Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau

Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of sales and marketing leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies, primarily in the travel industry. Currently, Rondeau is Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo. In this role, Ms. Rondeau has the objective of heightening awareness of new digital visual storytelling techniques that motive consumers throughout their travel shopping journey. Leonardo is an technology company serving the global hospitality industry. Leonardo provides e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers. Formerly at Leonardo, Ms. Rondeau held the position of Vice President, Hotels, The Americas. Ms. Rondeau previously served as Vice-President Sales and Marketing for G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that integrates its private network of airlines and other supplier content into a web based single point of sales solution for Travel Companies. Prior executive roles include Vice President for Sabre Integrated Media, the largest access portal to the world's travelers as well as serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Agresso Travel Industry Solutions; a Netherlands based software provider of ERP solutions. Ms. Rondeau was with Sabre and its former parent, AMR, since 1979. Other positions with the company included Director, Airline Distribution; Director, National Accounts, Manager; Canadian Division Sales & Service; Regional Manager, Business Travel Solutions, and special assignments in Europe and Hong Kong. Her international experience contributes to the diversity and adaptability with which Ms. Rondeau conducts business. Over the last 2 decades, Ms. Rondeau's client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Southwest Airlines, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Mark Travel Corporation and USA Today. Ms. Rondeau earned her degree in Travel and Tourism from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. She is a frequent speaker at industry events including HSMAI, IHG Owners Association, University of North Texas Hospitality School and Eye for Travel. Additionally, she hosts regularly scheduled educational webinars on the subject of digital storytelling for the hospitality industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world's top brands.

Ms. Rondeau can be contacted at 416-593-6634 or darlene.rondeau@leonardo.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.