Becoming a Hotel Manager
As a good hotel manager, you will keep a very close eye on every aspect of the business - kitchen, service, cleaning, maintenance, front desk etc. You will continually monitor guest satisfaction, and deal with the many problems that arise in the business. You will also establish and maintain relations with others working in hospitality, tourism, the media and the community in order to promote your business and to keep abreast of issues, trends, and possibilities that can affect your business. This makes hotel management an exciting, challenging career, with much opportunity for personal and professional growth and social interaction.
The key roles of a hotel manager are:
- Ensure that the hotel and its services (e.g. function rooms, restaurant) are marketed and promoted
- To ensure that booking, reservation and other selling processes are efficient and effective
- Ensure that the hotel is well-maintained, safe, clean and generally meets expected standards
- Ensure the care, comfort, satisfaction and goodwill of the guest or customer
- Plan and manage the business for present, short term and long term success.
- Ensure the business meets the needs of its users
Tasks (some or all) that a hotel manager may be required to do are:
- Recruit, induct staff
- Train staff
- Delegate and schedule tasks and responsibilities
- Supervise staff
- Control quality, which includes regular inspections
- Establish and monitor procedures
- Establish and communicate standards
- Ensure staff and client safety and wellbeing
- Elect supplies or suppliers (linens, equipment, food etc)
- Increase staff productivity
- Promote the business and its services
- Update, renovate or redecorate the building or rooms
- Plan and budget.
Given the differences in kinds and sizes of hotels, hotel managers may be assigned different roles and tasks by different employers. Some may manage only one section of a hotel, coordinating their activities with those of managers in other sections. For instance, one person might manage to the food areas and another might manage housekeeping. In other hotels, the manager is in charge of all areas. If you are a hotel owner, you may manage the entire business on your own, or hire managers for some areas.
Therefore, one can enter this field of work by developing skills and knowledge in one main area (such as housekeeping, food and beverage management, marketing and sales, or maintenance), or by developing a broad range of generic and transferable skills in hospitality and management.
Job opportunities might also be found in other accommodation and tourism businesses, such as resorts, health farms, cruise ships, inns or motels. Any of these can also provide a pathway to a position in a large hotel, if that's where you want to go. Other opportunities may exist in the non-profit sector: hospitals, aged care centres, orphanages, women's refuges or refugee centres.
A hotel manager might be self-employed (the business owner). Otherwise, hotel managers are employed by small, medium and large accommodation business. These may or may not behotels, for hotel management skills are applicable to a range of accommodation businesses, such as bed & breakfast establishments, guesthouses, trailer parks, motels, inns, resorts, school camps, and so on.
With the very high demand for jobs in hospitality, and the typically high turnover of staff, it is advisable to approach potential employers and let them know you are seeking work, rather than relying on job advertisements. Many simply do not advertise.
Remuneration will vary considerably, depending on many factors, including your interpersonal skills and initiative, the employer, and the region in which you work. Hotel managers in some countries or in small businesses can expect a modest salary, while in other countries or in very large hotels, salaries may be generous. Either way, you can expect to work hard for your income, but also can expect a degree of job stability that is not found in many other fields, because of the specialised knowledge that you gain about the business you work in. In general, you can expect management level remuneration - which will vary from country to country, so take the time to find out what managers in hospitality are paid. As you prove yourself through successful management, you can expect your income to rise. If it doesn't (perhaps because the business simply can't afford more), you will be in a better position to find a more lucrative position elsewhere. This is definitely a field in which advancement can depend on your willingness to travel and move, as much as on your abilities, since excellent opportunities often exist in regions that are still developing their hospitality or tourism infrastructure.
Risks and challenges
A hotel is like a small kingdom, and running it is hard work, requiring attention to detail in many areas. Yes, it is stressful work, and you need a degree of psychological and physical stamina to maintain it. All aspects of hospitality and tourism are affected by so many factors that are simply out of your control: weather, political situations of unrest or calm, economic trends, social issues and trends, and so on. A dangerous situation in the region can bring tourism, even business travel to the area, to a virtual standstill overnight. Other things that can cause high stress are:
- visits by important persons (politicians, entertainers, royalty etc.), most of whom have very special requirements and an entourage to be tended to, plus special safety and privacy needs;
- incorrect bookings of groups, or late or early arrivals of large groups;
- bookings that do not provide accurate or complete information about guest requirements;
- unexpected shortages of supplies or food items;
- transportation problems;
- staff absences, errors or laxness;
- interpersonal conflicts;
- irate or offended customers and so on.
Other related jobs
- Bed and Breakfast Manager
- Tourism Operator
- Wedding Planner
- Event Manager
HOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOTEL MANAGEMENT
Read a book, do a course, join an organisation; talk to people, observe the world.
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