Chapter 3. Hospitality Business Structures. Hospitality Business Structures. The Importance of Business Structure Common Hospitality Organizational Structures Common Hospitality Operatiing Structures The Agency Relationship. In This Chapter, You Will Learn:.
Organizational Structure – The legal entity that owns a business
Operational Structure – The relationship between a business’s ownership and its management
Sole Proprietorship -A business organization in which one person owns and, often, operates the business.
General Partnership - A business organization in which two or more owners agree to share the profits of the business, but are also jointly and severally liable for its debts.
Limited Partnership - A business organization with two classes of owners. The limited partner invests in the business, but may not exercise control over its operation, in return for protection from liability. The general or managing partner assumes full control of the business operation, but can also be held liable for any debts the operation incurs.
Limited Partner -The entity in a limited partnership relationship who is liable only to the extent of his or her investment. Limited partners have no right to manage the partnership.
General Partner - The entity in a limited partnership relationship who makes the management decisions and can be held responsible for all debts and legal claims against the business.
Nicholas Kostanty formed a limited partnership with his father-in-law, Ray Sweeney, to open an upscale French restaurant in a midwestern town. Mr. Kostanty was the general partner and owned 75 percent of the business. Mr. Sweeney, with 25 percent ownership, was the limited partner and invested $100,000. After one year, difficulties in the restaurant's operation caused business to drop off, and Mr. Kostanty called Mr. Sweeney for advice.
After hearing of the difficulties, and concerned with the security of his investment, Mr. Sweeney traveled from Arizona to Indiana to visit the operation. Upon observing the operation for two days, the two partners decided to launch a large and expensive television ad campaign to increase flagging sales. Mr. Sweeney designed the campaign with the help of Seelhoff Advertising and Video, a local advertising agency specializing in television commercials.
Despite an immediate increase in sales, volume continued to decline, and finally, three months after the ad campaign was launched, the restaurant closed its doors. Total debts at the time the restaurant closed equaled $400,000, with assets of the partnership only being $200,000. Included in the debt was $150,000 owed to the advertising agency. The agency sought payment directly from Mr. Sweeney.
Mr. Sweeney claimed that his liability was limited to the $100,000 he had previously invested in the business, and refused to pay any additional money. The Seelhoff Advertising Agency sued the limited partnership, as well as Nicholas Kostanty and Ray Sweeney individually.
Corporation -A group of individuals granted a charter, legally recognizing them as a separate entity with rights and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
Dividend - A portion of profits received by a shareholder, usually in relation to his or her ownership of a corporation.
S Corporation - A type of business entity that offers liability protection to its owners, and is exempt from corporate taxation on its profits. Some restrictions limit the circumstances under which it can be formed.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) - A type of business organization that protects the owners from liability for debts incurred by the business, without the need for some of the formal incorporation requirements. The federal government does not tax the profits of LLC’s; however, some states do while others do not.
Owner-Operator – A type of operating structure in which the owners of a business are directly responsible for its day-to-day operation. Also known, in some cases, as an “independent.”
Franchise - A contract between a parent company (franchisor) and an operating company (franchisee) to allow the franchisee to run a business with the brand name of the parent company, as long as the terms of the contract concerning methods of operation are followed.
Franchisee – The person or business that has purchased and/or received a franchise
Franchisor – The person or business that has sold and/or granted a franchise
After five years of effort, you develop a unique style of roasting pork that is extremely popular in your hometown. You own and operate five units called Porkies that sell this product. Each unit costs $175,000 to develop. Total sales of each unit average $600,000, with a net profit margin of 10 percent per unit.
A friend of yours discusses your success with you, and suggests the possibility of opening five new stores in his or her hometown. Your friend wants to know what you would charge to sell your recipe and your standard operating procedures (SOP) manual, as well as the use of the name Porkies.
License - Legal permission to do a certain thing or operate in a certain way.
License Agreement - A legal document that details the specifics of a license.
Licensor - One who grants a license.
Licensee - One who is granted a license.
Management Company – An entity that, for a fee, assumes responsibility for the day-to-day operation of a business.
Management Contract – The legal agreement that defines the responsibilities of a business owner and the management company chosen to operate the owner’s business
REIT – Short for “real estate investment trust,” a very special form of business structures in which the owners of a business are generally prohibited from operating it
Condominium – A multiple-unit complex (i.e., hotel, apartment house, office building), the units of which are individually owned with each owner receiving a recordable deed to the individual unit purchased, including the right to sell that unit, and sharing in joint ownership of all common grounds, hallways, and on-site facilities
Fractional Ownership – A purchase arrangement in which a condominium owner purchases the use of his or her unit for a portion (fraction) of a year. The fraction may be defined in terms of the number of days per year (i.e., 30, 60, etc.) or very specific days and/or months (i.e., January 1st through March 31st for example). Individual units purchased under such an arrangement are commonly known as “fractionals.”
Condo hotel owners’ association (CHOA) – A group of condo owners, elected by all of the condo owners in a project, to interpret, develop, and implement the policies and procedures required to effectively manage their condominium complex.
Agent - A person authorized to act for or to represent another, usually referred to as the principal.
Respondeat Superior - Literally; “let the master respond,” a legal theory that holds the employer (master) responsible for the acts of the employee.
Fiduciary Responsibility – The requirement that agents act in the best interests of their principals.
The Great Fox Water Park and Resort, located in the Wisconsin Dells area of Wisconsin has received an invoice from Lion Distributing of Reisterstown, Maryland. The invoice is for 10 cases of pool chemicals delivered to the resort two weeks ago. The invoice states Mr. Mark Bell, the resort’s head lifeguard, ordered the chemicals. The price on the invoice is three times the normal price paid for chemicals of this type (which are normally purchased from a local vendor).
When questioned by the hotel’s accounting office about the purchase, Mr. Bell states that all he recalls is that he was working one day and received a telephone call in which the caller asked for the “right” shipping address for the resort. The confirmation of address was needed the caller maintained, because an office mix up had resulted in some shipments of products purchased by its customers being misdelivered. Mr. Bell provided the caller with the hotel’s correct shipping address.
Despite the obvious overcharge, the vendor refuses to accept the shipment back, claiming Mr. Bell, as an agent of the resort, had authorized the purchase of the chemicals. The vendor threatens a lawsuit if their invoice is not paid. Upon investigation, it is determined that one of the 10 cases of product has, at this time, already been used.
Independent Contractor - A person or entity that contracts with another to perform a particular task, but whose work is not directed or controlled by the hiring party.
Assume you are responsible for approving commercial loans at a bank where you are the senior lending official. You are approached by two hospitality management college graduates, each with three years’ management experience acquired after they had completed their studies. They are seeking a loan slightly in excess of $1 million to establish a restaurant in the community. The funds will be used to lease land, facilities, and equipment, as well as for renovation, inventory, salaries, and other start-up costs.