How my two favorite hotel school classes have remained relevant throughout my hospitality career
Learning to positively interact with the law is essential
Mario Cortes (CEO at BizNetAustralia Pty Ltd)
When I was an undergraduate in hotel school at the University of Massachusetts, my favorite courses in hospitality were the two that dealt with logical interactions with people. These courses were Hotel Law and what was called then called Personnel Management, now Human Resources. While I am not a lawyer and do not provide specific legal advice, I have discovered that much of my career has involved the contents of these two classes.
As a hotel general manager, corporate office executive and a consultant, dealing with the human resources "people" side of the business has always involved a minimum of 40% of my time.
As an adjunct professor teaching at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period and as a corporate educator working with management companies, hospitality brands and associations, I find the need to understand and follow the law has always been a critical activity.
In my continuing professional work as an expert witness for both plaintiffs and defendants, as an educator, columnist and speaker, I plainly observe that hotel owners, managers and hospitality business operators must acknowledge what a litigious society we are and be aware how to protect all parties to the best of our knowledge.
Dr. John Hogan leading a recent workshop on issues facing hotel owners and managers
In an article earlier in the year titled "The Keys To Success™ in 2013 include Focusing on the Fundamentals to Make Your Hotel More Profitable" , I noted that while the industry has begun to recover in certain markets and there are some optimistic signals in meetings and business travel. On the other side, I regularly hear comments from hotel owners attending some of our training sessions that many markets remain slow to recover the occupancy or room rates achieved five to six years ago.
With these contrasting perspectives of business recovery in mind, I wanted to share with readers some useful ways they might consider to learn how to both protect their businesses and assets, while improving profitability by understanding legal insights.
There are a large number of conferences and online resources available that addressthese two issues and choosing the right options can make a difference in the course of a single year. As I have done for the last three years, I am going to provide readers with an overview of a program that discusses both of those sensitive issues of legal protection and associate/employee relations in operations.
From medical emergencies in hotels to collective bargaining, from brand rollouts to real estate best practices, from 3rd party liability to alcohol and food liability and from wage & hour to the impact of the healthcare workplace relationships, the latest trends and issues in hospitality law are included at the 11th Annual Hospitality Law Conference, February 11-13, 2013.
for Restaurant & Hotel Corporate Counsel Only include: Protecting Your IP; Including Trade Dress, Trade Secrets, Recipes, & Top Level
- Avoiding Ant-Trust & Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Traps
- Medical Emergencies at Your Hotel, Restaurant, or Business: An Analysis of Duty, Risk, and Liability
- Managing the Risk of New Brand Rollouts
- Hot Topics in the Food & Beverage Arena
- E-Discovery & ESI – Don't Leave Your Business Exposed
- The Convergence of Risk Management, Legal Compliance & Loss Prevention
- The Art of the Property Claim Negotiation- An Insider's Perspective
- Critical Concepts of Business Litigation: Understanding Insurance Coverage Issues; and How to Keep Secrets: The Attorney Client Privilege
- Hospitality Business Interruption- Beyond the Basics
- Do Not Disturb: Data Privacy & Security Issues in the Hospitality Industry
- Crime Pays: A Conversation of Fraud, Recovery and Best Practices in the Hospitality Industry
- Best Practices for Attorneys, Internal Auditors and Forensic Specialists in Executing Forensics Investigations
A new segment is offered this year: Owner-Management Summit, with three major areas
New Hotel Development
- The Development Process: Feasibility, Contracting, Funding, and the Construction Process Including Insurance
- Two Round Table Discussions of Developers, Capital Providers, Operators and Lawyers
- Panel of Franchise Hotel/Brand Executives
- Real World Scenarios: Developments in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America (both In-Bound and Out-Bound: the Investors Perspective)
- Key Business Terms at the LOI Stage; Basic Negotiation Points & Market Terms
- Loans & Key Money Arrangements: Subordinations & Non-Disturbance Agreements
- Negotiating the Incentive Fee & Performance Test
- Mock Negotiation of a Management Agreement
- Terminating Hotel Management Agreements & Divorce Issues That Occur
Hotel Investments Boot Camp
- Understanding a Hotel Financial Statement and Key Investment Terms
- Deal Structuring, Investment Analysis, Equity and Debt Capital
- Understanding Hotel Investment and Valuation Methodologies and Pro-Formas/Analysis
- Determining the Value of a Hotel: The Debate Continues; Is It the Value of the Dirt or the Business Enterprise Value?
