Christopher Strawbridge

Food and Beverage Executive Professional

Location 15h@2xChicago, IL

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Summary

I wanted to be an actor. Don't all actors end up waiting tables? I found my passion with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants where I started as a server and in 13 years worked my way up to Director of Operations overseeing all food and beverage in their hotels including Restaurants, Banquets/Catering and IRD. I worked with and mentored great talent and ... Read more

I wanted to be an actor. Don't all actors end up waiting tables? I found my passion with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants where I started as a server and in 13 years worked my way up to Director of Operations overseeing all food and beverage in their hotels including Restaurants, Banquets/Catering and IRD. I worked with and mentored great talent and am excited to bring this to a organization with a great culture and growth plan.

My Dream Job is I loved training and mentoring talent. I would say as a Regional Director, I can touch as many individuals as possible.

Work Experience
  • Director of Food and Beverage

    Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
    Nov. 2015 to Oct. 2016 (11 months)

    See Details

    Role & Tasks:

    • Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Team Member for Carlson Rezidor managed, upper upscale Radisson Blu Hotel overseeing Filini Restaurant and Bar, Blu Bar, In Room Dining, Mini Bar and 28,000 square feet of banquet space totaling $17 million in top line revenue.
    • I have positively moved the operation forward working closely with Director of Restaurants, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Operations to elevate the food and beverage offering with a better financial performance. I work directly with the team to develop and implement controls to assure a challenged food cost, china, glass and silver program and labor model are now performing at maximum potential.
    • Achieved top line revenue growth compared to 2015 in all food and beverage outlets totaling $200K+ in 2016. This has resulted in a repositioning of Filini Bar and Restaurant in the market set, an upgrade in In Room Dining supporting a 50% YOY growth in revenue each month and the addition of an upgraded Mini Bar focused on local products resulting in a 25% increase.
    • Worked closely with third party public relations firm to develop and implement a comprehensive 12 month plan to publicize and market Filini Restaurant and Bar including seasonal menus, elevated and focused craft cocktail program and onsite and offsite events. This has resulted in multiple press hits including highlighted as one of the best offerings at Chicago Gourmet by Phil Vettel from the Chicago Tribune.
    • Oversee and hold accountable team consisting of 2 Executive Chefs, Director of Restaurants, Director of Banquets, Bar Manager, 2 Restaurant Managers, Events Manager and Executive Steward as well as 150+ food and beverage hourly employees.

  • Director of Operations

    Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
    Feb. 2013 to Jul. 2015 (2 years and 4 months)

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    Role & Tasks:

    Director of Restaurant Operations
    • Director of Operations for Kimpton Restaurant’s Food and Beverage portfolio in San Francisco including Dirty Habit in the Hotel Palomar, BDK at the Hotel Monaco, Scala’s Bistro, Bar Drake and the Starlight Room at the Historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Blue Mermaid at the Argonaut Hotel, Pescatore located in the Tuscan Inn as well as Park Place in the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino encompassing Fine Dining & Upscale Full Service Restaurants, High End Bars & Nightclubs, Banquets & Catering and In Room Dining totaling $33 million dollars in budgeted top line revenue successfully attracting both hotel and dedicated, local guests.
    • In the first 3 months of operation, BDK was at 193% of budgeted top line revenue as well as a 32.5% departmental profit. Dirty Habit YTD for 2015 was at 127% of budgeted top line revenue and at 34% GOI.
    • Oversaw all aspects for Kimpton of the re launch of BDK Restaurant in the Hotel Monaco from hiring, managing construction, design, financial budgeting, PR and marketing, menu engineering, concept development through opening achieving multiple national press hits from the Wall St. Journal, Architectural Digest as well as garnering a 2 ½ star rating from Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle with Top Chef alum Heather Terhune and Chronical Bar Star Kevin Diedrich.
    • Main liaison and point of contact including all financial reporting between Kimpton and our third party ownership groups including Pebblebrook & La Salle Hotels, Cornerstone and Walnut Hill Group.
    • Worked directly with both Hotel Directors of Operations and General Managers to maintain a strong Kimpton Culture of keeping our employees happy ensuring our guests were happy. I partnered closely with local and regional People & Culture teams managing relationships and resolving any disputes between all employees resulting in Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants placing 11th on Fortune 500’s top 100 companies to work for in 2015, our highest placement after 5 years of being on their list.
    • Maintained Cost of Sales of Food Cost averaging 23% across all properties and ensuring all Beverage, Labor and Operating Costs were all in line or under.
    • Oversaw launch of new Executive Chef Larry Finn and Executive Pastry Chef Kimberly Bugler culminating in a 2.5 star review for Scala’s Bistro from Michael Bauer.
    • Developed labor and cost containment plan utilized across Kimpton Restaurants in San Francisco to ensure maximum profitability resulting in at least 2-6% savings. Achieved highest GOP percentage of all West Coast Director of Operations across the Kimpton portfolio in 2014.
    • All San Francisco Kimpton Restaurants Employee Satisfaction scores grew +5-+19% in 2014 under my leadership.
    • 2007-2015 Kimpton Mentorship Program participant, Kimpton Cultural Cornerstone Trainer and 2014 Trainer of the Year recipient.
    • Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation Board Member 2013-2014

    Awards:
    Trainer of the Year, 2014.
  • General Manager

    Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
    Jul. 2008 to Jan. 2013 (4 years and 6 months)

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    Role & Tasks:

