May Job Round Up

Spring is in the air and we a few great opportunities in NYC this month. For more information visit us at or email

Controller | NYC
A food and beverage company managing two upscale locations in one location in New York City is seeking a Controller to join their team. Candidate should have experience in high end, high volume restaurant management.

Food and Beverage Director | NYC
A high end, soon to be open hotel in Manhattan is seeking a Food and Beverage manager to oversee multiple outlets. This property boasts two restaurants, a bar, lobby lounge, rooftop bar and banquets.

Vice President of Sales | NYC
A major gourmet retailer in New York City is seeking an experienced Vice President of Sales to join their team. Candidate must have experience in B2B, corporate gifting, luxury goods and boast an extensive contact list.

Director of Finance | NYC
A hotel currently in development in New York City is seeking a Director of Finance to join their team. This position will be extremely hands on and require the individual to increase profits. Candidate must have experience in opening a hotel as well as extensive food and beverage experience in restaurant licensing.


Cuba Beckons to American Hotel Operators

by Alan Massarsky, President, Marshall-Alan Associates

It’s been nearly impossible recently to ignore the buzz about all the exciting new opportunities for American hotel operators in Cuba. Since 1962, American business and travel to the island has been mostly forbidden, but suddenly Cuba has risen to the top of nearly every list of hot new destinations.

Immediately after U.S. government embargos and sanctions were relaxed in December 2014, numerous American entities began competing to get into Cuba first and capitalize on the huge demand. Thus far, the first wave has been comprised of tourists and companies with long-standing interests in Cuba. Starwood, the first American hotel brand approved to enter the Cuban market, is one of several American hotel companies involved in decades-long legal battles relating to multi-million dollar claims over the expropriation of properties during the 1959 Cuban revolution. Many of the travelers who have visited first also have decades-long interests in Cuba, and its art and music, cigars and baseball, classic cars and architecture, history and politics. There’s also been a recent uptick in Cuban hotels hosting international business conferences, particularly in the medical and design fields. “You don’t just go to Cuba for a spontaneous beach vacation,” says Robb Report senior editor Jackie Caradonio, “for one, the beaches aren’t great because the Cubans haven’t invested in that infrastructure yet, but even more so because it’s too much of a hassle to get there, plus resort visits still aren’t permitted for Americans.”

Emerging Market Shift
Cuba has a long history and tradition of sophisticated luxury hospitality, catering to the American market during the first half of the twentieth century. Since the 1960s, only Non-Americans have been able to travel and establish businesses relatively freely, with hotels owned and operated by the Cuban state and companies like Melia and Iberostar. American business was heavily restricted, and tourists could only get visas to travel there through expensive organized group tour operators with set itineraries totally devoted to cultural and educational exchange and via private, chartered flights. American travelers will still be required to provide complete records of their time in Cuba, but they can now be issued visas as individuals under one of twelve permissible travel categories listed by the U.S. Treasury Department, the most popular being “people-to-people educational exchange.”

American travel and business in Cuba is set to surge now that the governments have finally agreed to significantly relax trade restrictions. According to a recent ABC News poll, 40% of Americans are interested in visiting Cuba, and 20% are very interested in visiting in the short-term. The first direct commercial flights will take off by next year. And with President Obama’s historic visit indicating that Cuba is officially open to American business, many hospitality operators are eager to establish a presence on the scene.

Demand for hotels, particularly in the luxury category, already far outpaces supply. There are fewer than 70,000 hotel rooms in all of Cuba, 65 percent of which have been given four- and five-star ratings from the Cuban government (though these ratings often do not correspond to American standards). Many travelers also stay in privately-owned and run bed-and-breakfasts. Top hotels are almost always completely booked months in advance, and there’s also a major shortage of restaurants.

In the past year alone, travel from the U.S. to Cuba has already jumped 50%. To prepare for the American influx, Airbnb successfully launched last year. Carnival Cruises will begin sailing to Havana next month. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson (also vice chair of President Obama’s Export Council) traveled to Cuba with President Obama to formalize a deal for Marriott to develop new properties there. Starwood just announced plans to restore and manage Havana’s historic Hotel Inglaterra and Hotel Quinta Avenida. Cuban officials are also planning for expansive growth in the provinces outside Havana, including 20 new five-star hotels and hotel-golf-residence complexes budgeted at over $300 million.

