Hotel Managers have one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in hospitality, and that’s why the job is not for the faint-hearted. The role attracts those who have high ambition, a passion for service, and are natural-born leaders. A career in hotels can be exciting, luxurious, and lead you to travel the world. Whether you work in a boutique hotel or a multinational chain, the day-to-day challenges can be similar. So, just how do you embark on a career in hotels and attaining the Hotel Manager title?
What is Hotel Management?
Before exploring career opportunities in hotel management, it is important to know what working in the hotel industry entails.
In the hospitality industry, hotel management plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of various departments such as guest services, food and beverage, and sales. It involves effective planning, management, and organization of lodging operations to deliver the best possible experience to customers. Depending on the size of the lodging business, management may oversee multiple departments and is responsible for leading and motivating the team to achieve a profitable business with exceptional customer satisfaction.
What does a Hotel Manager do?
The very essence of managing a hotel is keeping day-to-day operations ticking over. Therefore, Hotel managers may be required to:
- Manage hotel services, such as accommodation and catering.
- Oversee events and conferences.
- Troubleshoot 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.
- Lead on sustainability programs
- Manage heads of departments or entire teams
- Drive forward sales strategies and oversee expenditure
Handling financial responsibilities of the hotel
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 expenditures.
- 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.
Leading a successful team
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.
Providing great guest experiences
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.
Handling reputation management
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 inquiries 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.
How to become a Hotel Manager?
Becoming a hotel manager may take several years of education followed by several years of career progression depending on the size of the lodging business you want to work for. Typically the bigger the hotel brand, the longer and more difficult it will be to land that role due to increased competition and higher requirements. You might start out on the front desk, a revenue manager, marketing specialist, or event manager, and then manage one of those departments before having the opportunity to progress to the hotel manager or assistant hotel manager role.
The possibilities are endless for beginning a career path toward general management of a hotel. Landing a Graduate Scheme enabling you to work in all areas of a hotel would be a smart first move for recent graduates wanting to climb the career ladder quickly and gain a 360-degree view of hotel operations.
To excel in the hotel industry and become a successful hotel manager, it’s essential to acquire a diverse range of skills and hands-on experience in lodging management. Many large hotels and international facilities require a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management as a minimum requirement. Finding a degree course that has a dual-education configuration is most advantageous, as it allows students to get practical experience in the field as well as learn theoretical components. This way, not only does the theory become more solidified in the students’ minds, but it also bolsters their resumes with professional experience at the same time.
However, by obtaining a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management, you can distinguish yourself further from other candidates and increase your chances of landing a management position. Remember, with hard work, dedication, and the right qualifications, you can achieve your goals and reach new heights in your career.
What is the ideal hotel manager profile?
If you aspire to become a hotel manager, you must have impeccable people skills, an unflappable, trustworthy, and professional demeanor, and the ability to lead, communicate effectively, and stay ahead of emerging trends. You should also possess a keen eye for numbers and be adept at analyzing data. Additionally, you must showcase your exceptional talent and dedication, be adaptable, resilient, and able to make swift decisions under pressure. Keep in mind that this role requires significant sacrifices, including less time spent with family and friends.
What skills does a Hotel Manager need?
Hotel Managers need a myriad of hard and soft skills in order to be successful. Here are some of the most highly valued skills you will need to demonstrate on your CV:
- Technology literacy
- Project and people management
- An eye for detail
Develop related experience
Gaining work experience in a hotel or hospitality environment will help you climb the ladder to the position of Hotel Manager. Whether it’s in the form of an internship during or after studying, or starting in a junior role or operation-specific role that you are qualified for – such as in marketing – with the aim of side-stepping into a Hotel manager or General manager role. Hands-on experience at any level is highly valued in the hotel industry and failing that, experience in customer-oriented environment would be desirable.
Hotel Management career outlook
The career outlook for future hotel managers is looking bright.
According to research, global travel and tourism employment is forecast to rise to 320 million in 2023, a 25 million job position increase on 2022 figures, and just short of pre-pandemic levels. With more people wanting to travel, the industry growth creates more demand for lodging managers.
What’s more, Hospitality statistics from Statista show the global hospitality market reached nearly 4.7 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023 and is forecast to grow to 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 percent. Hospitality comprises of multiple industries, the largest of which are accommodation and food and drink services making it a desirable industry to build a career in.
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.
About EHL Group
EHL Group is the global reference in education, innovation and consulting for the hospitality and service sector.
With expertise dating back to 1893, EHL Group now offers a wide range of leading educational programs from apprenticeships to master’s degrees, as well as professional and executive education, on three campuses in Switzerland and Singapore. EHL Group also offers consulting and certification services to companies and learning centers around the world. True to its values and committed to building a sustainable world, EHL Group’s purpose is to provide education, services and working environments that are people-centered and open to the world. www.ehlgroup.com