about the company that just may be the harbinger of their own demise. No matter how much I express concerns regarding Airbnb, in the back of my head it is particularly amusing as I appear to be more apprehensive for the future of the hospitality sector than those individuals who are actually responsible for generating room …

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Young friends having fun outdoor drinking red wine - Happy people enjoying harvest time at farmhouse vineyard winery - Youth friendship concept with focus on guy toasting in middle frame - Warm filter

In Vino Veritas LIX: The Indirect Value of Wine Tasting Events

Away on vacation for a food and wine festival hosted by a luxury mountain resort, I was fortunate enough to participate in a wine tasting conducted by Amy McCandlish, assistant winemaker at Eyrie Vineyards in MicMinnville, Oregon. The one-hour-plus presentation provided a quick overview on the winery and included a tasting of five of their top products. For the two dozen participants, it was an opportunity to get close and personal with the wine. Here, we were guided through the nuances of several wines of the same grape variety, allowing us to understand the nuances created by the vintage and cellaring processes as well as furthering our knowledge and appreciation of this omnipotent elixir. After all, learning is a lifelong process and should not be restricted to a classroom setting, unless that classroom setting involves a healthy amount of libations. For reference, the varietal in question was pinot gris which …

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In Search of Hotel Excellence: The William Vale

The millennial revolution has turned Brooklyn from a place you came from to a highly sought-after destination. And no part of Brooklyn has witnessed a broader transformation than Williamsburg. The William Vale is located at the northernmost edge of this part of the borough, on land that once housed waterside manufacturing facilities. Despite its newfound hipness, Williamsburg’s street life is still in its infancy. Hence, to build a 183-room hotel in an area that has no considerable amount of pre-existing sidewalk life or nearby landmark attractions is risky business. So, as Sebastien Maingourd, the property’s general manager, remarked, “From an architectural standpoint alone, The William Vale attracts an audience just to check us out. We are creating our own foot traffic!” The sheer brilliance of the property’s imposing facade is evident from very far away. In fact, the design is so iconic that I was easily able to identify the …

lmaadminIn Search of Hotel Excellence: The William Vale