Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Robertson

Mark Robertson

Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Mark Robertson has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Sutherland, he spent 17 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc., ultimately as senior vice president and assistant general counsel responsible for the company's operations, brand and commercial services teams. He managed the full array of business and legal issues relating to international and domestic operations and services for more than 3,500 owned, leased, licensed, franchised and affiliated properties across 10 different hotel brands. Mr. Robertson has extensive experience in information technology, information services, intellectual property, eCommerce, procurement and outsourcing law, having been involved in negotiating, structuring, drafting, implementing and overseeing all manner of purchase and outsourcing agreements. His diverse experience includes oversight of marketing, branding and public relations; crisis management; compliance; joint ventures; new ventures; antitrust and competition; internet distribution; sales; mergers and acquisitions; and franchising and development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Robertson practiced real estate and environmental law at a firm in Los Angeles, California. Prior to law school, he served as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. His work there took him to diplomatic assignments around the world, including Italy, Canada, Lebanon and the Yemen Arab Republic. Mr. Robertson is admitted to The State Bar of California. He has submitted his application to the District of Columbia Bar. His work is supervised by District of Columbia bar members.

Mr. Robertson can be contacted at 202-383-0945 or mark.robertson@sutherland.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.