News for the Hospitality Executive
franchising advocate lowering service fees by $1,000 for property
facing liquidated-damage claims; High concentration of hotels in Florida and
expanding its reach to vertical markets expected to keep costs low
Windermere, Fla. — December 11, 2009 — As the hospitality industry’s leading advocate for improving franchisee/franchisor relationships, Steven Belmonte is pledging to assist hoteliers in the new year by providing monetary relief for those negatively impacted by the economy. Effective immediately, Hospitality Solutions LLC is lowering its fees for properties needing assistance with liquidated-damage claims that have been terminated. To aide in this effort, the company -- which provides new franchise agreement negotiations, franchise termination (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 -- has moved its offices from Randolph, N.J., to Windermere, Fla. The new office is located at 12830 Jacob Grace Court (34786-5711).
Also new for 2010, the 35-year hospitality industry veteran will expand his company’s coveted liquidated-damage termination negotiation services to the Fast-Food industry. A new Vice President for the Fast Food Division will be hired to manage operations for the new vertical after the new year.
“A few years ago when the economy began to tank, leaders at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association asked franchisors if they would consider making concessions to franchisees struggling during the down economy – and that was a good idea,” Belmonte said. “But today, it’s not only franchise companies that should assist owners. Rather ALL companies should step up during a tough environment. Therefore I made the decision as a services provider to lower our flat fees from $4,900 to $3,900 for basic, pre-terminated liquidated-damage claim assistance.
“Determining how to sustain these new rates was the next step,” he said. “The best way to support our cost reduction is to lower overhead. Because Florida is far more business friendly than New Jersey – no state taxes and a high concentration of hotel rooms – it made financial sense to relocate.”
Brent Rohde, Hospitality Solutions’ Executive Vice President for the Hotel Division, also will relocate to Florida by year end.
“In this age of high-tech mobile communications, it doesn’t matter where Hospitality Solutions is located – Brent and I can operate from just about any place in the world,” Belmonte said. “Telephonic negotiation is at the root of this business. A single case may require 15 different phone conversations or more before desired results are reached, but they are telephonic nonetheless. Moving to Florida simply allows Hospitality Solutions to keep its prices down and pass on those savings to the end user – the franchisee.
“It’s accurate to say that Hospitality Solutions is just as effective today – if not more so -- than ever before,” he said.
Offering a Hand
In June 2009, Hospitality Solutions announced that it had reached its 500th case milestone. Today, the company boasts nearly 550 successful franchise negotiations. In 2010, Belmonte said he expects the number of hotel owners who are facing termination fees (liquidated damages) or seeking help selecting and negotiating a fair franchise agreement to increase by 10 percent to 20 percent.
“This economy isn’t good for anyone – not the franchise companies and certainly not the franchisees who are struggling to maintain occupancy, average daily rates and RevPAR,” he said. “But what is good are the results being delivered via Hospitality Solutions for both parties. I started this company to offer owners and operators franchise-negotiation services at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time that it normally takes to hire a lawyer to do the job. The bonus is that we can negotiate entrance or exit agreements far faster and less expensively than most attorneys.
“In addition, if the property is terminated, we can wrap up the typical project in as little as two weeks – the time it usually takes lawyers just to get you on their calendars,” he said. “And, cost-wise there’s no comparison: Paying a flat $3,900 fee for pre-terminated liquidated-damage claim assistance is unheard of until now. We also provide a ‘no risk’ guarantee.”
Belmonte said new franchise agreement negotiation services also are particularly needed in times like the present, when the economy is having a decidedly negative impact on the hotel business. His team can assist owners who need to rebrand in order to become more competitive in the market.
Expanding the Market
According to Belmonte, the need for liquidated-damage termination-fee negotiations also is in big demand among the Fast-Food industry.
“Over the past several months, I have conversed with numerous fast-food chain executives who have confirmed the need for franchise negotiations does not lie solely within the hospitality marketplace,” he said. “With a significantly larger universe than lodging, owners of fast-food and casual-dining facilities also can greatly benefit from solid franchise negotiations assistance. Therefore, in 2010 we will be expanding our services to help other owners who are facing similar circumstances.
“As we enter into a new year – and hopefully see the beginning of a slight recovery – we want all franchisees to know that Hospitality Solutions LLC is ready, willing and able to assist owners in working towards a win-win settlement,” Belmonte said. “It is when the franchisor and franchisee works together that we as an industry will weather this economic storm and maintain the level of integrity that this industry is known for.”
For more information on Hospitality Solutions, call Steve Belmonte at (407) 654-4600. You can also visit Hospitality Solutions at www.stevenbelmonte.com for references and additional information.
About Hospitality Solutions LLC
Hospitality Solutions LLC, Windermere, Fla., 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 Foundation. For more information, call (407) 654-4600, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stevenbelmonte.com.
Steven J. Belmonte
Hospitality Solutions LLC
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