Navigating the Complexities
Establishing luxury properties in former Cold War-era foes Vietnam and Russia has demonstrated that developing a marketplace for American travelers can be hugely profitable and rewarding for both American and local investors involved. But reaching that point requires overcoming a unique and complicated set of challenges, like government relations, hiring and training locals, and lack of infrastructure required for luxury travel.

“It’s everything to have the right investors and local partners to develop the assets and position them correctly,” says Albert Herrera, Senior Vice President of Global Product Partnerships at Virtuoso Travel. Indeed, in order to facilitate relationships with local government officials and vendors, it’s essential to have trusted, influential local parties to mediate and bridge cultural differences. In my experience working with hotel executives in Communist (and formerly Communist) countries, American companies also often discover that it generally takes much longer to get business done in such emerging markets, due to the unprecedented nature of negotiations and navigating complex bureaucracy.

Foreign hotel companies will still be legally required to partner with Cuban entities (which may include the Cuban military) and abide by an extensive set of regulations. In doing so, developers, owners, and managers will need to be prepared to negotiate control on important matters like human resources. Hiring decisions, other than general managers and a few other top positions, will be made by the Cuban government. Hotels will be staffed entirely by Cuban employees, who will be paid at fixed rates in accordance with Cuban labor standards. American management companies will pay a monthly lump sum for employee salaries to the Cuban government, which will take a large cut, and then distribute the remainder to the staff.

Developing local staff in newly-emerging markets can also be tricky. According to Alexis Romer, Vice President of Travel Industry at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, “the service level required for a luxury property is always a big question mark. However, often it represents a unique opportunity to work with a labor pool that has no preconceived notions or training and is receptive and enthusiastic to learn. Being selected to work for a luxury property in many developing nations is an honor and often elevates their status and certainly their financial situation. The heartfelt dedication often produces exceptional results and makes entering these emerging markets very satisfying for all involved.” Training locals who have no experience of the service requirements of luxury clientele can be difficult, so I recommend that companies opening properties in emerging markets like Cuba import talented bilingual managers who have proven records of successful achievement in neighboring countries with better relations and stronger backgrounds in luxury hospitality.

Creating the type of luxury environment that many American and international travelers demand is problematic in countries like Cuba that are lacking in basic infrastructure. Beyond luxury hotels, Cuban wi-fi connections tend to be rare, slow, expensive, and heavily censored. American credit cards still can’t be processed and there are few ATMs, so travelers need to come prepared with cash. Phone service is rare, though AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have already begun providing some roaming cellular and internet service. “Despite being so close to the U.S., Cuba feels a million miles away and Americans often have culture shock far beyond what they were expecting,” says Robb Report’s Caradonio, “and even though the Cuban government has become more open to change, it seems to have little interest in doing anything fast or drastic, or in becoming ‘Americanized.’”

Looking Ahead
The prospects for American hotel brands wishing to develop properties in Cuba are very exciting, despite the many complexities involved. To help navigate this uncharted territory, learning from the experience of international operators who have already established a presence in Cuba will prove invaluable as Americans pursue relationships there. Pulling from the large talent pool of American hospitality professionals who are bilingual, with family and cultural ties to Cuba, will also be helpful.

As the situation normalizes and American companies overcome the initial obstacles and learning curve of doing business in Cuba, we can look forward to increasingly close relations between the two nations, and to Cuba becoming a favored destination for all segments of the American travel market. –

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Baum + Whiteman Mid-Year F&B Trend Report 2015

Two “big issues” affecting everyone: Banishing chemicals — the “healthification” of fast food; and how “Uberizing” food delivery will disrupt the hospitality industry.

Plus four important trendlets.

Baum+Whiteman creates high-profile restaurants around the world for hotels, restaurant companies, museums and other consumer destinations. Based in New York, their projects include the late Windows on the World and the magical Rainbow Room, five of New York’s three-star restaurants and the world’s first food courts.

18 June 2015: It’s time for our mid-year summary of 2015’s most important dining-out trends. We’ve divided this report into: Two “Big Issues” that may disrupt how restaurants do business … and four here-and-now trends that are affecting menus and consumer ordering decisions.


