Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. De Franco

Agnes De Franco

Professor and Distinguised Chair at C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston

Agnes De Franco, Ed.D., CHE, CHAE, is a professor and distinguished chair at the C.N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. She is a recipient of teaching awards at both the college and university level; co-author of five textbooks and has published more than 90 refereed articles. Ms. De Franco conducts workshops for the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive examination; a Certified Hospitality Educator Cadre member and is a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Applied Research, the Best Paper Award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and International Education (I-CHRIE), and the HFTP-iHITA Best Research Paper Award. She earned the Distinguished Faculty Award, Distinguished Alumna Award, and Young Alumna Award from the Hilton College Alumni Association and is a recipient of the H. J. Heinz Graduate Fellowship. Ms. De Franco is active in a number of local, state and national organizations, including serving as the global president of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) from 2006-2007; member of I-CHRIE's finance and future fund committees and treasurer of I-CHRIE from 1999 to 2002. She is the past president of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and has eight years of central administration experience at UH working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on undergraduate issues such as persistence, graduation, general education curriculum, and college and career readiness standards. She has eight years of industry experience in food & beverage.

Please visit www.uh.edu for more information.

Ms. De Franco can be contacted at 713-743-2422 or adefranco@uh.edu

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.