Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chastan, CMP

John Chastan, CMP

General Manager, Kalahari Resorts

John Chastan grew up surrounded by the hospitality business in a family that owned an independent restaurant. He followed this profession into college studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Wisconsin Stout. For six years in the 1990's Mr. Chastan held both operational and sales positions with Residence Inn by Marriott in several locations around the country. For several years he gained experience at convention properties with Hilton Hotels. Following this Mr. Chastan represented Monona Terrace Convention Center and Alliant Energy Center for the Greater Madison Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau. He joined the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells in 2003 and has held the positions of Director of Sales and General Manager. Mr. Chastan is a past board member and Vice President of Finance for Meeting Professional International - Wisconsin chapter. Currently he is the Chairman-Elect of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association. He has also participated in the original creation of a two-year associate's degree program in meeting and event planning at Madison Area Technical College.

Mr. Chastan, CMP can be contacted at 608-254-3314 or wigroups@kalahariresorts.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.