Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Johnson

Leslie Johnson

Director of Sales & Marketing, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Leslie Johnson is director of sales & marketing of Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. Managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS). Ms. Johnson joined Marcus Hotels & Resorts in 2008 as director of restaurant sales and promotions, where she oversaw the management teams and organizational systems for the company's Milwaukee-area restaurants. Most recently, she served as general manager at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, she spent 12 years in various positions within the hospitality industry focused on sales, catering and marketing. Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company's portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels.

Ms. Johnson can be contacted at 866-636-4502 or lesliejohnson@marcushotels.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.