Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Matthew Kajdan Appointed Executive Chef of The Westin Jackson Opening Early August 2017 in Jackson, Mississippi

Chef Matthew Kajdan Joins the Westin Jackson from Parlor Market in Jackson, MS

JACKSON, MS. May 18, 2017 – Wischermann Partners is thrilled to announce the appointment of Chef Matthew Kajdan as Executive Chef for The Westin Jackson, scheduled to open in early August 2017. With more than 15 years of experience working in the restaurant industry, most recently at Jackson’s Parlor Market, Chef Matthew will oversee Estelle, a modern wine bar & bistro, and the entire food and beverage operation at the hotel, reinforcing The Westin Jackson’s mission to boost travel and tourism in downtown Jackson. Chef Matthew is joining The Westin Jackson team after five years at Parlor Market. As the Executive Chef at Parlor, Matthew brought a new Southern menu with progressive ideas and local products in a farm to table atmosphere.

Chef Matthew has been invited to represent the city of Jackson and Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro by competing in two upcoming regional culinary competitions, The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and the 8th Annual Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off.

“We are so excited to have such a distinguished chef from the Jackson community join our team and lead the opening of Estelle. This restaurant will really cater to the creative-minded individual and embrace Jackson’s Southern charm and local culture, while using only the freshest ingredients,” says Mike Burton, General Manager of The Westin Jackson. “We are confident that Chef Matthew will establish Estelle within the city’s thriving dining scene and offer a new foodie hotspot for guests to gather and unwind.”

Chef Matthew Kajdan was born and raised in Madison, MS where his mother and grandmother showed him the way around the kitchen. Growing up in a large European family, he developed a taste for gourmet cooking and fine foods.

“I am proud of what the team has built over at Parlor and will be looking forward to being good neighbors to them in the future,” said Chef Matthew Kajdan. “I am very excited to continue working in the Jackson community and sharing my love and passion for food in a new way at Estelle & The Westin Jackson.”

Previously, Chef Matthew began his career at Bravo! Italian Restaurant under Chefs Louis Larose and Dan Blumenthal. Chef Matthew then went to work in the kitchen of Nick Apostle, where his skills were honed over the next few years. He left his home state of Mississippi in 2006 to pursue a position in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Matthew worked at the historic Sagamore Hotel under great chefs, including Frank Esposito, Ken Lingle and Pastry Chef Bill Foltze. In 2008, Matthew moved back to his home state and returned back to work under his mentor Nick Apostle. In these years Matthew helped open the Mermaid Café as Executive Chef and eventually General Manager. He credits these years and Nick’s mentorship to his understanding of what it means to be a Chef and how to run business without sacrificing ethics.

For more information please visit http://www.westinjackson.com/ or call (601) 968-8200.

About The Westin Jackson

The Westin Jackson, set to open in early August 2017, offers 12,000 square feet of highly functional meeting space and 203 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites. Featuring a unique wine bar & bistro restaurant concept and state-of-the-art spa, The Westin Jackson will celebrate the history and culture of Jackson, MS, also known as the birthplace of America’s music. Marking the brand’s debut in the state, The Westin Jackson will be ideally located in the heart of downtown Jackson and within walking distance to the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Federal Courthouse, the Planetarium and the historic music and arts theatre, Thalia Mara Hall. Also within one block from the hotel, the Jackson Convention Complex features over 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space for convention attendees.

About Wischermann Partners

Wischermann Partners, Inc. is a national hospitality firm, focused on the operations of upper upscale and luxury hotels. Recognized by clients, peers and industry experts, Wischermann Partners brings a unique mix of knowledge, experience and insight to hospitality management, development and acquisitions. Currently, Wischermann Partners operates a hotel portfolio of more than 3,400 rooms. For more information about Wischermann Partners, please visit www.wischermannpartners.com.

Contact:
Noreen Heron/Sarah Ficek
Noreen@heronagency.com or Sarah@heronagency.com
773.969.5200

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.