Hotel Management Career Guide for Beginners

Marketing 18 minute read 10th July 2023

Hotel management is an exciting career path for those passionate about providing exceptional customer service. They love to work in a fast-paced environment, face challenges head-on and enjoy social interaction.

Hotel management is not a stagnant field restricted to simply caring for a hotel and guests needs. It paves the way for other managerial positions, which means more career advancement opportunities. For those who excel in this field, there is a chance to manage international hotel chains around the globe.

If you want to pursue a career in hotel management, this article provides an explanation of the hotel industry.

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What Is Hotel Management and Why Is It Important?

Hotel management involves overseeing the operations of a hotel. These operations include:

  • Guest services
  • Housekeeping
  • Financial maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Staff management and training
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Ensure compliance with health and safety laws

Hotel management is crucial to the success of any hotel, as it ensures that all concerned areas are running smoothly. The owner is busy with other tasks and cannot afford to dedicate time personally. For this reason, a hotel requires a manager or managers.

The owner delegates the duties and responsibilities, freeing themselves to take care of other important business tasks. Without managers, running a hotel would be nearly impossible. They are the ones who create a positive reputation and attract customers using marketing strategies.

Moreover, with the hotel industry growing, managers who can adapt to different cultures and languages are in high demand. It is common in countries where tourism is a major source of income.

The hotel is a business; just like any business, it needs to prosper and grow. This is another reason why management is essential. Without effective governance, the atmosphere of the hotel will degrade. According to a survey, 60% of hotel businesses fail because of poor management, especially those with little to no administration awareness.

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How To Manage a Hotel?

One must develop strong skills in several administrative areas to manage a hotel. Strong leadership skills, attention to detail, and an understanding of the hotel industry are merely common points that encompass hotel management. However, there is much more than this.

If you want to know how to manage a hotel, here are some basic skills you must obtain:

Hotel Management Skill #1: Learn Financial Management

To some, this is an odd skill to learn because a hotel manager isn’t an accountant. So, how is financial management a part of the daily operational duties? While it is important to develop financial management skills, that doesn’t mean the manager will be working the books personally. Many don’t realize that a manager is also responsible for the hotel’s financial performance. He is in charge of the overall budget and can allocate funds to various departments where needed. So, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of financial reports and interpret them to create a financial plan. The budgeting picture will create an outline that will entail distributing money to the following hotel affairs:

  • operational budget
  • salaries
  • expense fund
  • reserve fund
  • money allocation

This skill will enable them to make informed decisions about budgeting, pricing, and investments that will impact the hotel’s profitability. It will also help managers identify areas where cost reduction is possible without sacrificing quality.

Hotel Management Skill #2: Improve Your Leadership Skills

Sometimes managers adopt the attitude of a boss instead of a leader. So, instead of working with their team members, they embrace dictatorial behavior, which leads to low morale and poor performance.

So, managers need to polish their leadership skills. They should be:

  • willing to listen to feedback from staff and customers
  • consider staff suggestions
  • praise employees openly and criticize them privately
  • delegate tasks
  • make swift decisions
  • take steps to improve morale
  • personally work with employees where required

Effective leadership skills are essential for hotel managers to motivate and inspire their teams to provide exceptional customer service. By improving their leadership skills, managers can foster a positive work environment that encourages employee engagement and retention. This can ultimately lead to increased productivity and profitability for the hotel.

Hotel Management Skill #3: Gain a Better Understanding of Marketing

Marketing is another helpful skill that managers should have in their portfolio. Even though the marketing department will be doing the heavy lifting, managers must possess an understanding of marketing principles. This skill can enable hotel managers to develop effective strategies to attract and retain customers. This includes identifying target markets, creating compelling promotions, and utilizing social media and other digital platforms to reach potential guests.

Promotion would not only be about hotel accommodation. It can include the rest of the hotel amenities, such as restaurants, spas, and recreational activities. Apart from hotel guests, walk-in guests also take advantage of these attractions, thus increasing the profit margins. It would also be an excellent idea to focus on restaurant management with an aim to increase the reputation.

Hotel Management Skill #4: Strengthen Your Communication Skills

Communication is the key to success in any hospitality industry, and the hotel business is no exception. Hotel managers must effectively communicate with their staff and vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page. This includes listening actively, providing clear instructions, and resolving conflicts professionally. It is also an effective skill for managing unhappy guests. It does not matter if you are running a 5-star hotel. Customer concerns will regularly come up, which you need to resolve promptly.

A secret tip to developing great communication skills is listening. Many say that the way you express yourself is essential.

