Cost-Effective Franchise Dispute Resolution
Florida hotelier turns to Steve Belmonte to hammer out a solution
that satisfies all parties
RANDOLPH, N.J. — FEB. 23, 2005 — With the business
climate warming up after a long cold spell, industry observers predict
that that more hotel operators will either re-flag their properties or,
in the case of independents, sign on with a franchisor, in order to avail
themselves of the competitive advantages franchising brings to the table.
“We had two years to go on the agreement, and
as far as I could tell we were within our rights to terminate,” Patel said.
“But these franchising documents are so complex that you pretty much have
to hire an attorney to interpret them and then take your case to court
for resolution—and that’s a long, expensive road to travel.”
“I had friends in the hotel business who had hired Steve to help in disputes like mine,” Patel said. “They told me Steve has in-depth knowledge of franchise agreements and that his fees were far less than it would cost us to hire an attorney. I called him right away, and the next thing I knew Steve was working with us to get the dispute resolved.”
It didn’t take long for Belmonte and his Hospitality
Solutions associate, Wayne Miller, to negotiate a solution to the dispute
between the franchisor and Patel’s Sky Hospitality.
Belmonte, founder and President of Randolph-based Hospitality Solutions LLC and the former President and C.E.O. of Ramada Franchise Systems, says Hospitality Solutions 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 industry.
“Basically, the franchise negotiation services we’re offering never existed before we came along—no one specialized in hammering out solid, equitable agreements either at the front end or the back end,” Belmonte said. “Up until now, you had to do it yourself or hire a lawyer for this kind of negotiation, and the chance that the typical lawyer really knows the ins and outs of hotel franchising agreements is pretty slim. Franchisees need someone who knows the industry and these agreements inside and out.”
In other words, Hospitality Solutions offers a quick, low-cost alternative to litigation in resolving franchise-agreement disputes.
“We can wrap up the typical project in as little as two weeks, and in—it usually takes attorneys that long just to get you on their calendar,” Belmonte said. “Cost-wise, there’s no comparison. Our typical franchise termination project is done for a flat fee of $3,900 and comes with a no-risk guarantee—it usually costs five times to pay an attorney to do this kind of negotiating.”
Belmonte says that franchise-negotiation services are particularly needed in times like the present, when the economy is coming back from the doldrums—and staying competitive sometimes means changing brands in a repositioning strategy.
“Many franchisees are experiencing the kinds of problems Harry Patel was going through with his Ramada Inn,” Belmonte says. “But our franchise-negotiation expertise isn’t limited to Cendant brands — we have done negotiations with every major franchisor in America, and what we bring to the negotiation process can result in a win-win situation all the way around. The franchisee is happy because he’s gotten out of an agreement he wants to be out of, or has been assured that the one we’ve negotiated is fair and solid, and the franchisor is happy because the dispute has been taken care of quickly and equitably.”
“Up until Steve founded Hospitality Solutions LLC a few years ago, there weren’t any negotiation firms for small companies like mine to turn to,” Patel said. “Now that franchisors know that someone in the industry will fight for the small hotel businessman, the franchisors are more open than they ever were to sit down and negotiate.
“Any hotelier who runs into a franchise dispute
should get help settling it through negotiation instead of litigation,”
Patel added. “Negotiation saves on costs and on time, and when it’s done
right, everyone leaves the table happy.”
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 serves on the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc. and the Industry Relations Committee for the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. For more information, call (973) 598-0839, email email@example.com or visit www.stevenbelmonte.com.
|Also See:||Belmonte Expands Services Offering Through Hospitality Solutions LLCMulti-faceted consulting firm adds Market and Feasibility Studies, Onsite Analysis, and Ownership/Development Assistance to its impressive list of services / January 2005|
|Belmonte Leads Session On Improving Franchise Relationships At IH/M&R Show / November 2004|
|Steve Belmonte Paves The Way For ‘Hotel Technologies’ at IH/M&R Show / November 2004|
|Belmonte, Miller Earn Certification from Center for Public Resources Institute for Dispute Resolution / October 2004|
|Hospitality Solutions LLC Solves Dispute Between Big Chain and Small-Hotel Owner; Faced with Long, Costly Process of Possible Litigation, Florida Company Turns to Steve Belmonte to Hammer out a Happy Ending for all Parties / October 2004|
|Belmonte Taps Veteran Hospitality-Law Expert; James C. Brashares Brings 30-plus Years of Negotiating Experience to the Table as Newest Member of Hospitality Solutions LLC / October 2004|
|In Addition To Keynote, Belmonte Hosting ‘Franchise Negotiations Workshop’ At WSH&LA Convention / September 2004|
|Industry Veteran Steven J. Belmonte Joins Prestigious Round Table Group / July 2004|
|Arlington Hospitality Garners HVS ‘Top Board’ Award; Arlington’s Herman, Belmonte Accept Lodging Leadership Award at 26th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Conference / July 2004|
|Steven J. Belmonte Named To AAHOA Industry Relations Committee / June 2004|
|Steven J. Belmonte, Founder to Keynote at the Washington State Hotel & Lodging Association’s Annual Convention / June 2004|
|Steven J. Belmonte To Keynote Best Value Inn Conference -- Again / June 2004|
|Belmonte’s Business Is Booming; Jeff Seymour Joins Growing Team / April 2004|
|Belmonte Appoints Lee Dushoff To Hospitality Solutions Team / February 2004|
|Belmonte To Bring Insight To Best Value Inn Members as Keynote at Conference / October 2003|
|Belmonte ‘Talks the Talk’ in Role as Motivational Speaker / March 2003|
|Steve Belmonte Immersed in Sarbanes-Oxley as a New Member of the Board of Directors of Arlington Hospitality Inc. / May 2003|
|Belmonte’s Back In Business As Hospitalty Solutions LLC / Feb 2003|