26 February 2014
The ascendancy of hotel franchise agreements.
Branded hotel franchise agreements continue their rise to dominance in the hotel landscape. Hotel management agreements are not dead, but the advantages of having a hotel operator independent of the brand have been widely recognized and continue to propel the franchise model. (The considerations of branding and using branded (versus independent) management are discussed at length in “When should you choose a brand for your hotel? And when should the brand manage your hotel?“)
What’s really negotiable in a franchise agreement?
The most common question we hear from clients is, “What’s really negotiable in a franchise agreement?”
Franchisees are told by the brand that the franchise agreements are not negotiable, but then they hear that someone else has been able to negotiate at least one or two contract terms. Potential franchisees don’t want to waste time chasing something they cannot get, but the contracts seem so one-sided, and they want to get as much substantive relief as they can.
Based on our experience with hundreds of hotel franchise agreements, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® knows that there is plenty of wiggle room to get some important concessions if you know what to go for and don’t waste your effort where it won’t do any good.
One of the biggest mistakes owners make when trying to negotiate a franchise
One of the biggest mistakes we see is owners trying to negotiate the franchise terms themselves. Their lack of experience shows that they are amateurs, and the brands quickly realize that they don’t have to give much by way of concessions.
While we don’t recommend negotiating your franchise agreement without an experienced advisor, hotel lawyer Bob Braun has laid out a few areas where we have been able to help owners improve their contract terms. Depending upon your circumstances, there may be significant other opportunities.