#1. Free-from … After years of consumer pressure, big restaurant companies are all-of-a-sudden and all together dumping some artificial (and other bad-for-you) ingredients from their menus. And leaning on growers and processors to get the stuff out of their products. Suddenly we’re looking at the “healthification” of fast- and fast-casual food. A recent survey found that 36% of consumers worried about “chemicals” in their food … in another survey, 40% of consumers report it’s “very important” that foods use all-natural ingredients, free of GMOs and artificial flavors or colors (see activist campaign, right, that has nothing to do with Chobani’s yogurt quality).

This is a “here-and-now” trend … and a big one:

  Chipotle Mexican Grill is purging genetically modified ingredients. Its animals still feed on GMO corn or soybeans (90% of which are GMO in this country) … and their tortillas still contain preservatives and dough conditioners but they’re working feverishly on that.

  Panera Bread listed more than 150 artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives that it will send into exile by the end of 2016.

  McDonald’s, under siege from Wall Street to Main Street, is ridding its chickens of antibiotics used by humans. Tyson Foods, one of McD’s big suppliers, will do so by 2017 … then turn attention to other meat products. Purdue long ago accomplished this with its chickens. Chick-fil-A will take until 2019. Panera’s and Chipotle’s chickens are already free from antibiotics. Au Bon Pain just dumped them, too. Those antibiotics … cheap ways of fattening animals … reduce their effectiveness in humans. McD also began selling milk without the controversial growth hormone rbST.

  Subway will no longer use azodicarbonamide in its bread … a dough conditioner used in yoga mats and shoe rubber. Dunkin Donuts will give the heave-ho to titanium dioxide, a whitening agent used in paints.

 Noodles & Co. plans to remove artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from its soups, sauces and dressings later this year. Pizza Hut will yank artificial flavors and colors from some pizzas by the end of July. Taco Bell hopes to remove all artificial flavors and colors by year’s end, replacing them with natural alternatives … (not counting drinks and Dorito-flavored items).

Odd that most of this is taking place among fast food and fast casual chains … with little word from sitdown restaurants, or from hotels that still make a big deal of rooftop beehives. But getting rid of selected no-nos is no mere fad, so others are compelled to follow … as are their suppliers of (mostly) processed food. Everyone will scramble to “sanitize” their menus.

A USDA program will let food manufactures add non-GMO labels to retail packages … thus ramping up consumer awareness. Interestingly, more consumers get their food information from news and social media than from government reports or from manufacturers … indicating a certain lack of trust with official sources.

There’s lots of wiggle-room regarding additives! Most restaurants pushing for “clean” food haven’t tackled oceans of chemicals and colorings in soft drinks.

And replacing “artificial” additives with “natural” additives means they’re still using additives: “natural raspberry flavor” shares no genes with real raspberries … but it makes for good headlines. That’s why none of these restaurant companies whispers the word … “organic.”

#2. Delivery — Amazoning and Urberizing the Restaurant Business: The year’s half-gone and we’re confident that delivery will be the industry’s Big Disrupter for 2015. New tech-driven delivery concepts are changing the face of food retailing and food service. There’s a startup-a-week aiming to capture the ultimate consumer convenience … food brought quickly and accurately to homes, offices and (why not?) hotel guests. Pizzerias, Chinese restaurants and urban delis have done it forever …but now delivery affects everyone from McDonald’s to your favorite white tablecloth emporium. Forget carry-out … Smartphoners who’ve latched onto the ease of locating a restaurant, placing an order, paying for it, and getting loyalty points … without ever speaking to a human being … are driving this revolution.

Our own research suggests that in urban areas 40%-50% of office workers eat at their desks on any given day … from the lowest stockboy to the CEO. In the burbs, why drive to the pizza emporium to pick up dinner when delivery is more efficient?