- Key Business Terms/Concepts in Major Hotel Agreements
- Alternative Financing Options, Including EB-5
General Sessions address many associate/employee topics as well as legal issues, including:
- Franchising: The Evolving Relationship Between Franchisors and Franchisees
- Hot Topics and Trends in Insurance Coverage
- Food and Beverage Liability Update
- Fraud in Affinity Programs
- Healthcare Act and What It Means to Employers
- The Attorney's Role in Mitigating Human Trafficking
There are additional sessions for people looking for a refresher or an overview of certain operational reports and their meaning:
Food & Beverage Track
- Dirt, Food and Booze: Negotiating Leases, Catering and Banquet Agreements and other Food service Contracts
- Hospitality Hazards: Liquor Licenses and Supplier-Sponsored Events
- The Top 5 Reasons Restaurants Get Sued By Employees: A Prevention Plan
- Current Updates in Restaurant Development
Human Resources & Labor Relations Track
- Is Your Criminal Background Check Policy Consistent with the EEOC's Updated Guidance Poised for Recovery: Hospitality Visas in a New Economy
- Collective Bargaining in the New Economy- What to Expect at the Bargaining Table in 2013
- Defining 'Employee' - The Many Shades of Gray in the Employment Relationship: Practices, Developments, Pitfalls, and Safeguards
- Allowing High Risk Activities at Hotels
- Audits and Risk Assessment Processes in the Lodging Industry
- Perspectives on Non-Traditional Online Distribution Channels
- ADA Title III Litigation- What are the Courts Saying?
Hospitality Case Review
This presentation will include brief summaries of the top 100+ legal cases that impacted the hospitality industry in 2012. The presentation will highlight the most interesting ones, with the usual format of one presentation and alternating between two speakers, Author and judge Karen Morris and Diana Barber of Georgia State University. The Hospitality Law Case reviews usually include Food & Beverage Liability cases, Franchise disputes and resolutions and how to avoid negative publicity and liability by learning what "not to do." Where else could one hear brief summaries of the top 100+ cases that impacted the hospitality industry of the past year, with highlights of the most interesting ones?
I believe I have participated in, attended or conducted and literally more than 1200 programs in my career to date and I always value conferences that can make a difference in my professional growth and success.
I have found that this symposium differs from others in its audience, program structure, audience and more intimate size. While initially created as a forum for in-house counsel, attorneys practicing in the hospitality industry, CFOs, comptrollers and IT professionals, it has evolved to embrace specific presentation to those involved with employment law, government interaction, risk management, security and loss prevention, as well as the legal side of operations and understanding liability.
I offer these 5 Key Benefits as reasons to consider attending this particular conference:
- This is an independent symposium, not organized or branded by a specific hospitality company. This independence, as coordinated by HospitalityLawyer.com founder, Stephen Barth, clearly avoids the restraints that the branded meetings must address.
- The program length is manageable and lasts only one and one and a half days unless one chooses to attend the additional one day of pre-conference options.
- Sessions are led by hospitality industry counsel, hospitality faculty and business leaders that are personally involved in the every day and long term components of the business.
- This is an intimate conference, with attendance aimed at no more than 400. This allows excellent opportunities for one-on-one discussions, Q&A sessions that are meaningful, networking and real world scenarios. The participation of a limited number of hospitality law faculty and students adds to the blend of activity.
- Attendees receive current and detailed information on urgent concerns in the hospitality industry including franchising, legislation, premises liability, financial options, as well as changes in employment and management contracts.
In these days of litigation unknowns, it may very well pay to take the time to learn to understand and work with the law. The conference will be held at the Omni Houston Hotel, in Houston, Texas. For more information, go to www.HospitalityLawyer.com.
The title of this column is " How my two favorite hotel school classes have remained relevant throughout my hospitality career" and I thank you for letting me take time to close the loop. Both of these undergraduate courses were taught by the same professor, Dr. Norman Cournoyer, a lawyer and entrepreneurial professor. His classes were always stimulating because he challenged every student to carefully think about the issues at hand.
These courses remained relevant to me because their content continued to evolve as the industry and my career did. I find it interesting that my career path overlapped as well with the two professionals that Dr. Cournoyer expanded his hotel law book with. I had a 20+ year friendship with the late Dr. Tony Marshall, Dean of Florida International University Hotel School . I have had some delightful conversations with Professor and Judge Karen Morris surrounding this conference and from her writing for Hotel & Motel Management Magazine. All three of these professionals contributed in later editions of Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Law – A Preventative Approach, which I use as a resource in my work as an expert witness and in my course preparation for seminars and workshops.
It seems that some classes and courses do matter.
John Dr. John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
KEYS TO SUCCESS™ is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year's writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™, THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™ and Principles for Success.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.