Meet Rafael Velasquez: The Hospitality Guru

Building a community takes time. Meet our next door neighbor. You might see him meditating privately but for sure he is thinking about his next steps personally and professionally. Rafael’s passion for the culinary arts began early on working at various kitchens in Miami. He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, which enriched his career and pushed him to explore in depth his curiosity of international cuisine and fine dining by staging at various restaurants in Spain at renown Michelin Star restaurants honing his skills in R&D and pastry. His culinary management career began as a Sous Chef at the renowned hotel and realized the career has so much– too much– to offer. School of Business Management became his priority in his mission to professional growth, earning a dual MBA.

He was able to combine his love for the kitchen with an admiration for operations management as he worked for Hotel Groups in the running of daily operations, and accepting task force assignments opening and streamlining Hotel F&B operations throughout the Middle East, Caribbean and Mexico. For him, delivering the fine dining experience is just as important as the way the operations team is organized. This marriage of service, experience and efficient operations equal success and Rafael has cracked the code. Get know know him more on this exclusive interview:

Rafi, where did you acquire your hospitality experience?

“I acquired experience working with hospitality groups such as The Biltmore Hotel, The Viceroy, Grand Beach Hotel, Mr. Hospitality Group operates its brands, creating menus, streamlining operations, building and developing strong service teams, and overseeing food and beverage outlets within the properties and managing independent restaurants. My passion for training and development of teams comes from my experience as a professor at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu as a culinary instructor where I acquired the Certified Executive Chef assignment, and San Ignacio de Loyola forming students in Business Management and its diverse discipline in Hospitality Management and Supply Chain.”

What’s the secret to your success?

“As a founder of Strategik Eyedea, a Managing Partnership and Consultant firm for various Hospitality Groups in Miami and Medellin, Colombia, I worked closely with ownership and investors, back-of-house and front-of-house leadership teams: training, developing and managing the streamline of service operations and replicating concepts into a corporate setting. I bring knowledge and experience of Corporate Management which enables me to replicate systems of process and procedures into the daily operations, and developing the human resource while delivering guests an ultimate experience of Having Fun whether it be dinner entertainment, casual or fine dining.”

What’s your mission statement?

“To be the preferred reliable managing partner, and ownership’s peace-of-mind that works efficiently, effectively towards increasing profitability while delivering our clients’ guest’s a packaged experience of unique venue concepts that encase food, beverage, and lifestyle.”

Strategik Eyedea is a Hospitality Management and Consulting group specializing in Restaurant and Boutique Hotels by professionals with over two decades of experience providing owners, restaurateurs, and investors a managing partnership in the operations of design, start-up, concept development, expansion, or turnaround phase of their restaurant, bar, or hotel F&B operations while delivering creative, efficient, profitable and practical solutions to the daily operations.

He is currently working in the forefront Directing the operations of Backdoor Monkey, a restaurant, bar and event space with a thematic setting complemented by an Asian-fusion fare, specialty cocktails and a globally ranked DJ line-up. Directing operations at Burdo, a multi-purpose restaurant, bar, and lounge which offers an indoor restaurant with an American menu, a large outdoor bar and lounge, and a separate on-site taqueria, in one lively venue providing guests with ultimate experience fine wines and champagnes, tequilas, and musical vibes. He consults in the training and development of the kitchen leadership team at various Sushi concepts within Miami and the Beach, and an Artisan Bakery and Croissanterie in Pembroke Pines. @rafael_e_velasquez

Carlos Anaya
Carlos Anaya

Carlos Anaya is a savvy and talented professional in all multimedia platforms with an expertise in the multicultural marketplace with more than 10 years of content development experience targeting Hispanics in the U.S. Having worked in many industries including health, beauty, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, technology and travel, Carlos is an expert in raising brand awareness by visually communicating campaign messages organically, and maximizing and sustaining consumer engagement throughout traditional media and digital communications programs.

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