Alan Someck’s 42 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry as an owner, operator, consultant, and teacher has given him the in depth practical knowledge to provide highly professional and thorough expert witness reports, depositions and testimony. For the past 14 years, he has been a full time Management Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at the New York Institute of Technology.
Mr. Someck has had 25 years of experience as a full time operator in fine dining and fast casual restaurants. Through his active consulting firm, Keystone Hospitality Solutions, he has helped develop a wide variety of restaurant concepts ranging from cafes to full service restaurants, and worked as a food service operations analyst for organizations such as the U.S. State Department, U.S. Patent Office, and the F.A.A.
Mr. Someck has been awarded 7 grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and New York State to work on sustainability issues within the hospitality industry. He also has ownership interest in Jimbo’s Naturally, a highly successful chain of San Diego based Natural Food Markets.
Mr. Someck has organized and presented at workshops, conferences, and training programs for the New York State Restaurant Association, and has been a national keynote speaker and author of hospitality related business articles on hospitality management strategies, food service operations, and franchising. He has been featured in a variety of industry media publications such as Forbes.com and Full Service Restaurant Magazine. Mr. Someck is also a Nationally Certified Trainer in ServSafe Food Safety and ServSafe Alcohol.
Litigation Support - Alan Someck has been a legal expert witness in a wide variety of cases related to the hospitality field including:
Restaurant Income and Profit Analysis
Hospitality Slips and Falls
Customer and Employee Safety
Restaurant Wages and Tips Issues
Food Safety / Allergies
Alcohol Service Liabilities / Dram Shop Cases
Hospitality Harassment and Discrimination
Business Damages and Restaurant Feasibility Studies
Owners can potentially lose their liquor license, their business and face significant financial loss if an intoxicated guest endangers themselves, another guest or staff member or someone out in public if they get into an accident while driving away from the restaurant.
Every year industry professionals and thought leaders and every food related newsletter puts out their list of trends. It’s important to pay attention to those lists because even though they don’t always agree, any industry operator can assess from them an idea of what trends they should be paying attention to and provide themselves some competitive edge in a highly risky industry
There has been a flood of allegations and admissions to sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. It’s been clear to many that incidents of this nature have been occurring for a very long time in a wide variety of ways. A spark was needed to bring the issue into the spotlight and the calling out of high profile industry leaders became that catalyst.
For owners to successfully manage this difficult environment, they must operate at a very high and professional level and become proactive in addressing the threats to their business. In terms of preventing and managing accidents, this means developing and implementing a system of safeguards that minimize exposure
Brian H. Cole is a Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law (California State Bar of Legal Specialization), with over 30 years of experience, including as in-house attorney for one of the world's largest franchisors (Pizza Hut).
Mr. Cole's experience spans a wide variety of transactional and regulatory matters, including drafting and registering franchise agreements and related documents, buying and selling both individual franchised locations and franchise chains, leasing sites for businesses, corporate organization, and other contractual matters. Mr. Cole also has experience advising clients with a variety of operational issues, especially with respect to restaurant businesses, including employment matters, health code, and liquor licenses.
Mr. Cole has spoken and written on a variety of franchise-related topics, including speaking at two of the premiere franchise events each year--the ABA Forum on Franchising and the International Franchise Association’s Annual Legal Symposium and Annual Convention. Mr. Cole has also spoken at the State Bar Conventions in California and Hawaii on franchise-related topics.
Litigation Support - Mr. Cole is experienced testifying both in court and in arbitration. His services include:
Consult on applicability of state and federal franchise laws to the facts of a client’s situation
Advise on franchise law issues, including applicability of franchise laws, compliance with franchise laws, existence of legal malpractice relating to franchise laws, propriety of terminations or non-renewals of franchises, and similar issues.
Testify as an expert witness on franchise-related matters (available for matters throughout the United States)
Maurice Robinson, ISHC, CRE, ASA, is an expert in the field of hotel and resort consulting. He has been facilitating the development and redevelopment of high-end, full-service hotels and resorts for over 30 years.
Additionally, Mr. Robinson has been providing litigation support services, strategic advisory services, hotel repositioning, market feasibility studies, and appraising hotels and other hospitality-related real estate. His expertise includes advising clients on development planning, deal structuring and financial issues, dispute resolution, workouts, and expert witness testimony related to hotel and resort development and investment.
Qualified Expert Witness & Consultant in Hotel and Real Estate Industry Business Issues:
Recently, we were engaged by the National Park Service (NPS) to appraise the structures and other improvements that have been constructed by commercial vendors or "concessionaires" operating hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services in National Parks.
Dennis Gemberling, CHA, CFBE, FMP, FCSI, President and Founder of Perry Group International, has over 35 years of experience in the Hospitality Management industry. His experience includes managing, operating, and consulting on full-service, limited-service, extended-stay, all-suite, condo and timeshare hotels and resorts, casual, fine-dining, and quick-service restaurants, bars and nightclubs, catering and special event facilities, casinos, and mixed-use real estate.
