Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that Achim Lenders, an industry veteran with 30 years of experience, has joined the company as Vice President, Global Food and Beverage;
Lenders, who most recently served as Corporate Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, will oversee the alignment and development of Starwood's multi-billion dollar global food and beverage strategy, reporting to John Peyton , Senior Vice President of Global Initiatives.
In his new role, Lenders will lead the creation and execution of strategies to enhance Starwood's critically acclaimed restaurant, bar and banquet operations across nearly 1300 restaurants and 930 bars in 100 countries. He will also lead Starwood's Global Food and Beverage Council, driving the implementation of consistent systems and best-in-class practices across all nine Starwood brands.
"As a true and seasoned visionary in the competitive food and beverage space, Achim is the ideal leader to drive the ongoing development of Starwood's renowned restaurant and bar concepts, and our banquet and catering business," said Peyton. "On behalf of the more than 50,000 associates around the world that make up our food and beverage team, I enthusiastically welcome Achim to Starwood."
A hallmark of Starwood's signature guest experience, Starwood's food and beverage program is an ever-evolving group of restaurants, bars, and cafes recognized as premier options by global travelers and local diners alike. Thanks to talented staff, cutting-edge concepts and collaborations with some of the world's most celebrated chefs, Starwood has nine restaurants with one or more Michelin stars, and more than 75 "private label" restaurant concepts. As a global hub for both business and social gatherings, Starwood hosts over 500,000 meetings and roughly 50,000 weddings every year.
Lenders' arrival at Starwood marks an important step in his more than 30-year food and beverage career that spans international positions both in and out of the kitchen. Born and raised in Germany, Lenders worked in a number of local German restaurants after culinary school, eventually joining Hyatt in 1988 as Chef de Cuisine in Australia. After holding various Executive Chef positions for Hyatt properties in Brazil, China, Japan, and the Philippines, Lenders joined Hyatt's corporate team in 2005 as Director of Food & Beverage, and rose through the ranks to hold increasingly senior management positions, including Vice President-Corporate Chef of Hyatt North America, and Vice President, International Food & Beverage.
"I am thrilled to join Starwood and to have the opportunity to work with such a dynamic collection of brands, concepts, and people," added Lenders. "Starwood's food and beverage portfolio grows stronger every day, and I look forward to working together with the Food & Beverage team furthering the distinctive quality and innovation of Starwood's offerings throughout its global properties."