Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pohl

Ron Pohl

Vice President Brand Management, Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Ron Pohl is senior vice president of brand management for Best Western® Hotels and Resorts and serves on the company's executive committee. Mr. Pohl oversees North American and Asia Operations and Development. In addition, he directs other key departments, including: Customer Care, Owner Relations, Revenue Management, Education and Training, Design and Supply, Member Services, and International Quality Assurance. Mr. Pohl joined Best Western in 2007 as vice president of operations. In that role, the 30-year hospitality industry veteran significantly improved revenue management systems, implemented new and innovative education and training resources, restructured departments to improve efficiency and enhance hotel support, and launched the industry-leading Best Western I Care® program. These positive changes have significantly contributed to record-high brand performance in the areas of RevPAR index and customer and owner satisfaction. Prior to joining Best Western, Mr. Pohl spent more than 20 years with Boykin Management Company, a respected hotel management firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. During his tenure with Boykin, Mr. Pohl spent 10 years as a full-service hotel general manager and earned awards for sales leadership, website development and outstanding customer service. He served in a number of senior-level positions in the areas of marketing, sales and revenue management, working his way up to regional vice president, and ultimately senior vice president of operations. Mr. Pohl's diverse hotel background comes from working with an array of hotel brands, including Choice, Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, and independent resorts and condo hotels. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, as well as advisory committees for Marriott and Doubletree hotels.

Please visit http://www.bestwestern.com for more information.

Mr. Pohl can be contacted at 602-957-4200 or ron.pohl@bestwestern.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.