Hotel managers oversee the day-to-day operations of hotels, improving the facilities' financial performance and customers' hospitality experience. They keep employees motivated, make sure the businesses operate according to relevant laws, control finances, and maintain positive relationships with suppliers and service providers. Hotel managers can work in independently owned hotels, where they report to facility owners, or chain hotels where they report to a general manager.
Using the Skills
Competent hotel managers are business-savvy professionals with strong analytical skills. When setting food prices, for example, they must assess the average spending power of the facility’s customers, consider market prices and settle on rates that give the facility a competitive edge.
Customer-service and problem-solving skills are also essential, as these managers should interact with customers with tact and diplomacy, and amicably resolve guest dissatisfaction issues. A happy and motivated staff is crucial to running a profitable hotel, so hotel managers should possess superb leadership and personnel management skills.
Chasing Business Objectives
To steer a hotel toward established financial objectives, a hotel manager must find ways to improve the facility’s customer base and, subsequently, sales. For example, he can organize a culinary exhibition, where potential customers can sample the facility’s dishes and cuisines, and establish partnerships with travel agencies that can recommend the hotel to travelers.
Another objective may be to improve customers’ dining experience. To do this, the manager may hire experienced chefs who can prepare tasty dishes and interior designers to give the facility a relaxing, welcoming environment.
Hotel managers lead a staff that may include food service specialists, maintenance and cleaning workers, and marketing and accounting specialists. She evaluates the performance of these employees and, when necessary, organizes training seminars to improve their skill set. During busy periods, the manager may hire more employees on a short-term basis to handle the workload.
Other duties include inspecting the facility to ensure it meets federal, state and local sanitation standards, renewing hotel licenses and permits, and presenting financial information to owners or general managers.
A bachelor’s degree in hotel management or hospitality administration is an essential requirement for aspiring hotel managers. Industry experience is also important, so aspirants begin in entry- or mid-level positions in hotels and work their way up. Some often become restaurant managers to gain management experience and enhance their chances of landing this job. The American Hotel and Lodging Institute awards the Certified Hotel Administrator certification that aspirants can combine with a master’s degree in hospitality management or business administration to become general managers of large hotels.
According to Indeed, an occupational resources website, hotel managers earned an average annual salary of $56,000 as of March 2015.