Hotel Manager Job Description - Duties, Responsibilities, Skills and Career Path
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What Does a Hotel Manager Do?
A hotel manager is the person responsible for the day-to-day management of a hotel and its staff and for planning, organizing and directing all hotel services.
A hotel manager is responsible for achieving a hotel’s revenue and room sales objectives, ensuring the appropriate standard of service for hotel guests, keeping a close eye on costs and helping the hotel achieve success in what is a very competitive market.
Hotel managers play a key role in the management and development of a hotel business (or a motel, resort, or holiday village). They require strong managerial and sales skills in order to be able to increase the hotel’s revenue, manage the budget with a view to maximizing profits and ensure the hotel’s market position is competitive.
Hotel managers are responsible for running the hotel and ensuring the qualitative and quantitative targets set by the hotel’s owner are met. They coordinate the hotel’s sales and marketing effort and are responsible for relations with suppliers, staff and guests.
In order to ensure an excellent service, hotel managers supervise the work of hotel staff in all areas and perform checks to ensure compliance with the requiring quality standards, carrying out thorough inspections to ensure no problems (e.g. cleanliness, maintenance or other aspects) will arise. The goal of a hotel manager is to make the hotel’s guests happy and ensure they feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease, from the moment they check in at reception right up until the end of their stay.
Hotel managers hold daily meetings with the managers of the various areas of the hotel, e.g. reception, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), F&B (Food and Board), maintenance, portering and housekeeping. They delegate duties as and when necessary and appropriate, work to motivate their staff and take an active role in recruitment processes.
Hotel managers are also responsible for coordinating room sales, setting the general sales strategy and rates policies, based on their extensive knowledge of the market and on historical sales data. They also decide which marketing initiatives to implement (particularly web marketing and social media), negotiate with offline (travel agencies, tour operators) and online sales channels (booking websites, online travel agencies and metasearch engines) and monitor the hotel’s brand reputation. Other duties of a hotel manager include public relations, i.e.. working to build up the hotel brand and ensuring the hotel’s image is aligned with its target audience.
Depending on the size of a hotel and its internal organizational structure, a hotel manager may perform exclusively managerial tasks (for example in large chains, multinational hotel groups and luxury hotels) or alternatively perform operative tasks too, such as running the hotel’s reception. This tends to be the case in small and medium sized family-run hotels, where the hotel manager may also be the owner.
Working hours will generally follow the hotel’s timetable and will include weekends and public holidays. Running a hotel is not a job offering standard office hours. Rather, it is a full-time occupation, in which the hotel manager is likely to be more or less constantly occupied looking after the needs of the hotel and its guests. For this reason, in addition to strong problem-solving skills, hotel managers also need to be able to perform well under stress and to deal with complaints from guests in a helpful, friendly and timely manner.
Hotel Manager Duties and Responsibilities
As the person responsible for the day-to-day running of a hotel, a hotel manager’s duties will include:
- Supervising day-to-day operations
- Defining growth strategies and plans and setting targets
- Coordinating the activities of the various departments, monitoring efficiency and quality of services and compliance with standards
- Organizing, controlling and supervising the work of the hotel staff
- Managing the hotel’s budget and finances with the aim of achieving efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- Monitoring hotel budget and accounts and verifying results achieved
- Implementing sales and marketing strategies and rates policies
- Coordinating communications and marketing
- Participating in the staff selection process
- Maintaining relations with suppliers and managing purchasing
- Looking after administrative matters and ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations
- Responding to customer complaints in a timely manner
How to Become a Hotel Manager: Education and Requirements
To become a hotel manager requires solid qualifications, with candidates holding a university degree likely to be preferred to those with only school-leaving qualifications. The most appropriate qualification for those interested in a career in hotel management is a business or economic-related degree, ideally with a specialization in hospitality or tourism.
Those looking to improve their CVs with a view to applying for work in this field can take a course in hotel management. These will usually provide aspiring hotel managers with the knowledge and skills they will need for a successful career in today’s hotel management sector, i.e.:
- Using booking systems and Channel Managers
- Using hotel management software
- Revenue Management
- Managing a food & beverage department
- Human resource management
- Quality management for hotels
- Hotel marketing strategies
- Pricing and online distribution strategies
- Online reputation management
It goes without saying that, for a hotel manager, whose job will almost certainly involve interacting with foreign guests, a knowledge of foreign languages is an essential requirement.
Hotel Manager Skills and Qualifications
The most frequently requested skills for hotel manager positions include:
- Managerial skills
- In-depth knowledge of the hotel sector
- Administration, budgeting and revenue management skills
- Knowledge of hotel management software applications
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of one or more foreign languages
- Customer-oriented approach
- Dynamism and flexibility
- Problem-solving skills
- Patience and ability to cope well with stress
Hotel Manager Career Path
There are a variety of entry routes to a career in the hotel sector. For example, hotels of all types (small family-run, large chains, luxury, boutique design and lifestyle hotels) always need receptionists, front desk agents and concierges.
Reliable front desk or reception workers who show a strong sense of initiative may progress to the position of front desk manager. This is a senior position within the hotel hierarchy, performing a key role in a hotel’s operations and working in close coordination with hotel management. Typically, the role is a springboard to a position such as hotel operations manager or executive assistant, which in turn are stepping stones to the role of hotel manager.
In large international hotel chains with numerous hotels situated in various countries, another career opportunity is the position of area manager. This is the person with overall responsibility for the running of hotels within a specific area. Area managers supervise and provide support to hotel managers and their staff, work to ensure that the standard of service offered to guests is kept high in all locations and monitor costs and overheads.
Top Reasons to Work as a Hotel Manager
For a hotel manager, no one day is the same as the next. Variety is a given, both in the day-to-day running of the hotel and as regards the guests a hotel manager will have the opportunity to engage with as part of his or her job, who may have come from anywhere in the world.
Another boon is the variety and availability of work. As one of the world’s biggest sectors, the tourist and hospitality industry offers a wide range of opportunities - from managing a small independent hotel to running a large chain hotel with hundreds of rooms - and locations (big cities, seaside resorts, mountain villages, exotic tourist destinations, the choice is yours).
Making a hotel a success or even working to turn around a failing one is undoubtedly a source of great professional pride and satisfaction and is one of the main factors - alongside positive feedback and glowing reviews from satisfied guests - motivating top hotel managers to keep on aiming for the best.
Additional factors attracting aspiring hotel managers to the role include the excellent remuneration package, which often includes on-site accommodation in the hotel itself.