Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Richard Branson, welcomes Jay Wetzel as the new Vice President of Food + Beverage. Wetzel will oversee the overall direction of food & beverage for the company, working on the various restaurant and bar concepts within the hotels while strengthening culinary partnerships across the brand.
“What interested me about Virgin Hotels is the innate power of the brand,” remarked Wetzel. “It’s a chance to be a part of a team that develops something from the ground up, one that will really have an impact on the hotel industry within my lifetime. I’m looking forward to working with a passionate team that has diverse repertoires in hospitality.”
Wetzel brings more than 20 years of experience as a chef and culinary executive to the Virgin Hotels team. Most recently, he worked as the senior corporate director of food & beverage at Rosewood Hotel Group, overseeing both food & beverage operations and project-related developments for the brand. Wetzel has also served as an executive chef with Hyatt International.
Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels, commented, “The food and beverage experience at Virgin Hotels is a key component of our overall offering. Through our signature concept, the Commons Club, we intend to deliver enticing experiences by top culinary talent across the country. We are thrilled to have an individual of Jay’s qualifications on board with broad culinary experience both domestic and international.”
Virgin Hotels Chicago opened in 2015, and the brand recently announced plans to open additional properties in New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Nashville, and Palm Springs. Hotels in Dallas and New York City are currently under construction, slated to open in 2018 and 2019, respectively.