Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hobbs

Harry Hobbs

Area Director of Engineering, InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco

Harry Hobbs, Area Director of Engineering for the InterContinental San Francisco and InterContinental Mark Hopkins, brings more than thirty years of experience to the hotels, leading building operations, environmental efficiency, capital improvements, waste diversion, water and energy conservation, and renewable power. After arriving in California, Mr. Hobbs held a number of executive positions with Marriot Hotels and Resorts including Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering. Within these roles, he managed all facets of maintenance, including direct project management of capital improvements, budgeting, security, and energy consumption. He also helped to develop the computerized maintenance management system that Marriott relied on for the twelve subsequent years. He was also responsible for installing several digital building automation systems. After sixteen years with Marriot Hotels and Resorts, Mr. Hobbs accepted a position with Johnson Controls at Sun Microsystems as the Facility Manager for the Menlo Park Campus. Later, he transitioned to the development team at the Santa Clara Campus. This eighty acre facility was the new corporate headquarters for the then booming Sun Microsystems. As the result of delivering a very successful campus opening, he was promoted to Senior Facilities Manager for the Western Region of the Sun account. Before joining the InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco, Mr. Hobbs also held positions at Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Marvell Semiconductor, and Able Building Maintenance. As Area Director of Engineering for the hotels, Mr. Hobbs is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day operations, general improvements, and energy conservation for both InterContinental properties in San Francisco. Since joining the team, he has been a leading force in sustainability efforts at the InterContinental San Francisco, which recently achieved U.S. Green Building Council LEED EBOM Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance). Mr. Hobbs is also a credentialed “Certified Facilities Manager” through the International Facilities Management Association.

Mr. Hobbs can be contacted at 888-811-4273 or harry.hobbs@ihg.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.