    • Multi-Unit General Manager overseeing all food and beverage operations including restaurants The Blue Mermaid Chowder House and Pescatore, the banquet operations for both the 4 star Argonaut Hotel and Tuscan Inn and both Room Service totaling $7.5 million in revenue for Fortune 500 top 100 company.
    • Grew revenue YOY at the Blue Mermaid by $200,000 and Pescatore by $330,000 in 2011, $220,000 at the Blue Mermaid and $135,000 at Pescatore in 2010 and achieved forecast within 10% every year.
    • GOP averaged 18%-21% at the Argonaut and 13% at the Tuscan annually. Flow through well exceeded 50% goal under my leadership through strong cost containment and hands on management.
    • Oversaw and managed all restaurant related Capital projects at both hotels including a full revamp and re-launch of Pescatore, Blue Mermaid front and back kitchen remodel and expansion of Blue Mermaid patio.
    • Kimpton West Coast Task Force Team Leader sent to oversee and support Blvd. 16 in Los Angeles at the Palomar Hotel, Pazzo in Portland at the Vintage, The Grill in La Jolla at the Hotel La Jolla, The Grand Café at the Hotel Monaco San Francisco and Scala’s Bistro at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
    • Both operations regularly finished each year well exceeding employee satisfaction and composite customer service scoring to Kimpton standards.

  • Assistant General Manager

    Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
    Jan. 2006 to Jul. 2008 (2 years and 6 months)

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    Role & Tasks:

    • Oversaw and ran all aspects of a $9.5 million dollar annually upscale, high volume, Fine Dining operation located in the historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
    • Responsibilities included authoring and implementation of both annual and quarterly marketing plans, monthly and weekly forecasting, “WIG” management and instrumental in writing the 2007 & 2008 fiscal budget.
    • Updated and authored Weekly Profit & Loss statement and Monthly Profit & Loss statement for entire Food and Beverage operation for Drake Restaurants.
    • Exceeded GOP for 4th Quarter 2006 and for all Quarters in 2007 under my management.
    • Team achieved eight 90% or higher scores on Coyle Shopper Reports, a 10 point increase in Employee Opinion Survey scores and a three star rating for service from reviewer Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle under my leadership.
    • Developed and implemented Front of House action plan for the closure and reopening of Scala’s Bistro after renovation including all recruitment, hiring and training of current and new staff.
    • Oversaw opening of Bar Drake including involvement in the planning, design and all operations.

  • Catering Sales Manager

    Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
    Dec. 2002 to Dec. 2005 (3 years)

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    Role & Tasks:

    • Promoted to Restaurant Manager from a Server of Hotel Monaco’s 3 star concept South Water Kitchen.
    • Planned, managed and coordinated all Catering/Private Dining food and beverage for Hotel Monaco and adjacent South Water Kitchen restaurant exceeding catering budget and prior year in sales and revenue.
    • Responsible for all sales, planning and execution of weddings and social business events, as well as any local or national corporate meetings with 10 sleeping rooms or less.
    • Creative skills involved in event planning, special room setups and room design for wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, and corporate special events.
    • Worked directly with Hotel Monaco Group Sales team to cultivate and grow Hotel Monaco Catering.
    • Composed monthly PACE Reports and sales forecasts along with yearly and quarterly marketing plans.
    • Corporate list of clients included Microsoft, Gap/Old Navy, Yahoo, MAC Cosmetics, BP, Merrill Lynch and Chase/Bank One.

Education
  • Theater Arts
    Sep. 1993 to May. 1994

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    Summary

    First year completed at San Diego State

Skills

Off-site Event Management

On-site Special Events

Ordering / Purchasing

Ordering / Receiving

Over 300 covers a night

Enforcement Of Safety / Sanitation Standards

Equipment Maintenance

Expediting

Receiving/Organizing

Food / Beverage Pairing

Scheduling

Food Budgeting

Food Cost Optimization

Food Handlers Certificate

Food Safety Knowledge

Staff education / motivation

Up to 100 covers a night

Up to 200 covers a night

Inventory

Up to 300 covers a night

Kitchen Cleaning/Sanitation

Up to 50 covers a night

Kitchen management

Menu development

Ability To Lift 40+ Lbs

Pricing

Basic Floor Service

Profit & Loss Management

Beer Knowledge

Budget/cost Analysis

Regional Expertise - US

Coffee Knowledge

Spirits/Cocktails Knowledge

Craft Cocktail knowledge

Creating A Wine Program From The Ground Up

Tips Certified

Food & Wine Pairings

Wine Buying

Inventory

List Creation

Wine Knowledge

Wine Ordering

POS Maintenance

Classic Food / Wine Service

Classic Wine Service Knowledge

Menu development

Conflict Resolution

OpenTable or other

Customer service

POS Systems

Event Management / Organization

Staff Management of 150+

Experience in a Fine Dining Establishment

Staff Management of 20

Experience in a High Volume Environment

Staff Management of 75

Staff education / motivation

Food / Beverage Pairing

Staffing / scheduling

Food Preparation Knowledge

TIPS Certified

Food Safety Knowledge

Accounting / Bookkeeping

Payroll

Budgeting

Profit And Loss

Business Management

Purchasing / ordering

Conflict Resolution

Recruiting / hiring

Customer Service

Reservation System Management

Social Media

Food Safety Knowledge

Staff Education / Motivation

Hospitality / Management Degree

Vendor Management

Marketing / PR

Web Maintenance

Merchandising

Writing

Microsoft Office

Certifications & Courses
  • TIPS Certified Trainer
    TIPS
    Jun. 2015 to Oct. 2016
Organizations & Volunteer Activity
  • Board Member

    Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation
    Volunteer • Jul. 2008 to Jun. 2014

    See Details

    Summary
    Food and Beverage Chair Board Member for the Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation in San Francisco.
Interests
Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Reading
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