Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gutierrez

Raul Jose Gutierrez

Strategic Partner, ITALKRAFT

A sales and marketing maestro in his own right, Raul Gutierrez is widely regarded for his ability to direct the strategic development and management of flourishing businesses. He has flawlessly executed and successfully closed more than $300 million in sales for various organizations throughout his 20-year career in the construction industry. Mr. Gutierrez joined ITALKRAFT LLC in 2012, and manages the luxury kitchen, bathroom and closet brand's overall planning and strategy in relation to purchasing and product development. A savvy businessman, he negotiates long-term deals with raw material suppliers throughout the world, while simultaneously creating installation methods that ensure swift service and maximizes clients' investments. Through his extensive network of contacts with developers of luxury real estate projects and leading interior designers, Mr. Gutierrez has successfully gained ITALKRAFT access into some of the most coveted condominium and rental projects on the market. It is these personal and longstanding relationships that have aided Mr. Gutierrez in expanding the brand's reach into new markets, including Houston, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. Adding to his extensive sales capabilities, Mr. Gutierrez opened and managed 18 branch offices in South America, Central America and the Caribbean while serving as a board member for several prestigious construction companies. By spearheading the construction of major airports, hospitals and hotels within these three markets, Mr. Gutierrez expanded these brands into new territories where they are now considered the best in the business. Mr. Gutierrez's career changed direction in 2007 when he decided to exclusively work with kitchens and produced $65 million in revenue. He is a native of Miami and returned to his home after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Mr. Gutierrez is heavily involved in the community and is dedicated to being an instrumental part of the city's continued growth.

Mr. Gutierrez can be contacted at 305-406-1301 or raul@italkraft.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.