Mr. Gemberling has held prior positions for different owners, operators, and chains as Senior Vice President, General Manager, Director of Food & Beverage, and Restaurant Unit Manager. He has been retained on over 400 projects with typical values in the $1 million to $75 million range and revenues in the $1 million to $100 million range both nationally and internationally. His many clients have include among others Biscuits & Blues, Cantina’s, Chevy’s, Choice Hotels, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns, Hilton, Holiday Inns, Hooter’s Casino, Hyatt, Marriott, McDonald’s, Microtel Inn & Suites, Outback Restaurants, Radisson, Residence Inns, Signature Resort, Sizzler, Sonic Drive-Ins, Starbucks, Starwood, Sheraton, Togo’s, Wendy’s, and Willie Mays Skybox Lounge.
Litigation Support: Dennis Gemberling is a Certified Hotel Administrator, Certified Food and Beverage Executive, Certified Foodservice Management Professional, and Certified Food Safety Manager. He offers expert witness services to attorneys for plaintiff and defendant cases on a variety of Hospitality-related claims. He is a Professional Member of Foodservice Consultants Society International and the Forensic Expert Witness Association. Mr. Gemberling also provides expertise as a Court Appointed Receiver and Interim Property Manager and is currently the Past President and a Board of Director for the California Receivers Forum – Bay Area Chapter.
Gary R. Coburn is an award-winning Restaurant Executive with 40 years of experience creating, opening, running, and advising hundreds of full service restaurants, limited service, quick-service, bars and nightclubs. Additional expertise in restaurant franchising and commercial kitchen design/build from remodels to ground up including conceptual development, viability and business interruption.
With over four decades in the industry, Mr. Coburn has held positions as VP of National Accounts and Design Build for the largest commercial kitchen and distribution company in the country to, Director of Operations, President, COO, Executive Director of Food Services and owner operator. His management experience has included supervising more than 2,000 employees, including 170 managers, along with overseeing consulting assignments for numerous companies.
Clients Include: Joe's Crab Shack, Cask ‘n Cleaver, Lord Charlie’s, El Gato Gordo, Pizza Pronto, Safari Bar Restaurant, Shark Club, Bull Dog Grill, Stronghouse, Pangea, The Ballroom, Juarez Grill, Dickerson’s Club 29, Yucatan Liquor Stand, Zepp’s Atomic Tex Mex, Cabo Grill, Angel Stadium, In Cahoots, The Ball Room, Slick Willie’s, Rodeo, Jake’s, Bobs on the Bay, Crabby Bob’s Seafood, PizzaRev, Honolulu Harry’s, Lahaina Mai Tai Lounge, Canyon Grill, Campagnia, Huey’s Grill & Brewery, Gladstone’s Long Beach, Pro’s Ranch Markets, Lily's Doughnuts & Pops
Litigation Support - Mr. Coburn has served as an expert witness in numerous restaurant-related cases. His services are available to attorneys for plaintiff and defense and include site inspection, thorough reporting, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.
Areas of Expertise:
Slip,Trip & Fall
Premises Liability / Negligent Security
Recent cases retained by Plaintiff:
Guest incident regarding standard of care including safety, protocols / procedures, adequate warnings, and related issues
Safety and security practices for proprietors regarding foreseeability of harm, likelihood of injury, notice and reasonable intervention
Loss of income, conceptual and goodwill impact based on providing adequate parking
Recent cases retained by Defendant:
Loss of income and the feasibility of the concept and the viability of opening the restaurant
Slip and fall and the ensuring safety of its patrons and duty to use reasonable care in keeping premises reasonably safe
Maintenance, industry standards of furniture handling and procurement, foreseeability of harm, and likelihood of injury from lack of procedures
David Rutecki's career spans 39 years of Restaurant and Hospitality related experience. Working in more than 20 restaurants and involved in the opening of more than a dozen, he has worked every position possible within this industry. Mr. Rutecki currently owns and operates Mountain Deli in Hendersonville, garnering the 2016, 2017 & 2018 Blue Ridge Growth Award. He is a Member of the North Carolina and National Restaurant Associations. Mr. Rutecki has been invloved in the following selected restaurants:
Fancy’s Food and Wine, Gourmet Shop, Coral Gables, South Miami & Grove Isle, Fl.
Susie’s Bagels, Breakfast Restaurant, South Miami, Fl.
Pizzaria Uno, Full Service Restaurant, Miami, Fl.
Baystreet, Full Service Seafood Restaurant, Miami, Fl.
Litigation Support - David Rutecki offers expert witness and litigation support for restaurant related issues in the United States. His services are available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. Areas of Expertise: