Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hunt

John R. Hunt

Attorney, Stokes Wagner Hunt Martez & Terrell, ALC

John Hunt has litigated employment, labor and commercial law cases in over 75 federal and state courts throughout the United States. A substantial portion of this work has been devoted to the defense of businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries. In addition to representing clients at trials, arbitrations and mediations, he provides counseling and advice on a variety of issues, including those involving, wage and hour requirements, employment discrimination, restrictive covenants, family and medical leave, union relations, contract negotiations and the preparation and implementation of personnel policies. At Stokes Wagner, Mr. Hunt works to provide early, practical assessments of the pros and cons of each case and its potential economic and emotional consequences. Once this occurs, he and his team try to implement the best strategy to win at trial (or sooner) or resolve the dispute in other ways, including through mediation or arbitration. They follow the same approach in counseling and advice where they use their experience in the hospitality industry and with its unique labor and employment issues to identify the best and most practical solutions as quickly as possible. A regular speaker at continuing legal education seminars, Mr. Hunt also helped the firm serve as general counsel to the Georgia Hospitality and Trial Association. Mr. Huntís practice has included work for Interstate Hotels, Radisson Hotels, Swiss Hotels, TGI Fridayís, Rare Hospitality Buena Vista Hospitality Group, Four Seasons Hotels, The Georgia Aquarium, Outback Steakhouse, Tedís Montana Grill, the Krystal Company, Chubb Insurance, and Liberty Insurance Company. Mr. Hunt received his J.D. from the College of William & Mary, his B.S., magna cum laude from Boston University and his B.A., magna cum laude from Boston University.

Mr. Hunt can be contacted at 404-766-0076 or jhunt@stokeswagner.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.