Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Riesenhuber

Darci Riesenhuber

Director of Brand Culture & Internal Communications, Embassy Suites Hotels

Darci Riesenhuber joined Hilton Worldwide in August, 2011, assuming the role of director, brand culture and communication, for the Embassy Suites Hotels brand. In this capacity, she ensures that all components of the Embassy Suites brand's hotel-level training and communications effectively deliver and instill the brand's key philosophies, values and the Embassy Make A Difference culture. She leads development and implementation of all brand communication to hotels, reward & recognition efforts and manages all brand conferences. Ms. Riesenhuber's current focus is on developing an interactive, online community for hotel-level employees to share ideas and best practices. She is also working on a new team member orientation training program and developing a leadership mentoring program. Ms. Riesenhuber has provided consulting and coaching to leaders in a variety of industries including hospitality, healthcare, financial, legal and manufacturing. Her past clients include UPS, where she brought a renewed sense of ownership, passion and creativity to a company-wide, internal sales initiative that generated a return on investment in excess of $3.7 million within one year as a result of a grassroots employee engagement effort. Ms. Riesenhuber was also an organizational performance consultant and trainer for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). While there, she partnered with brand managers to design training and human resources strategies that ensured adoption and execution of their unique brand promises and personalities. She was also instrumental in creating the culture and customer service model for the launch of Hotel indigo, IHG's first lifestyle hotel brand. As a facilitator, she has engaged, inspired and guided leaders of profit and non-profit organizations to develop & communicate business strategies that give their stakeholders meaning and purpose. As a coach, she has helped individuals maximize their potential by clarifying their aspirations, discovering their passion and realizing their goals, both professionally and personally. From an early age Ms. Riesenhuber learned to understand and appreciate different cultures. As a Navy “Brat” who was uprooted often during childhood, she gained a knack for adapting quickly to new situations. She is drawn to understanding what makes people “tick” and believes that while we are all unique, we share a fundamental need to belong, feel appreciated and to do work that matters. This philosophy informs her work. Ms. Riesenhuber earned her BS at University of North Carolina and holds an MA in Organziational Management from the University of Phoenix. She also holds various training certifications, including Achieve Global, and is a Certified Corporate Coach. She loves animals, the outdoors and singing aloud while driving her Mini Cooper convertible.

Ms. Riesenhuber can be contacted at 703-883-5490 or darci.riesenhuber@hilton.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.