Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Denihan

Chrissy Denihan

Chief Comfort Officer, Affinia Hotels

Chrissy Denihan, founder Benjamin “Bud” Denihan's granddaughter, assumed the role of Chief Comfort Officer (CCO) for Affinia Hotels in October 2011. As CCO, Ms. Denihan serves as the leader of Tender Loving Comfort (TLC), a new movement rooted in deep customer service and reading and responding to guests' body language. Ms. Denihan, who is also brand integration manager for Affinia Hotels' parent company Denihan Hospitality Group, joined the company in 2007. She has worked in every department from housekeeping to the front desk, and was intimately involved in the development of TLC from the beginning. As the CCO position developed, it became clear to the executive team that Ms. Denihan was a perfect fit for the job. In her new role, Ms. Denihan oversees a TLC Crew at each hotel and liaises with guests and hotel staff on everything related to comfort, including collecting guest feedback on initiatives and hotel programming. Additionally, she sources unique items to be offered brand wide, and serves as the curator of comfy content on the social networks. Her contagious smile and warm personality, paired with her hands-on experience in the hotel industry, make her popular with hotel staff. She motivates and inspires the TLC crew to find out what guests want and need, and uses that information to make their experience even more enjoyable. Ms. Denihan is a graduate of Boston College with a bachelor's degree in human development and sociology. She volunteers with Operation Smile and is a member of the Young Alumnae Organization of Sacred Heart School in Manhattan.

Ms. Denihan can be contacted at 212-751-5710 or cdenihan@affinia.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.