InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel Names Nicholas Hines as Director of Food and Beverage

USA, Austin, Texas. September 10, 2019

The InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel in downtown Austin has announced the hiring of Nicholas Hines as director of food and beverage for the property. Hines brings over nine years of industry experience to the role, where he will provide strategic leadership and oversee the operation of the hotel's food and beverage outlets as well as its events and catering services.

Prior to this appointment, Hines served as the general manager of Southern Art and Bourbon Bar at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta since December 2017. There he was responsible for overseeing the hotel restaurant's food and beverage program, including supervising all food service personnel, managing cost and requisition, and controlling food quality and presentation. Previously, Hines held the positions of food and beverage manager at Marriott International in Bethesda, MD, general manager of clubs at Levy Restaurants D.C., and food and beverage manager at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nicholas Hines to our InterContinental team here in Austin," said Steve Juscen, general manager at InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel. "We're confident that his invaluable expertise will reinvigorate the hotel's culinary offerings and elevate the overall guest experience. His enthusiasm and hard work will lead the team at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel to the top of the food and beverage market in Austin."

Hines, who is originally from Jamaica, moved to Atlanta in 2015 to attend Tuskegee University where he graduated from the Brimmer School of Business. Now in Austin, Hines is eager to see where he can lead the team and make the most of his position at such a prominent, iconic hotel.

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel has remained one of the leading hotel properties in the area. Stephen F.'s Bar & Terrace has one of the best patios in town, complete with refreshing cocktails, delicious local bites, and the most incredible view of Congress Avenue, the State Capitol, and the historic Paramount Theatre.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.