Officials for Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the top-ranked hotel operators in North America, today announced the appointment of Dean Wendel as the company’s new corporate director of food and beverage. Formerly the executive chef/director of food and beverage for Concord’s award-winning Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, Wendel will assume responsibility for the continued evolution of the culinary programs at the company’s 14 full service and 84 select service hotels.
“Few chefs have both a passion for quality food and an effective management style that brings out the best in the operation and its people,” said Nick Kellock, Concord’s chief operating officer. “Dean’s strengths in both of these areas make him the ideal candidate to shepherd Concord’s food and beverage operations, particularly as we continue to grow our full service portfolio.”
Over the course of a 30-year hospitality career, Wendel worked in numerous Ritz Carlton kitchens around the country before moving to Raleigh to open a new property for JQH Hotels in Raleigh’s research triangle. He was the opening executive chef/food and beverage director when Concord opened the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, which earned Marriott’s hotel of the year award in 2010.
“As the hotel industry continues its rebound, it is essential that hotel dining options reflect the evolving preferences of our guests,” said Wendel. “Every day, we see business travelers asking for simpler, healthy options and dining experiences that are suitable for client hospitality, and leisure travelers, in particular, enjoy sampling the local or even regional cuisine. Meeting and banquet clients are looking for options that will make their events stand out. We’ll be directing our efforts toward locally sourced and inspired creations that are memorable for both transient guests and community-based audiences who look to us to host their business events and special, social occasions.”
Top on Wendel’s list of priorities will be establishing partnerships with local farmers and purveyors to assure ingredient quality and freshness, as well as establish meaningful community engagement.
“Having relationships with local farms not only ensures top quality ingredients and helps emphasize local flavors, but it makes good business sense to support the people and businesses in your own community,” Wendel said.
Wendel noted that elevating service levels along with career prospects will be cornerstones of his operating philosophy. “I believe that employees who are supported by an executive team that nurtures talent and offers long range career prospects are more committed to serving guests, which ultimately serves the interests of our investors and owners,” Wendel said.
Wendel said he expects to announce an internship program with his Alma Mater, Johnson and Wales, in the coming months, and involve Concord Hospitality’s chefs in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative.
About Concord Hospitality
Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, an award-winning hotel management and development company based in Raleigh, N.C., manages more than 90 hotels offering more than 13,000 guest rooms in 22 states and two Canadian provinces. The company operates hotels and resorts under such well-known industry elite brands as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, Wyndham, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Choice Hotels, as well as select independent boutique hotels. Formed in 1985, Concord recently was listed as one of the top management companies in the nation by independent sources, and has received some of the industry’s most prestigious honors including Developer of the Year for Marriott, Hyatt and Choice Hotels. Concord also is an eight-time winner of Marriott’s Partnership Circle award and in 2013 was honored to be the recipient of Marriott’s inaugural Spirit to Preserve Award. Concord properties are some of the most awarded hotels in the country, having won nearly 100 top honors in the past two years alone. For more information, visit www.concordhotels.com.