Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Clark

Jeff Clark

Manager, Sustainability & Nutrition, Member Engagement, National Restaurant Association

Jeff Clark manages the sustainability and nutrition restaurant education and engagement programs at the National Restaurant Association. He is a passionate advocate for helping the restaurant industry shift towards more environmentally friendly behaviors through minimizing energy and water use, sourcing food with the environment in mind, and minimizing food waste.

Mr. Clark has performed energy and water audits in restaurants and is actively working to reduce food waste both as part of the Association efforts and via the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. He is also relaunching and revitalizing the Association's Kids LiveWell voluntary initiative, where participating restaurants provide healthier-for-you kids meals with reduced calories, fat, and sugar.

Mr. Clark speaks regularly to the public and restaurateur audiences about environmental issues, helped create more than 80 online educational videos, and crafts sustainability reports like The State of Restaurant Sustainability, 2018 Edition and the Fats, Oils, Greases Toolkit.

When he is not working, Mr. Clark is experimenting with food waste recycling in his Bethesda, MD backyard via regular composting and vermicomposting. He uses this compost in a family garden with his wife and two young children. He is also an avid photographer, foodie, and traveler.

Like many individuals, Mr. Clark's first job was in the restaurant industry. He scooped ice cream for three years while in high school (favorite flavor: chocolate peanut butter). Mr. Clark worked at seven different restaurants as a server and bartender, while earning two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University.

Please visit http://www.restaurant.org for more information.

Mr. Clark can be contacted at +1 202-973-5389 or jclark@restaurant.org

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.