Look who’s muscling into the world of high-speed food delivery.

uberEats … Uber’s restaurant delivery service in Toronto, Chicago, LA, Barcelona and New York … offers a highly limited daily menu from a rotation of restaurants. In certain zipcodes, food will arrive in ten minutes using third-party drivers. Chipotle is partnering with Postmates to deliver in 67 U.S. cities … also with third-party drivers; Chipotle thinks delivery can capture 10% of sales. McDonald’s also uses Postmates’ delivery app in New York City … for an upcharge … while plenty of McD’s in NY are on Seamless where delivery costs zippo if the bill is over $10. Panera has nearly 30 delivery “hubs” around the country, using their own and third-party drivers. Others are following suit. Same thing’s happening in grocery stores. Amazon Prime’s customers in certain New York zipcodes get groceries … and prepared meals … delivered from supermarkets and gourmet shops in an hour for an extra $7.99. For two-hour service, delivery is free. Same day delivery is free in a dozen other major metro areas.

It gets even more complicated: Last year, Yelp, the on-line consumer-driven restaurant review site, bought Eat24 for $134 million. Using an app, Eat24 delivers food from restaurants around the country … so consumers looking for a restaurant can riffle through Yelp, book a table … or have their meal delivered. Payment company Square bought food-delivery service Caviar for $90 million and then bought FastBite, which offers abbreviated daily menus to selected areas of San Francisco. David Chang’s involved in Maple, a small New York startup similar to FastBite.

Others are playing this game, too … all directed to growing numbers of couch potatoes.

More than half-a-billion venture capital dollars went into food delivery startups last year. It looks as if consumers will have access to the world’s largest (virtual) drive-thru window without ever leaving home! Implications of all this are enormous:

Google now lets users order food from five companies …Seamless/Grubhub, Eat24,, BeyondMenu, and … directly from Google’s search results. Facebook is working on a “buy” button. And Amazon is developing its own private-label food delivery.

  Suppose you’re in the mood for barbecued ribs … and sites like Amazon or Uber or Google gave you a dozen places near your zip code … and suppose they include professional reviews of your restaurant, and suppose it ranks rib restaurants according to some mysterious algorithm that works against your particular restaurant? Poof! You’ve lost your marketing control of your business.

  Even more complicated … whose customer is it … the restaurant’s? … or owners of the on-line website? Hotels have lost control of their reservations business to sites like Expedia and Kayak … who now know more about travelers’ habits and preferences than many big lodging companies. That information is worth billions of bucks … and allows Google or Amazon or Uber to communicate directly with a restaurant’s customers.

  Note that Amazon and Google won’t care whether consumers order rotisserie chicken dinners from Boston Market or Kroger or Dean & Deluca or a local food truck … so the battle for food dollars among various distribution channels will intensify.

  Delivery fees and commissions could rise for restaurants … just as they’ve done as online-travel sites acquire one another, shrinking competition. Consolidation among delivery competitors is inevitable as they scramble for national distribution and economies of scale.

  Note that Facebook is adding professional reviews … from Bon Appetit, Eater, San Francisco Chronicle, New York and Conde Nast Traveler … to its site (and
others probably will follow) … suggesting that complete “ecosystems” are emerging that will give consumers one-stop places for consolidated reviews, menus, online ordering, payment, tracking … and delivery.

  There’s the issue of outsourcing restaurant deliveries to the technology industry. By itself this is no bad thing … remember that food service firms have long outsourced food production to large manufacturers … and outsourced operations to franchisees … so one wonders whether there’s a next step to this.

  Or … we could be looking through the wrong end of the telescope. Perhaps ApplaGoogleAmazoFace really plans a big food world invasion … by handling logistics and outsourcing all the grunt work and capital costs to restaurants and retail shops!

Finally, check the rear-view mirror because another disruptor is sucking up venture capital:
Meal Kits … dinners- in- a-box containing precise portions of every ingredient delivered by
subscription to consumers’ doors. People might start cooking again, especially midweek, using trendy ingredients, without the bother of trudging through a food market. See Blue Apron, Chefday, The Purple Carrot, Plated, Hello Fresh, Peach Dish. At about ten bucks a head, these meals may be cheaper than order takeout.
Prediction: Look for star chefs’ names attached to these meal kits; look for restaurants to start developing their own dinners-in-a-box; and look for meal kits tailored for specific diets.


