Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilhelm

Sam Wilhelm

Chef Concierge, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Chef Concierge Sam Wilhelm has been immersed in the hospitality industry since he can remember. Born and raised in the quaint town of Hana, the namesake of Maui's most notorious road trip, Wilhelm's father was a Director of Food & Beverage at the Hotel Hana and his mother was a Front Office Manager. "Growing up, I was always at the hotel. My sisters even danced hula there," recalls Mr. Wilhelm. "And when we weren't there, we were having guests over to our home for dinner." Mr. Wilhelm still exudes the aloha spirit instilled in his childhood, and much of his focus at Four Seasons Resort Maui relates to showing his guests the beauty of the island and its native people. The young chef concierge swiftly navigated up through the hotel ranks. At age 15, he became a concierge agent at Hotel Hana. After graduating high school, he moved into the Food & Beverage department. Three years later, he moved from Hana to the luxury resort area of Wailea, Maui, taking a position as a front desk agent at the Fairmont Kea Lani, where he stayed for five years, advancing to chef concierge. In 2011, Mr. Wilhelm joined Four Seasons "I wanted be part of the best," he says. A year later, he was promoted to chef concierge, heading the largest team of concierge in the company. Mr. Wilhelm also holds the coveted golden keys of the Les Clef d'Or, which he earned in 2009. He regularly attends the association's annual congress meetings, developing initiatives to bring back to his island home and growing his network of his peers-the best of the best in the business. "My goal at the resort is twofold: first, to provide guests with a level of service that exceeds their expectations; second, to show them the real Maui, the one that I grew up with and that they can take home with them in the form of lifelong memories." When Mr. Wilhelm is not behind the desk, he enjoys experiencing all his island home has to offer. He can often be found with family and friends, relaxing at the beach or dining at the island's most revered eateries-from chef's tables to holes-in-the-wall.

Mr. Wilhelm can be contacted at 808-874-8000 or sam.wilhelm@fourseasons.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.