Meet Alejandra Gallo, Director of Catering at Mayfair House Hotel & Garden

Meet Alejandra Gallo, Director of Catering at Mayfair House Hotel & Garden

Behind the success of every great property group is a team of passionate, dedicated leaders who make it all possible. In this series, we sit down with experts from the hospitality industry’s top catering and sales teams to get a behind-the-scenes look at their journey and what they’ve learned along the way.

A Cornell University graduate, Alejandra Gallo started her journey in the hospitality industry with dreams of becoming a pastry chef. But her love for working with people led her to take a different path, spending her summers working in catering in Manhattan and ultimately moving to Miami after she graduated.

With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Alejandra is now helping run the show as the director of catering at one of Miami’s most iconic properties, Mayfair House Hotel & Garden. As a Miami native, Alejandra grew up in the city’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, where Mayfair House Hotel & Garden is located. The area and the community hold a lot of personal history for Alejandra, making the connection to the property and her contribution to its success even stronger and more meaningful.

Below, check out our Q&A with Alejandra to learn about her story, her career, and her tips for others in the hospitality industry.

Why did you choose Mayfair House Hotel & Garden?

My roots are in Coconut Grove, and I wanted to give back to the community that has played a valuable role in my upbringing. First opening in 1985, the Mayfair House Hotel & Garden is rooted in Coconut Grove’s rich artistic history. The new Mayfair House is a culture-forward property shaped by artists and creatives. The hotel’s long history is part of its allure, and the newly completed design adds layers to the legacy.

What excites you the most about being the Director of Catering?

I love working with people; I’m naturally drawn to them. I enjoy getting to know each person I work with, helping them figure out what they need and how we can help solve that need. There is something exciting about looking at a situation and adjusting to discover what works and what doesn’t to come up with a solution.

What successes have you had along the way?

I’m fortunate to have had a lot of proud moments. The biggest was being a part of two property openings. Seeing a hotel go from just a slab on the floor to a grand opening is amazing. Being part of such a huge undertaking opens your eyes to so many aspects of building and running a property; it became a passion project. I would start my day prepared and willing to do whatever was needed, whether running across the street to buy gym clothes and physically helping move furniture around or figuring out the best procedure to process credit cards. It’s like being part of a startup.

What is the secret to your success?

As the catering director, I wear many hats that require a great deal of patience. For me, the key is being in the right mindset so you’re prepared to jump in and get your hands dirty no matter what comes at you. I remind myself every day, sometimes multiple times, to be calm, patient, and kind to myself, which is helpful not only to me but to the people I’m working with.

What has been your biggest challenge in this role to date?

The demand. Coconut Grove is full of life and history, and it’s growing fast. Mayfair House Hotel & Garden is the property in town (we opened in September of 2022), which is really exciting to be a part of. With that excitement comes a lot of interest from people who want to see the space, experience the property, and host their events. After taking just one day off, I returned to 99 missed calls—finding a way to prioritize and meet those demands is not easy.

What is the key to building a strong team?

A strong team can make every day a success. There are over 100 people working at the property, and each person plays a huge role. As a leader, I make sure my team knows I’m there for them and feel comfortable coming to me no matter how big or small. The best way to build relationships is to build great relationships.

How has digital technology changed the way you and your team work over the years?

Being a part of a high-end platform like ROH has made us more visible to clients worldwide who may not know about our property. We will hear from a bride and groom who live in California but want a destination wedding in Miami and will book the space based on that listing. The visibility and connections are unmatched.

We also work with a floorplan software called AllSeated, which offers 3D custom floor plans so clients can accurately see what their wedding will look like in the ballroom. Their colors, layout, and vision come to life, and it's extremely helpful.

What other systems/technology do you use day-to-day? How does that impact your customers?

We have contactless check-in systems that allow our customers to walk up to a self-service kiosk to complete the check-in process, get their key and head to their room. This process makes it easy for people to get into their rooms fast and easily. And, if they prefer to work with someone, we have agents who can help them at the kiosk.

To learn more about how ROH can help your property group or hospitality brand drive increased revenue, conversions, and collaboration, schedule a free demo.