#1. Jerky … a Perfect Storm: All forms of Jerky are hot … but not in restaurants. Sales of jerky and related dried-meat snacks (largely in C-stores) enjoy year-on-year double-digit increases. This explains why sugar-dominated Hershey acquired Krave, the purveyor of Jeff’s Famous Jerky, with flavors like sweet teriyaki, cranberry jalapeno … and now branching into honey- jalapeno bacon and buffalo chicken jerky. Beef Jerky Outlet … a franchisor … offers 200 varieties including alligator and kangaroo. All this ruckus stems from consumers’ obsession with protein, with snacking, with energy food, with gluten- free products and a quest for portability …and never mind big doses of salt and chemical preservatives in most brands. It is a perfect storm. Do we see this in restaurants? We do not … yet. Can we foresee various forms of umami-rich jerky on pizza … banh mi … hamburgers … julienned into pasta carbonara … minced into steak sauce? Indeed we can … and will.

#2. Burning Your Food: Some chefs think you accentuate the flavor of a vegetable or protein by burning it to death, pulverizing it, and then combining the residue into salts, flavored oils, sauces and seasoning mixes. We’re not talking about familiar surface charring of, say, a strip steak … no, we’re talking about purposely incinerating leeks, onions, cauliflower, asparagus and the like in order to add layers of flavor: charred peas in pasta dough … scorched onions in your dinner roll … severely burnt carrots in your risotto. The trend’s been smoldering for years, but is now catching fire. Perhaps we can blame it on the chap who first made a grilled Caesar salad.

Other chefs show mildly more restraint by blackening … but not burning … vegetables on griddles, planchas and iron pans …inducing caramelization that adds contrast to their inherent flavors. Either way, we’re talking about bitter against sweet, crisp against soft … and smoke that binds them all together. This technique gives the illusion of open-fire cooking even when there are no live flames in the kitchen, and adds a extra dimension of flavor.

The medical profession cringes since charring of certain foods may be carcinogenic … but the trend gathers steam just the same. Scallion ash in your hollandaise? Smoldering rosemary in your bloody mary? Pulverized mesquite embers in your salt? Sure, go ahead.

#3. BuzzFeed- Does this Trend Have Legs?: We get calls from journalists all the time, and their hot topic this year is: Crickets! They’re years ahead on this … but what we call “Next- Wave Food” is moving beyond dismal veggie burgers and off-putting tofu as mass-market consumers increasingly seek out alternate sources of proteins. There’s more
media hype than reality here … but make no mistake: consumers are being fed lots of propaganda about saving the planet by eating insects … including caterpillars, crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers … all high in protein. These critters need less land and water and emit fewer greenhouse gases than most livestock.

But consumers aren’t yet ready to swap beef for bugs, and for sure fast food chains aren’t putting them into tacos and burger buns … although the chickens they serve may have feasted on them … but several dozen small outfits in the US are making snacks, cookies and power bars based on insect flour. Asheville, NC, provides an interesting example: At the hot Mexican restaurant Limones, the rim of your “Mayan margarita” is crusted with chalupin salt … “chalupin” made of dried, ground crickets. And down the street at a farmers market, The Cricket Girl sells cricket- based protein bars and is aiming for veggie packed smoothies thickened with her insect protein- flour combination. Toto … we’re not in Brooklyn anymore.

#4. Seaweed Beyond Sushi Wrappers: This trend that never happens … but rabid optimists think seaweed is the next kale. Nordic chefs have used seaweed for centuries … and the Japanese. Rich in minerals and bursting with umami fromglutamic acid (think MSG), seaweed is being touted by as the next super-food. High in protein … kelp, especially … seaweed should appeal to vegetarians and to those avoiding red meat but too squeamish to crunch on crickets. Most Americans recall seaweed as the funky-rotting aroma during low tide at the seashore. But in the last few years seaweed has leapt from sleepy shelves of health-food stores and into supermarket aisles … as well as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s … where it is incorporated into profusions of hot-selling packaged snacks. So if supermarkets have primed the consumer, can restaurants be far behind? Don’t expect Red Lobster to jump on this … but adventurous chefs are charring various forms of seaweed and using the ash as a flavor enhancer (see #2, Burning Your Food, above). Topping halibut with seaweed butter sounds like a winner, as does seaweed coleslaw. Seaweed-flecked breadsticks are popular in some quarters, and it is finding favor in trendy juice bars. As you read this, someone in Holland is biting into a Dutch Weed Burger, made of seaweed, with seaweed in the bun and in the “special sauce.”

