Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Hara III

Robert J. O'Hara III

Attorney, Flaherty & O'Hara, PC

Robert “R.J.” 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. Mr. O'Hara was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1989. He was a co-founder of the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants and is chair of its Board. He is an associate member of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the National Association of Alcohol Beverage Administrators, the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, the National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals, HospitalityLawyers.Com. He is often an invited speaker at national and regional conferences on alcohol-related topics. R.J. provides general liquor licensing counsel, handles ownership changes, litigation, citations and administrative hearings, and advises clients on complex national licensing issues arising from mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. He represents investment and financial companies entering the hospitality, restaurant and alcohol manufacturing spaces and he is adept at addressing their unique concerns as they relate to liquor licensing and compliance. He also advises clients on the legality of national alcohol promotions and marketing programs. Mr. O'Hara conducts seminars for clients regarding liquor liability and related restaurant and alcohol management issues, oversees employee integrity testing and employee compliance with employer alcohol policies through the implementation of targeted secret shopper programs and often drafts liquor-oriented legislation. Mr. O'Hara is also a shareholder and board member in a craft brewery, Erie Brewing Company in Erie, PA, maker of Railbender Ale, an award-winning Scotch ale.

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