Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gray

Mike Gray

Director of National Accounts, Cardola

Mike Gray has served as Cardola's director of national accounts for North America since the UK-based company was first established in the region at the start of 2012. His main responsibilities are sales and support for Cardola's North America division, and with the opening of Cardola's new US office and the deployment of VirtualHotel in further properties, Mr. Gray's responsibilities are expanding. Mr. Gray has also been involved in Cardola's latest deployment, the Delano hotel in Marrakech, which is owned by US based Morgan's hotel group. With a total of 29 years experience in the hospitality technology market, and previous sales roles in seven other hospitality organizations, Mr. Gray is a key asset for Cardola. His expertise in the North American hotel market will help Cardola further its geographical expansion and deploy the VirtualHotel solution in more North American properties. Mr. Gray is also actively working on potential projects in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining Cardola, Mr. Gray worked for various technology companies, specializing in hospitality, and worked with high profile hotel chains, including Hilton, Marriott and Mandarin Oriental. His success in guiding hotels and hotel chains toward reducing costs and enhancing guest experiences, with the help of technology, makes his expertise invaluable for the Cardola team.

Mr. Gray can be contacted at mike.gray@cardola.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.