Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Patel

Shreyas "JR" Patel

President & Chief Operating Officer, Helix Hospitality

Shreyas "JR" Patel, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Helix Hospitality, a multi-faceted hospitality company. Its primary services include hotel investment, ownership, management, and construction / renovation, and represents many of the top hotel brands in the country.

Founded by Mr. Patel in 2012, the Chicago-based company has seen impressive growth under his leadership with extensive plans for further expansion and acquisitions. In less than 10 years the investment portfolio has grown from $1M to over $100M and the property portfolio has grown from 1 property to 11 total with over 300 employees.

Mr. Patel began operating and managing a single property in Montgomery, Alabama after graduating from DePaul University with a dual degree in Finance and Management. Still on shaky ground after 2008's economic crash, the hospitality industry was ripe with properties under high risk. Where others saw troubled deals, he spotted opportunity. With an urge to innovate, he set up this small, agile company - Helix Hospitality - to revive properties through large-scale renovation vs. new construction.

Mr. Patel removed geographic restraints by pursuing properties nationwide, strategically positioning Helix for optimal growth. His intentional focus-renovation vs. rebuilds; national vs. local-both stop-gapped an unnecessary trend for wasteful new construction and offered Helix the competitive edge of access to exclusive, existing properties already familiar to loyal consumers.

Mr. Patel serves as a board member for the DePaul University School of Hospitality Leadership and co-chairs the Academic Program sub-committee to grow DePaul's Hospitality program and empower the next generation of hospitality professionals.

Additionally, Mr. Patel is a regular contributor to trade publications and a member of AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association).

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

Mr. Patel can be contacted at +1 630-519-3025 or jr@helixhotels.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.