Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Garretson

Cara Garretson

Media Supervisor, McKee Wallwork & Company

Cara Garretson is a Media Supervisor with McKee Wallwork & Company, a strategic integrated marketing firm. Ms. Garretson has approximately a decade of marketing experience and has been with McKee Wallwork & Company since 2006. She is responsible for the development and management of strategic media plans. Specializing in channel planning, her expertise covers everything from traditional to digital media channels. Ms. Garretson's travel and tourism experience ranges from resort advertising to state and city level marketing efforts, and has focused on both leisure and convention strategies. Having dedicated much of her career to the travel and tourism industry, Ms. Garretson has enjoyed staying on the cutting edge of emerging media technologies and opportunities in the space. With a taste for all things digital, she loves finding new and interesting ways to target in both the desktop and mobile spaces. While the ever-changing digital landscape brings innovative ways to communicate to prospective travelers, it also brings challenges and complications to marketing that didn't exist just a decade ago. Naturally data driven, Ms. Garretson focuses on the constant analysis and optimization of her campaigns to ensure her clients' messages are reaching their target markets and driving conversions. Ms. Garretson's work has been recognized nationally, receiving Media Magazine's Creative Media Award in the Outdoor or Place-Based Media category. A native to New Mexico, Ms. Garretson enjoys life in the beautiful foothills of Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains with her husband and Australian Shepherd.

Ms. Garretson can be contacted at 505-314-7745 or crogers@mwcmail.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.