Matt Mering | Director of Development

Matthew plays a key role on Graves Hospitality’s Executive Team as Director of Development. In this position, he identifies new hospitality development opportunities, analyzes their viability and leads the sourcing of debt and equity. Additionally, he oversees all of the company’s food and beverage operations, which consists of 12 restaurant outlets, 300 employees and over 80,000 square feet of F&B and event spaces. Combined, these generate over $25M in revenue annually. Since 2013, Matthew has led the development of nine new restaurant concepts and the repositioning of two hotel banquet operations for Graves Hospitality.

Prior to Graves Hospitality, Matthew was a principal at Salita Development, a hospitality development and management firm where he served as director of development. In that position, he was responsible for sourcing new deals, analyzing and underwriting potential acquisitions, coordinating due diligence, capital raising, project management and operations management. Under his leadership, Salita Development successfully developed a 161 room Sheraton hotel in Chicago and two popular restaurants, the Bedford and Carriage House. Both restaurants received 3 out of 4 stars by The Chicago Tribune and Carriage House was voted 2013’s “Best New Restaurant in the US,” by Esquire Magazine.

Matthew’s first leadership position in the hospitality industry began in 2002, as the operating partner of Reserve, an upscale nightclub and lounge he developed in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. In this role, Matthew created the brand and managed the daily operations. Under his management, the operation generated $5M in annual revenue and garnered accolades in prominent national media outlets including, US Weekly, CNN, The New York Times, ABC News, InStyle Magazine and The Chicago Tribune.

With initial experience as a management consultant with Accenture in their Chicago and Melbourne, Australia offices and one year working as a bartender with Club Med at their Cancun, Mexico resort, Matthew brings a wealth of both big-picture and hands-on knowledge to his position at Graves Hospitality.

Matthew received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the James Madison College at Michigan State University, and he holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, with concentrations in Finance and Strategy. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.