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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.