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Hospitality Executive Search in Food and Beverage

Bristol Associates’ Hospitality division recruits for senior and executive management food and beverage positions in the hotel industry. Our practice is led by Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson.

Featured Clients

We have completed searches for a wide array of hospitality industry clients including:

  • Interstate Hotels
  • Benchmark Hospitality
  • Sage Hospitality
  • Pyramid
  • Remington
  • Walt Disney Resorts
  • American Express
  • Royal Carribean
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Travel Impressions
  • Tauck Tours
  • Carnival Cruises

Examples of Completed Searches

Our Hospitality Division has placed successful candidates in a variety of key positions. Our placements include positions such as Vice President Food and Beverage, Vice President Culinary Research, Corporate Vice President Food and Beverage, Director of Food and Beverage, Executive Chef, and Restaurant Manager.

Below is a sampling of completed searches.

Corporate Vice President – Food and Beverage

Our client is a publicly traded corporation and one of the largest resort operators in the world.  The resorts are located in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Florida.   They are the operator of some of America’s most popular themed resorts.  They retained our executive search firm to manage their search for a Corporate Vice President of Food and Beverage, who is located at their Corporate Headquarter and report directly to the company’s President/CEO.

Corporate Director of Food and Beverage

Our client is an innovative Cruise Company headquartered in Florida with a fleet of 14 ships in service and another three ships under construction.  The fleet is positioned seasonally in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, South Pacific, Alaska, and Mexico. The company has chosen to differentiate itself via its independent dining programs.  In this regard, passengers are afforded a world of dining options during their cruise.  With up to ten  different restaurants, each featuring a diverse and ever-changing menu, the client is assured that they will be provided a unique culinary experience.   We assisted the company in finding a seasoned executive to head this important program.

Vice President – Culinary Research and Development

Our client is one of America’s leading concession services companies, located in the East Coast, operating food and beverage venues at airports and travel plazas. This position leads the company in all culinary areas with regards to culinary product development. The successful candidate will develop standardized recipes to include: ingredients, and methods of preparation, presentation, procedures, and costs for restaurants, snack bars, and deli’s. An emphasis was placed on regional cuisine and various international cuisines based on airport location.


Qualities of a Great Food and Beverage Executive

With over 50 years of experience placing hotel executives, we know what makes a great leader. Below are some of the qualities and experience we look for:

  • Ability to analyze operations in terms of financial performance, customer service, and food quality
  • Demonstrated knowledge of operating metrics including critical cost ratios and productivity standards
  • Consistently exceeding budgeted profitability while maintaining top-rated customer service
  • Proven experience in innovative venue design and construction
  • Demonstrated state of the art knowledge of current trends in automation and technical services
  • Creative and versatile food design for diverse concept and cuisines

Division Leader

Kelly Nelson

Senior Vice President
Hospitality and Travel
Kelly Nelson joined Bristol Associates in 1995 with initial responsibility for our long standing Hotel Industry Practice. Kelly was instrumental in the development of additional lines of business including Travel, Facilities and Concessions.

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