Gray is the New Green Part 9: The Luxury Boomer

I have written on this topic since August of last year, but as the grand horde of boomers among us continues to gradually work their way into retirement, this topic is once again worth addressing. Normally when we discuss retirement, we talk about the nuances of balancing a tighter budget with far fewer inbound monetary streams to buoy any excessive spending. In short, retirement at a macro level means less spending overall. However, the baby boom presents a fascinating counterargument to this established demographic trend. That is, the boomers (at least in a North American sense) came into the world right at the zenith of American corporate hegemony, meaning that the salaries, stipends, bonuses and pensions accrued are greater on average than that doled out to those members of the Greatest Generation or Gen X. In many cases, what we are left with is a retired boomer who – even …

lmaadminGray is the New Green Part 9: The Luxury Boomer
Team of young chefs preparing delicatessen dishes

Four Successful Traits for Your Next Executive Chef

Do you remember the times when the top restaurants in most cities happened to be located in the best downtown hotels? This was the era of the carving station serving chateaubriand for two, Caesar salad with dressing made by the waiter tableside and flambéed desserts. Today, however, this isn’t a guarantee. Excellent restaurants can be found nearly anywhere, and even though hotel restaurants in the luxury segments have matured significantly, they are nevertheless engaged in a perpetual war for culinary dominance with just about every other upscale purveyor in the area. As every brand sharpens their accommodations, amenities and service levels, restaurants become key differentiators. There’s fundamental logic to this. Food consumption is core to our existence, forging permanent memories. And if you somehow forget the décor or the size of the suite you recently stayed at, chances are a great meal will still be top-of-mind. From a social media …

lmaadminFour Successful Traits for Your Next Executive Chef

A Formula for Success in Miami Beach

As a hotelier, what does one think of when considering Miami Beach? Perhaps the hustle of the South Beach strip crammed with Art Deco micro-properties. Or, is it the top brass of properties like SLS, Setai, The W, Ritz Carlton or Fontainebleau? Leave it up to Singapore-based COMO Hotels & Resorts to take its turn at reinventing the Miami Beach luxury experience with the early 2014 opening of their Metropolitan Hotel. Formerly known as the Traymore (a name that legally remains on the hotel rooftop signage and is now the name of the lobby restaurant and bar), the 74-room property is the result of a total rebuild, while maintaining the overall size and configuration. The scale of the property doesn’t overwhelm upon arrival. Only eight stories high (and with old-world ceiling heights), the Met Miami tucks into a neat space between two modern condominium buildings. Once inside, the jewel box …

lmaadminA Formula for Success in Miami Beach
Silhouette of a Classic Barman

In Vino Veritas XXX: Small Batch Liquors

Alcoholic beverages are far more than a vessel for inebriation. They are a pillar of the dining experience. While wine and beer are the two most common meal accompaniments in this category, there’s something interesting happening in the world of spirits and other distilled elixirs. Much like that of microbreweries and limited-barrel wines, small batch distilleries are making a resurgence, and it’s an opportunity you should seize. Why? Simple: product differentiation. Your restaurant or bar may be differentiated from your competitors by its décor, its view, its ambiance, its food menu, its cocktails, its executive chef, its live music, its onsite events or a host of other features, but this is one emerging area where you can now make an impact. All of the previously mentioned aspects held constant, what will distinguish your bar selection when you all stock the same standard liquors – for example, Johnny Walker, Jim Beam, …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas XXX: Small Batch Liquors
Student tasting the teacher's soup in culinary school

Too Many Cooks in the Hotel Kitchen

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen’ before, used to describe a situation where instead of a leader bestowing a project, product or company with a singular, unified vision, said mission gets watered down to something safe, bland and often incomprehensible. We know this ‘design by committee’ exists – as it is written into every HR textbook this side of World War II – but we seldom consider it for our own organization. As a fun segue before we dive into it, here’s a link to the hilarious ‘Too Many Cooks’ spoof broadcast by Adult Swim. It beats the issue to pulp…at least from a Hollywood business sense, although the extensions to the hospitality industry aren’t that hard to imagine. Moreover, when was the last time you were in a hotel kitchen? During peak hours, it’s a battleground – chefs and washers hustling to and fro; …

lmaadminToo Many Cooks in the Hotel Kitchen

Get On Track For 2015

The coming New Year is mere hours away, and as perfunctory as it may be, it is nevertheless an excellent time for self-reflection. Normally, I’d devote this time to predictions. But, at this point I don’t foresee 2015 to be a landmark year for revolutionary changes or wild new entrants with far-reaching effects on the hospitality industry. Rather, we’ve already endured the scrambling of the status quo that have come along with the expansions of digital booking channels, third-party review sites, smartphone usage and social media. We all know these are factors affecting daily operations and there are plenty of resources to help hoteliers cope. As such, 2015 will be a time of consolidation; one where we can finally catch up and fine tune our business processes to meet evolving consumer behaviors. In other words, it’s a ‘back to basics’ year, and here are five areas to focus on: 1. …

lmaadminGet On Track For 2015