NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) has been awarded the contract to run food and beverage operations at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan. USHG will run operations for the hotel’s restaurants and bars, while its event team – Union Square Events (USE) – will run catering operations. The Request for Proposal process began in December of last year and, finally, the award has been granted after months of deliberation over which feeders would be invited to bid on the contract. The same month the process began, Marriott terminated over 800 employees in its Food & Beverage Department, as well as others.
The food and beverage operation at the Marriott Marquis will be expansive. The facility houses almost 2,000 rooms and its catering program brings in more than $50 million alone. Heading the USHG group will be 2 of its most veteran executives: Tony Mastellone and Anton Nocito. Mastellone is USHG’s Division President and Nocito is the Marriott Marquis’ Executive Chef of Restaurants & Bars.
According to a statement from a USHG spokesperson, “Union Square Hospitality Group and Union Square Events are thrilled to collaborate with New York Marriott Marquis on the latest chapter of the storied property. We look forward to bringing our shared commitment to hospitality to the resurgence of the Theater District as Broadway reopens and the iconic destination welcomes back visitors to experience the performing arts this Fall.”
Aside from the massive venture itself, USHG’s award also follows the recent unionization of the Marquis housekeeping staff. Amongst other major effects, the pandemic pushed New York City hotels to identify areas in which they could reduce costs – which often led to terminated employees and, sometimes, replacing them with subcontracted workers. In Marriot’s unionized, New York City hotels, workers did not have their jobs subcontracted. When food service was removed from the equation, the local Union HTC began focusing its efforts on unionizing the housekeeping workers – who were next in line to be terminated. According to Julia Rybak, the Union’s Lead Organizer and Director of Organizing, the Marquis housekeeping staff was successfully unionized because the “shock of the massive food and beverage termination provided the final push to give the Union a super-majority.”
Reportedly, the hotel had previously alerted its Food & Beverage department staff that, even in the event that their positions return, they would not recieve priority to be rehired. State Senator Brad Hoylman had been working on potentially proposing a “right of recall” bill for the state of New York, which would effectively require employers to re-hire their former workers in the event their positions came back, however, nothing has been done yet.
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