Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Hara III

Robert J. O'Hara III

Attorney, Flaherty & O'Hara, PC

Robert “R.J.” O'Hara is president of Flaherty & O'Hara, p.c., a Pennsylvania-based boutique law firm with eleven attorneys and 20 support staff practicing exclusively in the alcohol beverage space. Mr. O'Hara received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Dayton in 1989 and his B.A. in English in 1985 from the same school. He served as Articles Editor of the University of Dayton Law Review and is a member of the National Honors Society in History. He co-founded the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants and is chair of its Board. He is an associate member of several national professional and alcohol regulatory organizations and is honored to be frequently invited to speak at national and regional conferences on alcohol-related topics, as well as on the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational uses.

Mr. O'Hara represents members of all three tiers of the alcohol industry, representing clients on general liquor licensing matters, complex ownership changes, in litigation and hearings, on multistate license acquisitions, and on administrative citations. Mr. O'Hara's clients include numerous private equity funds and institutional investors in the hospitality, restaurant and alcohol manufacturing spaces, and addressing their unique concerns. Flaherty & O'Hara is national liquor counsel to numerous national and regional chain hotels, restaurants and grocers. The Firm's attorneys also often counsel on tied house and trade practice matters, advise clients on the legality of national alcohol promotions and marketing programs, and frequently draft legislation. Mr. O'Hara is also a shareholder in a PA craft brewery, Erie Brewing Company in Erie, PA, maker of Railbender Ale, an award-winning Scotch ale, among others.


Mr. O'Hara III can be contacted at 412-456-2001 or rj@flaherty-ohara.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.