Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gilbert

David Gilbert

President - Hospitality Group, Heartland Payment Systems

With more than 30 years of hospitality experience and a track record of leading successful growth while developing and maintaining brand identity and implementing strategic change, David Gilbert is responsible for the growth and development of Heartland's portfolio and services within several industries, including restaurants, lodging and affiliated markets. Prior to joining Heartland, the nation's 5th largest payment processor, Mr. Gilbert was the chief operating officer of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the restaurant industry's largest and most respected trade organization. In this role from 2009-2012, Mr. Gilbert focused on guiding the organization in its ongoing efforts to provide and develop valuable products, services and benefits to help the industry and the Association's members. He was also responsible for all operations, sales, business/product development, strategic relationships and financial analysis of the association and its subsidiaries. Before the NRA, Mr. Gilbert spent several years as a restaurant and hospitality industry consultant, and held several executive positions with national chains, including chief administrative officer with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., executive vice president and chief administrative officer with Shoney's Inc., and executive director of development with Applebee's International, Inc. His background also includes operations, product development and management experience in the quick service, casual dining and family dining segments. A resident of Nashville, TN, Mr. Gilbert holds a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Florida State University. He is also a member of the National Restaurant Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the West Virginia University Hospitality Board of Advisors.

Mr. Gilbert can be contacted at 88879831312281 or david.gilbert@e-hps.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.