Baum+Whiteman creates high-profile restaurants around the world for hotels, restaurant companies, museums and other consumer destinations. Based in New York, their projects include the late Windows on the World, the magical Rainbow Room, and the world’s first food courts. They also run F&B seminars for major hotel and restaurant companies.

Michael Whiteman

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Working with Multiple Generations to Create Productive Work Environments

By Suzanne McIntosh

We came to our hospitality careers by a number of different paths. Some of us fell in love early, decided to go to a hospitality school and plotted a career up through a specific discipline. Others found ourselves in a service role that grew into a lifelong career that took us all over the world. Everyone has their story, but we all agree that the diversity of cultures, disciplines and scenery that make up our everyday work lives in hotels is one of the most exciting aspects of our daily work lives.

Along with the cultural diversity, we also find ourselves working with multiple generations. Conceivably we could sit at the cafeteria lunch table with three generations defined as: Baby Boomers (born prior to 1965) Generation X (1965 – 1984) and Generation Y/Millennials (1985 to 2004).

Because our industry exists on and fosters multiple generational workplaces. It is important for our leaders and managers to understand the specific characteristics of each and how they were acquired. Conceivably a Millennial could be a manager of a Baby Boomer or vice versa. This can result in workplace challenges as we struggle to understand the different characteristics of each generation and how to communicate, manage, motivate, discipline and reward as well as attract high performing talent from every generation. Gifted managers can capitalize on these differences for positive inter-generational leadership and communication. Baby Boomers. The Boomer Generation is often portrayed as a generation of optimism, self actualization and achievement. Boomers put emphasis on individual choice, community involvement and prosperity. They have a preference for face-to-face interaction, conflict avoidance and a team approach to decision making focusing on the result, not the procedure.

Boomers as Bosses…have high expectations for themselves and that of their team members. They expect everyone to contribute equally and at a very high level. Boomers tend to have a very strong work ethic and are accustomed to making personal sacrifices for the sake of their work. Our industry often requires a 24/7 commitment…Boomers came up through their careers with this attitude and if they are managing multi generations they may have the same expectation. If a Millennial subordinate does not hold this discipline a Boomer may see them as lazy or not committed. This is not the case, the Millennial just has a different set of priorities and attitudes to work/life balance.

Boomers respect authority and feel that a title automatically commands respect. A Boomer Director of Sales can empty out a hotel sales department of Millennials if they don’t recognize they have to earn the respect of their team rather than automatically gaining it as a result of their title.

Generation X. Generation X has less traditional work attitudes than the Baby Boomer generation preceding them. Unlike Boomers who tended to stay in companies for longer periods Generation X learned that loyalty does not necessarily translate into job security. This can result in frequent job changing and less personal sacrifice for “the long term”. It can be challenging for

this generation to work in a company with rigid work structures. As Boomers we are used to working those crazy hours and holidays without question. Gen X don’t always see the value or necessity…it can be a challenge for both sides of the reporting structure.

Generation X is not as likely to take instructions or direction without question. They need to understand the process, the end goal and their part in the result. They are less likely to tolerate “office politics” (invented by the Baby Boomers), and are not as adept at conflict resolution.

Generation X is independent, seeks autonomy and is adaptable. They are accustomed to questioning (while respecting) authority, are more likely to take personal risks and prefer to work independently once they understand the why and where. They are less likely to attach their worth to the company and see themselves as a marketable commodity.

Gen X is more “native” to technology as opposed to the Boomers who came to it later as adopters in their careers. They saw huge strides in technology and how it changed their work lives. They are not afraid of it and embrace it easier than the generation that precedes them.

Generation Y also referred to as Millennials… love to work in a collaborative environment (hence the proliferation of shared work spaces). They are very good at multi-tasking, handling a large number of competing priorities, crave change and adapt rapidly. They see work as an expression of themselves not as a definition of who they are.

Millennials need constant stimulation and recognition. They want to know how what they do contributes to the big picture and they need to understand how everything fits together. In their team sports growing up years everyone got to play no matter the skill level. Everyone got a medal whether they “won” or not. Blind obedience because “I said so”, “I’m the boss” or “I have the title” does not work for this generation.

