Hotel operations, strategy, human resources, marketing, finance – a hotel manager’s remit is as diverse as it is challenging. If you want to be a hotel manager, you will need excellent people skills and a calm, trustworthy, professional demeanor. This multi-faceted role demands leadership abilities, communication prowess and a good eye for numbers and emerging trends. As well as demonstrating talent and dedication, you will need to be agile, resilient and quick-thinking – and not too attached to spending your weekends with friends and family.
What is it that hotel managers do and what might their working hours look like?
Hotel manager duties and responsibilities
The very essence of managing a hotel is keeping day-to-day operations ticking over. Hotel managers may thus be required to:
- Manage hotel services, such as accommodation and catering.
- Oversee events and conferences.
- Trouble-shoot any issues arising in hotel operations.
- Liaise with contractors and suppliers.
- Supervise any maintenance work and renovations.
- Safeguard security and compliance, conducting inspections where necessary.
Clearly, hotels are looking to turn a profit. Hotel managers must therefore secure high occupancy levels and see to certain strategic financial and accounting duties, for instance:
- Managing budgets and controlling expenditure.
- Tracking hotel revenues, setting sales targets and optimizing profits.
- Analyzing sales figures, reports and the different market segments and channels to define the best-suited pricing and distribution strategies.
- Maintaining statistical and financial records.
Smooth hotel operations are reliant upon professional staff who are respectful and in tune with guests at all times. Hotel managers need to get the best out of their teams if their establishments are to be successful, which involves:
- Talent-spotting, recruiting and providing ongoing training.
- Defining the staff rota and working around holiday absences.
- Monitoring and motivating staff with constructive communication in a positive work environment and a shared vision of targets and career progression.
- Investing effort in employee engagement and retention in collaboration with HR.
Hotel managers are responsible for ensuring guests enjoy their stay. With this in mind, they may be tasked with several duties aimed at enhancing the guest experience and seeing to positive customer relations. These may include:
- Meeting and greeting guests with a warm welcome.
- Being attentive to guests’ needs and wishes, taking opportunities to optimize the guest experience.
- Addressing complaints with a personal touch to restore customer satisfaction.
- Keeping a watchful eye on both competitors and technological trends and innovations in hospitality with a view to leveraging any insights to build customer relations.
To cultivate those all-important glowing online reviews and keep guests coming back for more, hotel managers may also take care of various reputation management and branding duties, such as:
- Managing the hotel’s online presence and generating an online buzz through special offers and promotions.
- Ensuring all customer enquiries are dealt with in a timely manner and customer-oriented responses are issued for all negative reviews.
- Pursuing strategic branding endeavors.
Hotel manager working hours
Hotels never sleep. You would also be forgiven for thinking hotel managers never socialize. The role does entail almost constant pressure and long, erratic working hours that are likely to include some late nights, weekends and/or bank holidays depending on the shift pattern. To offset this somewhat, your on-the-job capacity may be freed up thanks to in-house meals and the absence of a commute in the case of live-in posts. The job may also offer flexibility in other ways, such as the potential for overseas travel and the added bonus of discounted accommodation.
It is true that managing a hotel requires a great deal of dedication. It is a complex, demanding job, but the rewards can be rich indeed for those who choose to tackle it.