Editorial Board   

Mr. Baker

Dennis M. Baker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Avendra, LLC

Dennis M. Baker is the president and chief executive officer of Avendra, LLC, the leading independent, business-to-business procurement company serving the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Avendra, Mr. Baker was the executive vice president and general manager of The Marketplace by Marriott, a division of Marriott International responsible for developing and implementing an innovative, new strategy for consolidating and streamlining the company's procurement activities. There, Mr. Baker was responsible for the division's overall operations, including strategic direction and business planning. Mr. Baker began his career at Marriott International in 1987. He joined Marriott Distribution Services in 1991 as their business began its push towards penetrating the external chain restaurant food distribution market. This division also housed Marriott's centralized food procurement functions.

Mr. Baker can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or Dennis.baker@avendra.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.