Millennials are accustomed to immediate, the now and instant gratification. They are adept at working on four or five personal devices at the same time. Knowledge and communication is easily assessable and they communicate in much different ways from their Gen X and Boomer bosses and subordinates.

The need for work life balance for Millennials is heightened even more than Generation X before them. Millennials are less likely to seek managerial or team leadership positions that would compromise life outside of work. They require flexibility in work schedules and relaxed work environments.

The need for personal and self expression is very important to the Millennial. Many of our “lifestyle” companies easily adapt to this new approach to hospitality. You need only to look at the tattooed front desk staff and the open lap tops on shared tables in the lobby of Ace Hotels to see how this company is attractive to the Millennial employee (and guest). It can be more challenging for the luxury properties that still require morning suits and addressing guests in a formal manner.

One of our clients at Marshall Alan Associates has conceived a collaborative creative workspace that attracts young creative talent as member contact employees. They are developing a mentor program that matches member GenYer’s with staff Millennials to assist them in learning business skills. These recent graduates from Parsons or FIT benefit from member guidance and learn to read a P&L or forecast expenses on the job. This client recognizes the close relationship these Millennials have with their parents, with whom they are in constant contact. This generation is accustomed to parents who were involved in every aspect of their lives growing up. These are parents who want to see where their kids work and how they are treated. This client wants to be the work place of choice for their Millennial employees so that they are proud to tell their parents about where they work “around the Thanksgiving table”.

This generation needs constant feedback and individual recognition. They are not as motivated to compete with their fellow workers so to “motivate” by pitting them against each other to reach a goal will not work. Team recognition is also not much of a motivator. Their parents have treated them as individual VIP’s worth listening to, protected and counseled.

I have touched in past articles on the need to guide Millennial sales people in reading their client and communicating with them in the way the client would expect. This has been a basic sales tenant since I took PSS/XEROX sales skills training in the late 80’s. It may be more challenging in this era however, as an example, when a Boomer client expects a handwritten note and the Millennial rarely if ever picks up a pen and paper to write. Functional literacy is an issue with this generation.

On the flip side, harnessing the power of social media and the ability to get instantly in front of your clients and guests is useful for the Boomer boss not as equipped to understand the functionality. Your Millennial employees are “native” to all the technology. It’s important though to make sure the message is not too commercialized. It’s a fine line and best executed by a Millennial.

I have observed an interesting trend with Millennials in the early 20 age range. They are coming out of school highly educated with a low potential for finding positions in their field of work. They seem more willing to “do just about anything” that will allow them to work. While they have a built in sense of entitlement as a result of “helicopter parents”, they are scared and more flexible in their work choices. I am not suggesting we take unfair advantage of this situation however they may be more malleable and adaptable to a hospitality environment. They don’t automatically expect managerial jobs and will work “the line” to gain experience. They are also a sophisticated group of employees how may have studied abroad and done charitable work during their college years. Management trainee programs, mentorship opportunities are very important to this generation.

We are very fortunate in the hotel business to work with up to three generations of employees, colleagues and leaders. This happens in relatively few other industries. While it does have its challenges and obstacles, if our leaders and managers understand the different characteristics and motivators of each we have incredible opportunities to remain viable, flexible and relevant. Many companies are teaching “how to manage the Millennial”. I think it is important and we impress on our clients and candidates at Marshall Alan Associates, that all three generations are understood and encouraged to harness the opportunities provided by each generation.

This article was originally posted on

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Marketing Yourself for Your Next Big Role!

presentationReady to make a big change in your career ? Then it’s critical that you use the right strategies to market yourself for that next opportunity and determine the next step in your career.  Marshall-Alan Associates specializes in matching employers with the perfect candidates. Here are some useful tips to help you stand out in your search:

Be The Expert: Identifying the specific areas of expertise and skills you can bring to an organization will help us to direct the search and will differentiate you from other candidates with similar qualifications. We assess past work experience and major projects a candidate has created.  We focus on finding a candidate’s skills and accomplishments based on specific job experiences.

Brand Yourself: An online identity now is essential, and should clearly highlight your unique qualities. This will allow us to feature your strengths, experience, and past roles and to make you stand out for potential employers.

