Over a decade ago, Steve Belmonte was the founder of a groundbreaking concept that developed over the years to become one of the most prominent franchise negotiation companies in America, Hospitality Solutions, LLC.
In 2002, after twelve years as President and CEO of the Ramada chain and Executive Vice-President of the Cendant Hotel Division (now Wyndham Worldwide), Belmonte decided to take his expertise to assist franchisees with various issues which more often included liquidated damage claims (termination fees) as well as structuring new franchise agreements.
Steve knew that productive communication was a vital piece sometimes missing in the relationship and with his experience as both a franchisor for over a decade and his prior experience as CEO of Equity Hotel Corporation, an owning and management company, he could bring his knowledge to the table to assist franchisees without the potential need of engaging a law firm and litigation.
Belmonte comments, “My services were really an offspring of the mediation push that occurred over a decade ago. Sometimes helpful and honest dialog from someone who has been there is what is needed to achieve mutually desirable results and avoid the painful and expensive experience of litigation.”
Hospitality Solutions has done over 1,000 liquidated damage claims with most of the major hotel brands. Steve’s son, Michael, who has worked with Steve in the industry for quite some time was appointed President of the company this past year.
“He has done a remarkable job since assuming that position. Franchisees have responded very well to him and in all honestly, he’ll probably do a better job than I did! He is much more patient that I tend to be,” jokes Belmonte
One of the first orders of business from Michael once he assumed the presidency was to change the fee structure of the flat fee of $3,900 per case.
Steve comments, “I didn’t agree with him but I let him do it.”
Consequently the flat fee of $3,900 was reduced to $2,500. Michael rationalized that since his father started the company over 10 years ago, a lot of other imitators have emerged and tried to copy his model. To continue to gain market share, Michael adjusted the price accordingly.
His second order of business was to team with industry veteran, Laurie Benjamin to form BDG Hospitality Furniture Solutions, offering full-service design and FF&E. The company was created to deliver exceptional value on all phases of hotel renovations from small to large projects.
As of December 1, 2013, Michael will not only be the president of Hospitality Solutions but will also be the new owner.
“While I will always be there to assist or advise when my advice is needed, I truly want to remove myself to concentrate more on my new franchise company, Vimana Franchise Systems, home of Centerstone Inns, Hotels & Plaza Hotels and Key West Inn, Hotels & Resorts,” said Steve.
Both Vimana brands have been growing over the last couple of years with their franchise friendly model and are expanding internationally as well.
“Obviously, this needs my time and focus along with some other new projects I have in mind. After more than a decade, it’s time to turn over the reins of the company to Michael. I have the utmost confidence in his ability and his dedication to giving his customers the very best,” said Steve.
Michael comments, “I’ve learned much from my father over the past years. He has a strong focus on doing what is right even if that means telling his client when they may have done something wrong. He has taught me that dealing with the truth will always serve you best in the long run.”
Recent client testimonial from Kash Patel from Clemson, SC states, “Michael Belmonte and Hospitality Solutions did a fantastic job negotiating the termination fees I owed my franchise company. While my confidentiality provision prohibits my mentioning the name of my brand or franchise company, I can tell you that I did owe over $485,000 and they had a judgment against me. Michael Belmonte negotiated that down to $70,000 for a savings of $415,000. What’s even more unbelievable is they did it all for a flat fee of $2,500. I’m certainly glad I hired Michael.”
About Hospitality Solutions LLC
Hospitality Solutions offers experience and expertise in negotiation of license agreements, negotiation of termination agreements (liquidated-damage claims) expert witness services and mediation services. Additionally, Hospitality Solutions is home of BDG Hospitality Furnishing Solutions a full-service furniture and design division. For more information please visit www.franchisenegotiation.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-654-4600.