Hotel management is not for the faint of heart.
It’s a challenging career requiring commitment and a strong knowledge of finances, leadership, human resources, marketing, and customer service.
It’s also not a typical 9 to 5 job with weekends off. At first, glance that might sound discouraging, but hotel management can be one of the most rewarding hospitality careers. Unlike other careers where you might never see the results of your efforts, successful hotel management is directly reflected by engaged and happy staff, and satisfied customers raving about their experience.
This article will cover different aspects of a hotel management career and share some useful tips to help you do it right.
What is hotel management?
Here’s a hotel management definition by Xotels: “a field of business and a study, that tends itself to the operational aspects of a hotel as well as a wide range of affiliated topics.”
By “affiliated topics,” we mean channel distribution, revenue management, accounting, staff management, marketing, and more.
Simply put, hotel managers oversee all hotel operations and make sure that the hotel runs smoothly and profitably, customers leave happy, and staff is satisfied.
It sounds like a lot – we know, but let’s walk through the job description in a bit more detail.
What do hotel managers do?
Good hotel management requires handling a lot of information. While it’s not necessary to have a hotel management degree to hold this type of position, it can certainly help build the right skill set for the job. So you don’t feel like a small fish thrown into the deep ocean.
As a manager, your job will be to make sure that everything in the hotel works the way it should.
And by everything, we mean literally – EVERYTHING. The hotel manager involves in every area of operations.
You might find yourself balancing your time between making sure that customers have a great stay, creating a healthy work culture for your employees, and ensuring that you generate healthy revenues for your ownership team.
On a day-to-day basis, managers cover administrative tasks like overseeing budgets, controlling inventory and distribution channels, and making decisions related to revenue management.
It helps to get acquainted with numbers sooner rather than later!
And there’s more – managers also oversee housekeeping, staff management, and maintenance work.
Some hotel management roles focus specifically on hotel openings. While being a hotel manager is challenging work in itself, successfully launching a new property is even more so.
Should strong knowledge of revenue management be required to hold a hotel management position? – find out in this blog post.
What is hotel restaurant management?
Overseeing a hotel is one thing. It gets more challenging if you have a restaurant too– that’s a whole other beast to manage.
However, there are some clear similarities between hotel and restaurant management. The main one is that in both domains the ultimate goal is making customers happy.
Hotel restaurant management consists of managing the entire food and beverage spectrum from suppliers, to employees, to customers.
Here’s a useful tip: treat a hotel restaurant as a unique property. Make sure it has a great website and is attractive to both hotel guests and the local community.
How to do hotel management
Everyone has a different management style and no single style is the secret to success. Only you’ll know what works best for you. However, we can share some tips from experienced hotel managers about what’s worked well for them.
- Hone your leadership skills – as the head of your hotel, your staff, customers, and ownership team will be relying on you to make the right decisions.
- Communicate well – give clear instructions, address concerns proactively, and put solid procedures in place.
- Learn to delegate – daily meetings with your department heads are a key to success. Your team should be up to date on your strategies and have a clear direction to follow. While a manager will make the ultimate decisions, she or he needs to trust their team to put many of those decisions into action.
- Try to know your hotel better than yourself.
A hotel can be seen almost as a living organism – and you should try to get to know each other. One way to do this is by getting your hands dirty and working some shifts in every department:
- Clean a room.
- Spend time preparing dishes in the kitchen
- Work a shift in reception and deal directly with guest complaints.
If you do this you’ll make it easier to solve any future problems you need to face. Whether it’s water leaking through a ceiling or a dissatisfied guest – you’ll know what to do.
Even more importantly, your staff will value the fact that your decisions are based on the first-hand experience of putting yourself in their shoes.
- Hire the right people
Surrounding yourself with great talent is one of the greatest secrets of successful hotel management. You need a team you can count on to do a great job so that you can strike the right work-life balance, take a vacation, or just get some sleep.
- Create a positive workplace culture
“If you treat your staff well, they will be happy. Happy staff are proud staff, and proud staff deliver excellent customer service, which drives business success.” — says Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson.
While hotel management requires lots of administrative work, don’t forget to find time to talk with your team and find creative ways to support them in their daily work.
- Streamline your work with the right technology
Hotel tech, like property and revenue management systems, generate valuable data and clear reports to help you evaluate the performance of your property. With the right tools, you can easily track housekeeping work, booking channel performance, occupancy rates, and other key performance indicators (RevPAR, TrevPAR, ADR).
8. Manage your hotel’s reputation
Genuinely listening to customer feedback and proactively responding to negative reviews will help your property excel. The best way to drive improvement lies in listening to your team and customers.
9. Find a mentor
You’re not alone – reach out to other hotel managers and ask for their advice. Professionals in this industry are open to collaboration and having someone whose advice you trust can make a difference between becoming a good manager or a great one.
Hotel management is a continuous learning process
Your hotel runs 24/7 – and that means you might too. While you won’t spend all your time in the hotel, you’ll be the go-to person for the most important decisions. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on best practices and keep your skills fresh.
There are hundreds of ways to go about perfecting your management skillset. Just remember that your approach will directly influence how employees, guests, and owners perceive the hotel.
So no pressure…
“Think of the hotel as an ecosystem that will get healthier the better you manage it.”
One way to keep things in perspective is by remembering that while you might be the boss – at the end of the day you’re a team member with more responsibilities.