Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kasner

Sara-Ann Kasner

CEO & Founder, National Concierge Association

Sara-ann Kasner has been a corporate Concierge in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since 1992. In 1998, Ms. Kasner founded the National Concierge Association, an international networking organization for Concierge and hospitality industry businesses. As Chief Executive Officer she has been instrumental in developing the NCA Certification and NCA Endorsed Partner Programs and establishing chapters of the organization throughout the United States. In 1996, Ms. Kasner was named “Corporate Concierge of The Year” by Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine and received the prestigious gold key and lifetime achievement award from Where Magazine International in 1997. During her career, Ms. Kasner has been quoted in articles about concierge service by the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Japan Times and “O” Magazine. Ms. Kasner is also a sought after public speaker on the subject of Concierge service. In May of 2012 she was the keynote speaker at a customer service forum to a group of hospitality professionals at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Basseterre, West Indies. Ms. Kasner is currently the Director of Concierge Services for Zeller Realty Group providing corporate concierge service to three office towers in Minneapolis and Bloomington, Minnesota.

Ms. Kasner can be contacted at 612-317-2932 or sara-ann@ncakey.org

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.