Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Eftekari

Mehdi Eftekari

General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Mehdi Eftekari is a prominent leader in the hospitality industry and has spent the last 24 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Eftekari began at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as the director of food and beverage shortly after the hotel’s opening in 1988, then spent 12 years as general manager of Four Seasons Newport Beach, and returned eight years ago as general manager of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. His discerning taste and attention to detail contributed to the success of the opening of Culina, Modern Italian, which was the first destination restaurant to open at a Four Seasons Hotel without a celebrity chef component. Mr. Eftekari was involved in every step, from restaurant design to chef and menu selection. Culina has already been awarded by Esquire as one of the “nation’s best new restaurants,” Wine Enthusiast Magazine for the wine list, and received a design award from Zagat. Mr. Eftekari was also heavily involved with the recent $35 million renovation of all guestrooms and suites, pool deck, and legendary Windows Lounge, and his leadership on providing dedicated, personalized service is evident throughout the hotel. During his career, Mr. Eftekari has made a career of weaving his way into the fabric of the community while earning the trust and friendship of his hotel guests. He is very involved in numerous charities including Toys for Tots and he sits on the board of several Los Angeles based organizations. He has established Four Seasons Los Angeles as a haven for Entertainment industry actors and executives, and as the top hotel in Los Angeles for press junkets. Eftekari has been instrumentally involved in the launch of the new iPads with ICE technology, as he deeply believes in providing cutting-edge amenities for Four Seasons Los Angeles’ savvy guests. Mr. Eftekari’s love for hospitality started at an early age. He arrived in the United States from Tehran and went to Georgetown University. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in business management and marketing at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, he pinned his future on hotels, beginning with Hyatt Hotels, working in food and beverage before joining Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Eftekari can be contacted at 310-786-2212 or mehdi.eftekari@fourseasons.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.