Editorial Board   

Mr. Barth

Stephen Barth

Founder, HospitalityLawyer.com

Stephen Barth, author of Hospitality Law and coauthor of Restaurant Law Basics, is an attorney, the founder of HospitalityLawyer.com, the annual Hospitality Law Conference series, and the Global Congress on Legal, Safety, and Security Solutions in Travel. As a professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, he teaches courses in hospitality law and leadership. He has over twenty years of experience in hospitality operations, including line positions, management, and ownership. Professor Barth is a founding member of the Hospitality Industry Bar Association. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He is also a mediator and a strong proponent for alternative dispute resolution. In addition to being a resource for travel and hospitality press, Professor Barth and his work have been quoted in the New York Times, USAToday, and the Houston Business Journal among others. Professor Barth's articles on legal and leadership issues have appeared in Lodging Hospitality, Hotel and Motel Management, CHEERS, NightClub and Bar, and HospitalityLawyer.com. He speaks regularly on many issues for the travel, lodging, restaurant, club, and health care industries. His presentations focus on emotional intelligence, social intelligence, positive leadership techniques, and methods for preventing liability in the hospitality industry. He assisted the National Restaurant Association in developing its Safety and Security Seminar and its Responsible Service of Alcohol program. Other presentations developed by Stephen include STEM the Tide of Litigation, Positive Leadership for Positive Performance, A Model for Reducing Worker's Compensation Costs for the Hospitality Industry, Enhancing Your Presentation Effectiveness, Managing Your Emotional Energy, and Legal Updates for Lodging, Restaurant and Club Operations. Professor Barth earned his Law degree, Master of Arts in Communications, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Economics from Texas Tech University. In 1995 he was recognized by the City of Houston for his accomplishments as a faculty member at the University of Houston, and in 1996 he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at the Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston. In 1998 Professor Barth was awarded the University Teaching Excellence Award, the highest recognition of teaching bestowed by the University of Houston. In 2000 he received the University of Houston's Distance Education Award. In 2001 he launched HospitalityLawyer.com, and in 2002 he initiated the annual Hospitality Law Conference series. In 2003 Professor Barth created the Electronic Journal of Hospitality Legal, Safety, and Security Research. In 2007 he was the recipient of the Hilton College Outstanding Teacher award. In 2009, he received the Hilton College “HVS” Research Award. In 2011 he launched the Global Congress on Legal, Safety, and Security Solutions in Travel.

Mr. Barth can be contacted at 713-963-8800 or SBarth@HospitalityLawyer.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.