Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara

Richard Barrett-Cuetara

Managing Member, Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC

Richard Barrett-Cuetara is the Managing Member of Barrett-Cuetara, PLLC. He has more than 25 years of trial law and transactional experience in complex commercial real estate transactions and sophisticated real estate disputes, with a special emphasis in the hospitality industry. Trial Law Experience - includes challenging constitutionality of municipal hotel ordinance, actions of inspectors, city manager and law enforcement; prevented condemnation of hotel by municipality; Special Litigation Counsel in $22M CMBS litigation against a REIT and Master/Special Servicers; Defended Price-Gouging lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General, State of Texas, with assistance from Texas Hotel & Lodging Association; prosecuted $27M complex arbitration proceeding regarding division of 6 hotels involving breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting and mismanagement claims; Defended hotel owner in lender liability litigation against Wall Street Hedge Fund and FDIC regarding unlawful acceleration of debt, loan work-out and pre-bankruptcy strategy; jury trial verdict in ad valorem tax litigation against appraisal district; and jury verdict in complex partnership dispute concerning a business divorce of large retail shopping centers. Transactional Experience - includes closing a $60M acquisition of four mid-tiered hotels in Texas that were converted to “select-service” hotels and franchised with international hotel company; negotiating office and retail leases; preparing hotel lease and purchase sale agreements; and operational matters involving retail property management firms, asset managers and hotel operators. Prior Real Estate Experience - includes working in the Real Estate Investment Division of METLIFE, Dallas, Texas, as a Financial Analyst, Asset Manager, Loan Underwriter and Commercial Appraiser (M.A.I. Courses). Professional Affiliations & Memberships - include the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (TH&LA); Hotel Association of Tarrant County; Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA); the Hospitality Law Conference (HLC), Houston, Texas, as Advisory Panel, Moderator and Host; and Contributing Author for HospitaliltyLawyer.com. Honors & Recognitions include nomination to ABA Real Estate Litigation Committee, as Co-Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Subcommittee; Attorney of the Week, Hospitalitylawyer.com (April 22, 2013); Rated AV Preeminent Rating ®, Highest Possible Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards; Martindale-Hubbell ® AV ® Preeminent (5.0) Rating; and Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation & Real Estate Law, Martindale-Hubbell ®.

Mr. Barrett-Cuetara can be contacted at 214-361-1040 or rbarrett@barrettcuetara.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.