Editorial Board   Guest Author

Prof. O'Halloran

Robert M. O'Halloran

Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

Robert M. O'Halloran is a professor and currently the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University. He was previously Director of the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis. He has also served in faculty and held administrative positions at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran teaches courses in planning and development, financial feasibility and food and beverage operations. He was a pre-pilot instructor for the popular Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) program jointly offered through ICHRIE, Smith Travel Research and AH&LA.

His hospitality industry background includes management and training positions with The Harborside Inn on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Jolly Roger Restaurants Inc., in California, and Pannell Kerr Forster, a management and consulting company in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic he continued to pursue industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services (now Sodexo), Marriott International and the Club Managers Association of America; New Jersey Chapter. He has continued his industry partnerships serving on a variety of professional boards. He has served on boards and or committees of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the North Carolina's Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Board, the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, the Certification Commission of the Educational Institute of the America Hotel and Lodging Association (Chair), and the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Educational Institute of the AH & LA and the Training and Education Advisory Council of AH&LA.  He previously served on the boards of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Metro Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association, the Memphis Restaurant Association and the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau and the New York State Restaurant Association.

Professor O'Halloran is a recipient of the Innovation in Teaching Award presented by International CHRIE and is recipient of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association's Educator of the Year award. He is author and or co-author of over one hundred articles, columns, cases and chapters in books. He is also co-editor and contributing author for two case books, Cases in Food Service and Cases in Hospitality and Tourism published by Pearson Prentice Hall and has also served as a subject matter expert for the Pearson Foundation. He is an instructor for the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) program offered through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and co-author of the book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators and Trainers published by the Educational Institute of the AH & LA. 

Please visit http://www.ecu.edu for more information.

Prof. O'Halloran can be contacted at +1 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.