Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Velez-Couto

Maite Velez-Couto

Vice President, rbb Communications

Maite Velez-Couto, a Vice President at rbb Communications, brings a broad range of media relations, consumer product marketing and branding experience to the firm. Throughout her career, she has handled integrated communications campaigns for a wide variety of consumer clients - from travel and food and beverage to fashion and entertainment brands including, but not limited to AMResorts, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn by Hilton, Norwegian Cruise Line, Vlasic pickles, Mrs. Butterworth's syrup, Starbucks Coffee Company, and Feld Entertainment. Ms. Velez-Couto has vast knowledge of regional and national media, community relations and special events. She currently focuses on rbb's hospitality and food and beverage clients, managing multiple award-winning programs including recipients of PRSA's “Silver Anvil,” Holmes Report's “Gold SABRE”, and HSMAI's Adrian Awards. Her experience also includes supporting clients' efforts in Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean and Spain. Ms. Velez-Couto graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor's degree in Spanish Literature and an associate degree in architecture, and from Florida International University with a bachelor's degree in Humanities and post graduate studies in Spanish Language Journalism. She currently resides in Coral Gables.

Ms. Velez-Couto can be contacted at 305-783-3140 or maite.velez-couto@rbbcommunications.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.