However, it does not matter until you become an active listener. By actively listening to others, you can better understand their needs and concerns, allowing you to provide better solutions. On top of that, it is important to practice clear and concise communication to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.

Hotel Management Skill #5: Be Flexible

It is crucial to handle unexpected changes swiftly and positively. Any unforeseen change can occur, such as angry customers, catering issues during a major event, etc. By being flexible, you can adapt to these changes and find solutions quickly.

There is no degree or course in hotel management that teaches how to be flexible. This is a skill that one can learn with years of experience in management. If you are new in this field and can develop this skill by approaching challenges with an open mind. Remember that being flexible is about finding creative solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Hotel Management Skill #6: Guest Management Skills

Guest management skills apply not only to the manager but to the entire hotel staff. However, it is the management’s responsibility to train the staff in the appropriate ways of guest management. Here are some common guest management tips to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction:

  1. Greet guests with a warm welcome and a smile.

  2. Listen attentively to their needs and concerns. Remember, the customer is always right.

  3. Respond promptly and effectively to any issues that arise. Don’t say to them, “You are a priority customer.” Show them that they are by taking immediate action.

  4. Anticipate their needs and go above and beyond to exceed their expectations by demonstrating exceptional customer service.

  5. Show empathy and understanding toward guests’ feelings.

Follow up with guests after their stay to ensure their satisfaction and loyalty. Remember, happy guests lead to repeat business.

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How To Become a Hotel Manager?

To become a hotel manager, you need an understanding of the hospitality industry and excellent communication and leadership skills. Skills develop with job experience, but obtaining a degree is equally crucial.

A degree in management or a related field can provide a solid foundation for a career in hotel management. It can open the way for various administrative positions. If you want to work in a specific management position, specialize in that course only and apply for that job.

Which course is best for Hotel Management?

There are plenty of management degrees, ranging from short courses to university degrees.

The Culinary Institute of America claims to offer the next level bachelor’s degree in hospitality and hotel management. With this degree, you can apply to various management positions in any hotel.

The ESSEC Business School hotel management course focuses on three major areas: hotel distribution, revenue management, and demand management. The course includes a hands-on project preparing you for real-world hotel operation duties.

Les Roches Education offers some excellent degrees to prepare you for hotel management. These graduate-level degrees are an excellent arsenal to have in your pocket. They teach you everything necessary to become a successful hotel manager.

The two graduate courses to consider are the Masters in International Hotel Management and the MBA in Global Hospitality Management.

How Much Do Hotel Managers Make?

The pay scale varies depending on the type of management position you want to pursue. Here are some job titles with an average salary. This will give you an idea of how much hotel managers make.

  1. Hotel Catering Manager: $48,310 per year
  2. Conference Center Manager: $50,044 per year
  3. General Manager: $57,589 per year
  4. Restaurant Manager: $52,926 per year
  5. Marketing Manager: $65,813 per year
  6. Sales Manager: $69,582 per year

It is important to note that these salaries vary depending on the location, size, and type of hotel management. Also, experience and education level can impact how much hotel managers make per year. For instance, a hotel manager with a diploma may not earn more than one with a graduate degree.

Apart from the average base salary, managers receive other perks, such as health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, etc. These additional benefits can significantly increase the overall compensation package for hotel managers.

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Hotel Management Software For Improving Efficiency

Hotel management software is becoming increasingly popular in the hotel industry as it improves overall effectiveness and the guest experience. Here are a few benefits of integrating software into the hotel business:

  1. Online booking. With features like online booking and payment processing, hotel management software can increase revenue and reduce administrative costs. It is also convenient for guests, as most prefer to handle online bookings themselves, avoiding travel agents’ fees.

  2. Easy inventory management. Inventory management is another software program to help increase a hotel’s efficiency and profitability. It allows managers of separate departments to organize their inventory better. They can set notifications to alert them of low stock levels, reminding them to reorder supplies.

  3. Real-time updates. In hotel management, real-time updates are essential to keep track of their reservations, room availability, and pricing. With a software program that provides real-time updates, hotels can quickly adjust their rates based on demand and room availability. This feature also allows guests to make reservations and receive confirmation instantly, providing a seamless booking experience.

  4. Bulk sale of rooms. Hotels use channel management software to sell available rooms to booking sites, which can result in bulk sales. This helps hotels maximize occupancy rates and generate revenue even during low-demand seasons.

By implementing the right software, hotels can streamline their operational duties and provide a better overall experience for guests. This can ultimately lead to increased revenue and profits.

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