Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Keating Jr.

Richard J. Keating Jr.

Partner / Chair Retail and Hospitality Practice Group, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Richard J. Keating, Jr. is a partner and chair of the Retail and Hospitality Practice Group at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP in Chicago. Mr. Keating represents restaurants, concert venues, amusement venues, health clubs and retail businesses throughout the United States. His practice focuses on tort litigation, premises liability defense, general liability matters, incident investigations and security claims. Before entering private practice, Mr. Keating was a criminal prosecutor for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for nine years. Mr. Keating also worked in an investigations unit where he supervised a team of attorneys investigating crimes in conjunction with police authorities. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Keating spent four years in the corporate sector working at AT&T in the small business market. Mr. Keating routinely combines his litigation and criminal prosecution experience with his understanding of corporate business objectives to advise his hospitality clients about various potential and existing legal concerns. Mr. Keating is a member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, Defense Research Institute's Retail and Hospitality Defense Committee, and the Illinois Restaurant Association. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his B.S. from Indiana University.

Please visit www.smbtrials.com for more information.

Mr. Keating Jr. can be contacted at 312-222-8568 or rkeating@smbtrials.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.