Editorial Board   

Mr. Carr

Bob Carr

Chairman & CEO, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor in 1997. Under his guidance, Heartland has been named a FORTUNE 1000 company; climbed the rankings from #62 to #5 in the nation and #9 in the world; from 25 to 3,400 employees; from 2,500 to 250,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $80 billion. Heartland is the official preferred provider of card processing, gift marketing, check management, payroll and tip management services for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and 38 state lodging associations. Mr. Carr spearheaded The Merchant Bill of Rights (www.merchantbillofrights.org) - a revolutionary public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of all business owners. He has been a driving force in the enhancement of payment card security and at the helm of the development of “E3™, (www.E3secure.com) Heartland's end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the lifecycle of card transactions. Mr. Carr received his Master of Science degree in computer science and his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), as well as an honorary PhD from Lewis University.

Mr. Carr can be contacted at Bob.Carr@e-hps.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.