Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hickel

Gerard Hickel

Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Gerard J. Hickel is a Member of the Hospitality and Gaming practice at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, a national, full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with 15 offices in the U.S., including: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo and White Plains, New York; Wilmington, Delaware; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut; Troy, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; and Charleston, West Virginia.

Mr. Hickel focuses his practice primarily in the areas of hospitality and corporate law. His practice includes the representation of domestic and international hotel and spa management companies, owners, developers, and asset managers in numerous types of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, and financings.

Mr. Hickel's hospitality practice includes the drafting, review, and negotiation of all types of agreements related to hotel, spa, and restaurant management and operations; the purchase and sale of hotels; the franchising of a hospitality-based property, including the application process; and a wide range of day-to-day hotel-related agreements for numerous hotel management companies and ownership groups, including equipment leases, space leases, antenna license agreements, room accommodation agreements, group sales agreements, advertising agreements, location agreements, commitment agreements, as well as other similar types of agreements.

Mr. Hickel also has many years of experience providing general business counseling advice, regularly guiding clients through the formation and preparation of agreements relating to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities.

Mr. Hickel earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Please visit http://www.eckertseamans.com for more information.

Mr. Hickel can be contacted at 412-566-1906 or ghickel@eckertseamans.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.