Mr. Steven J. Belmonte, CHA
Please tell something about your organization,
key achievements and benefits you provide to Asian
hoteliers ? When I left Cendant in 2002, as President and
CEO of Ramada, I knew that something in the
industry was lacking as it related to the Asian
American community. Specifically, having good
dialogue and effective communication relative
to negotiating fair franchise agreements and
negotiating termination of franchise agreements,
something we call liquidated damages in our
|Hospitality Solutions, LLC was the first company
of its kind. Negotiating liquidated damage claims
/ terminations and new license agreements without
the necessity of using a law firm which can
get very expensive and often times the attorney
used may not be particularly familiar with franchising.
We offer AAHOA members a very effective lost
cost, flat fee alternative, without the necessity
of long on going and often times painful attorney
fees. We have been providing this service successfully
since 2002, and have successfully negotiated
hundreds of claims. We were the first company
to offer this service, and there have been many
imitators since then. However, if you’re not
an industry insider chances are you may not
be as effective.
|2) How has the economy
downturn affected your business? What steps have your
taken to help hoteliers in this economy? Any special
deal, discount, or offer?
Frankly, our business is down along with the economy.
It’s really very simple; when the economy gets bad franchisors
are not as aggressive in terminating their franchisees.
Therefore our demand drops. However, as soon as the
industry rebounds, we anticipate a substantial increase
in our business. In order to facilitate the downturn,
we have reduced our fees significantly. Our fee was
$5,900.00 for a terminated liquidated damage claim and
we give AAHOA members a $1,000.00 discount which brings
it down to $4,900.00. Now we are discounting by an additional
$1,000.00 for a flat fee of $3,900.00 for terminated
properties faced with liquidated damages. This is the
lowest price since our company began.
3) What do you see as the future of Hotel industry?
What major trends will impact hotel business in coming
I think the industry will always be bright but cyclical.
We average a down cycle about every 6 years. In the
future there will be a higher focus of product quality
and technology even in the economy brands. The small
properties that do not keep up from a product and technology
stand point, will no longer be viable and may suffer
a “slow death”.
4) What are the 3 main management practices
that will help hotel owners to achieve greater success
in their business?
1. You have to love the industry and take pride in performing
your function with genuine hospitality. There has to
be pride in the product you offer and a sense of accomplishment
when your guests leave happy.
2. Treat your employees like business partners. Reward
them and offer them incentives Give them hope that the
hospitality industry is not a dead end job, but the
beginning of an exciting and rewarding career. Mentor
your young employees.
3. Make wise decisions not UN Informed decisions. Specifically,
take your time when evaluating a franchise company.
Make sure you are fully aware of the relationship you
are getting into, make sure you thoroughly read your
franchise agreement, and more importantly thoroughly
understand what demands are about to be made of you
as the hotel owner.
About Hospitality Solutions LLC
Hospitality Solutions LLC, Randolph, N.J., provides
new franchise agreement negotiations, franchise termination
and liquidated damage claim negotiations, mediation,
expert witness, litigation support, motivational speaking,
market studies, feasibility studies, on-site analysis
and ownership and development assistance to the hospitality
and service industries. Company President and CEO Steven
Belmonte, former President and CEO of Ramada Hotels,
also served as Chairman of the American Hotel &
Lodging Assn.’s Educational Foundation and served on
the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc.
For more information, Call : (973) 598-0839,
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Visit www.stevenbelmonte.com