Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Grohs

Darin Grohs

Director Food & Beverage, W Hotel New Orleans

Chef Darin Grohs got the bug for hospitality with his first job as a bus-boy at age 13 working at a bowling alley in Rapid City, SD. He worked as a server and a dishwasher in addition and helped out in the kitchen when he could as he was not old enough to become a cook. After his time in the US Navy, doing anything but cooking, he got back into his groove and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where he graduated a term early and second in his class with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Grohs went on to attend Georgia State University to attain his four year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. All the while he focused on anything and everything in the food service industry. He worked at a liquor store to learn and understand his beverages and start his knowledge of wines. He even worked at a Bed and Breakfast for a well rounded understanding of the Hospitality business. He was classically trained in French Cuisine, he worked at multiple Italian restaurants and had the influence of his mentors in Atlanta who imparted the knowledge and understanding of the Low Country and all the flavors that are indicative of this area. He moved back to the Mid-West for a time, to Southern Florida with its Latin flavors and then landed in Southern California where he adopted the practice of market to table before heading to New Orleans. Chef Grohs believes in simple flavors that speak for themselves. With his vast background, he enjoys using local ingredients in new and inventive ways that could represent the culture at hand or the culture from where the dish came.

Mr. Grohs can be contacted at 504-207-5030 or darin.grohs@whotels.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.