Business & Finance

MFHA Hosts First New Orleans Career Enhancement Symposium

"Face the Challenges: Building a Future"

NEW ORLEANS, LA, August 24, 2006. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), a non-profit organization promoting the economic benefits of diversity in the industry, will host a mini-conference in New Orleans October 4 - 5, 2006. Held at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, the first New Orleans Straight Talk Career Enhancement Symposium will offer workshops and information sessions aimed at maximizing the potential of mid-level managers. Welcome ceremonies will be led by Leah Chase, co-owner and renowned chef at New Orleans' famous "Dooky Chase" restaurant, and Gerry Fernandez, President and Founder of MFHA. The curriculum of this 2-day event will offer practical communication tools and guides on the art of cultivating multicultural talent and the initiating and leveraging of employee affinity groups. The symposium will also provide essential professional development and educational information through a variety of speakers, panelists and interactive discussions.

"The foodservice and hospitality industry in New Orleans continues to face a variety of challenges as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Just one of those challenges is the rapidly changing composition of the New Orleans workforce following the storm. Thus, it is now more important than ever that multicultural workplace training be implemented not only to bridge communication with the Hispanic community but to also encourage and develop African Americans and other minorities to grow from hourly employees to industry and civic leaders," stated Gerry Fernandez, MFHA founder and president.

The October seminar is a "must attend" for mid-level managers and directors of color, non-minority executives working in diversity-rich settings and other professionals interested in creating a diverse workplace through the development of minorities. Attendance at the Symposium is on a first-come, first-serve basis and is limited to 300 persons. The cost to register is $250 per person and can be done by visiting www.mfha.net. Registration is open now. For more information on the Straight Talk Career Enhancement Symposium in New Orleans including a complete agenda, visit www.mfha.net.

Coming Up In The August Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Food and Beverage: Investing to Keep Pace
After five harrowing years of recession and uncertain recovery, revenues in the hotel industry (including food and beverage) have finally surpassed the previous peak year of 2007. Profits are once again on the rise and are expected to advance for the foreseeable future. The consequence of this situation means that hotel operators now have the funds to invest in their food and beverage operations in order to keep pace with rapidly changing industry trends and the evolving tastes of their hotel guests. One of the most prominent recent trends is the “Locavore Movement” which relies heavily on local sources to supply products to the hotel restaurant. In addition to fresh produce, meats and herbs, some operators are engaging local craft breweries, distilleries, bakers, coffee roasters and more to enhance their food and beverage options, and to give their operation a local identity. This effort is designed to increasingly attract local patrons, as well as traveling hotel guests. Some hotels are also introducing menus that cater to both the calorie and the ingredient conscious. Gluten-free, low-cal and low-carb menu items prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients are available to more fitness-minded guests. Another trend is placing greater emphasis on “comfort” and “street” foods which are being offered in more casual settings. The idea is to allow chefs to create their own versions of these classic recipes, with the understanding that the general public seems to be eschewing more formal dining options. Finally, because the hotel lobby is becoming the social epicenter of its operation – a space which both guests and locals can enjoy – more diverse and expanded food and beverage options are available there. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on all the recent trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and document what some leading hotels are doing to augment this area of their business.