Be Visible:  We actively search for those candidates with an active Linkedin  presence and whose profiles take advantage of  this platform’s full potential. We are impressed by the increasing opportunities for positive exposure this resource offers candidates, as well as by other websites, such as Twitter and Google Plus.

There are many well qualified candidates in today’s highly dynamic hospitality industry and it is imperative your profile has the highest visibility to place you in the forefront. Putting yourself in the spotlight and using the web as a primary resource will put your high level of skills, experience and qualifications front and center to help us, and you, to position you for the next step in your career. Candidates who use these recommendations enable us, at Marshall-Alan Associates, to find the ideal match for the needs of both candidates and employers.

Vice President of Operations

The Vice President of Operations connects management and staff members in multiple markets for service delivery as well providing operational support for the actual hotel and guests. images (1)

This professional promotes, maintains and directly affects the hotel’s brand and overall operational goals and is responsible for directing development and implementation of the hotel’s systems. The VP of Operations is also responsible for  residential operations’ business plans for the company’s brands, which can include: operational policies, procedures, guest standards, and the overall culture.

There are six essential skills sets that are required for this role:

  1. Branding: This role requires someone who understands the true core of the hotel, but knows their exact “DNA” to be able to identify, articulate and create that unique guest experience.
  2. Vision: It’s all about taking the hotel’s mission or brand and turning it into tangible goals. The right candidate is able to think creatively and develop direct reports to deliver best practices, services, and people through management of service delivery to employees and clients in widely varying markets.
  3. Leadership: This role must be filled by an experienced professional who has the ability to manage multiple teams in a highly client-facing, service- oriented role.
  4. Service: A successful hospitality operation is built upon great customer service. The goal of this role is to develop strong relationships with past, current and new customers; and to generate and promote more business through effective service.
  5. Analysis: This leader should be able to analyze, develop and monitor fiscal budgets to produce short and long term profitability.

We have been watching some exciting and innovative properties coming on to the scene in New York City. Making a bold statement in the city are: SLS New York, Viceroy New York, the Quin and the Refinery Hotel.

The main objective in a search for a Vice President of Operations is to identify and recruit someone who can achieve revenue growth as well as corporate, guest, franchisee, and customer satisfaction. This role needs to be filled by someone who can maintain and have a true understanding of industry trends. Marshal-Allan Associates are uniquely qualified to help you find the right talent and top executives to lead the management team in hotels in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

Top 5 Resolutions for Your Career!

It’s a New Year and a new you! Take this year head on, and try to accomplish more than you ever have before! Other than the usual resolutions like losing weight, take on a professional resolution to improve your career path! To get started: career

  1. Search within your niche: Make this New Year the time to search within your specialization. . Basically, reflect on the years of experience you have built over time to help narrow your search. Try to hone in on positions that will help you maximize the use of your unique talents and skills.
  2. Improve your skills: If you are truly happy at your current position, then you can always improve your skills to make yourself even better at the same position. This is the easiest way for you to stand out from your fellow co-workers. The goal is to improve your resumé, so look around to see how you can enhance your current skill set.
  3. Go outside the box: 2013 is all about how you can stand out from the rest. The market has become so competitive, and it’s easy to get lost among the other candidates. Instead of sticking to the traditional way of attaching your resume and cover letter within an email, try to go beyond your “safe zone”.”. Try Googling creative resumes to get the juices flowing! Some really creative ideas we have seen are a YouTube video clip as a resume and even the use of an infographic.
  4. Culture is everything: Once you have narrowed down the companies you are interested in, , try to learn and understand the culture of the company. In 2013,more than ever before, companies are starting to develop their own character. Learn their character and culture of the companies you apply to, and utilize this knowledge to make yourself stand out and show why you believe it will be a good fit. That being said, before you apply, take the time to learn the company’s core values and make sure they fit with yours!
  5. Search and networking: Since the boom of social media, everything has become searchable. This is a great avenue to help reconnect with lost relations and begin networking for your new career. Therefore, you should  make a huge effort to be on Linkedin and other platforms to start making immediate connections, and then, you can continue to grow from there.


Are you not one of those people who makes resolutions? Try to make one this year because you never know when or where you will find inspiration.


Out with the old, in with the new! Happy New Year!

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