Provista's Hospitality Advisory Council Sets the Table for Collaboration

November 6, 2023
Waiter standing in front of bar with tray of drinks in hand

Provista offers advisory councils across the lines of business it serves in non-acute healthcare and hospitality. Members who meet specific qualifications have an opportunity to join and contribute to a council, which in turn allows them to help shape the contracts that the group purchasing organization (GPO) offers. 

Members volunteer to serve a three-year term, with Provista paying expenses for in–person council meetings. 

“The Hospitality Advisory Council provides leadership and direction in the development of strategies, services and contracts focused on our hospitality members, which consist of casinos, boutique hotels and resorts, and entertainment and recreation organizations such as sporting venues, theme parks, zoos and aquariums,” says David Richard, Associate Principal, Culinary Strategy and Solutions, Provista.

Enabling members to influence the hospitality program and contracts helps ensure that Provista meets the current and future needs of members across all classes of trade.


Hospitality council members help with all aspects of contracting and program development, such as sharing which contracts deliver the most value and which ones meet current, emerging or changing consumer preferences. Members can share their insights about potential industry challenges and opportunities, allowing Provista to help mitigate issues and capitalize on new trends, such as new popular new foods or cooking methods, to contribute to members’ ongoing success and profitability.

Members can also assist in developing criteria for bidding on new contracts and developing new programs and offerings. In turn, member organizations benefit by having the most optimal contracts and program offerings to meet their hospitality needs, including contracts covering food, capital equipment, IT and purchased services.

Input from members has resulted in real-world changes to the program and contracts and drove new product offerings. For example, council members helped Provista expand its hospitality portfolio.

“Feedback and market intelligence provided from member properties significantly steer the direction of the Provista go-to-market strategies and overall program and portfolio development,” Richard explains.


While Provista realizes a range of benefits by supporting its hospitality council, members who serve on the council also see advantages.

“Based on feedback, the number one advantage members enjoy is the connections that they make with other members and businesses on the council,” Richard says. “The invaluable networking and sharing of knowledge that they bring to the conversation is beneficial for all members of the council.”

Council members can learn from their peers and have an established forum to collaborate. For example, the council allows members to share market insights, helping members stay current on their fast-changing industry and understand how technologies, cooking methods and automation are impacting various aspects of the hospitality industry.

Another benefit of joining the council is that members may be offered the first chance to try new products, programs, services or tools before Provista implements them across the entire GPO membership. Those who participate in new programs or contribute to the council in other ways can also gain publicity and share their success by potentially being featured in a customer case study that’s promoted on Provista’s website.


“Feedback and market intelligence provided from member properties significantly steer the direction of the Provista go-to-market strategies and overall program and portfolio development.

—David Richard, Associate Principal, Culinary Strategy And Solutions, Provista.


Provista members have found success through sharing with their peers on the council. For example, council discussions have resulted in members learning about and implementing a sous vide approach to cooking.

“The council is a good fit because I’m a different operator than others. From my perspective, I get to hear more about what’s going on in the industry,” says Brian Heiss, VP of Purchasing for Brock & Company. “I get a better understanding of how food programs fit together.”

By participating in the council, Heiss connected with another member who’s a sous vide expert. This was important because Heiss considers different concepts for food preparation, and he wanted to learn more about the cooking method. 

For Robert Baldwin, CFBE, CGSP, from FirstService, learning from others in the hospitality industry is also a key factor in being on the council. “Some things others are doing can be applied to my world and others can’t, but I always learn things that I can apply to my locations, especially with newer products,” Baldwin says.

Brian Berger, a founding partner of JBH Advisory Group, credits the council for developing friendships with other industry professionals and having a forum to share business models and best practices.


Provista’s Hospitality Advisory Council delivers benefits to both the GPO and members. Joining the council is a unique opportunity for members to drive change and initiate discussions that help hospitality organizations improve their business.
“For Provista to be truly successful and focused on the needs of the industry and the direct needs of the properties and companies we serve, we must listen to the voice of the customer—not only one type of customer but the uniqueness of all of our different customers,” Richard says. “Without this interaction, we would never be truly a customer-centric company.

To join the council and have a voice in their GPO, Provista members can fill out a short form online to get the process started.


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