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Hotel Management

Hotel Management

Hotel Management Careers; The Information You Need

Hotel management can be hard work. You have to be nice to people, and being nice to people can be a real chore. But that’s just one of the skills you’ll need if you’re going to enjoy a successful career in hotel management. This leadership role now requires an ever increasing suite of skills, beyond the ability to fake a sincere smile in front of difficult or demanding guests. Thankfully, world class courses in hospitality management, and its associated roles, are teaching these skills, and producing hotel managers for the modern age.

Today’s hotel manager is more than a people person, with great interpersonal skills and a winning fake smile. They’re all essential qualities, of course, but a role in modern hotel management requires a high degree of acumen in more academic areas, including finance and marketing.

hotel hallway

For many employers, particularly in high end hotel chains, their preference is for employees with degrees, and the more advanced the better. This is because people working in hotel management today need to be equipped to fight the current challenges hotels face. If they’re equipped with degrees, and the skills and savvy those degrees have given them, then all the better.

Smart Hotels Need Smart People

Hotels face challenges on several fronts. Many are still recovering from the Global Financial Crisis, that black wave of recession that swept the earth in almost biblical proportions, and kept many regular travellers at home, and hotel rooms empty. And then, there’s the challenge of increased competition from peer-to-peer organisations like Airbnb. Yes, you don’t have to be in the hotel business to be in the accommodation business. If you have a nice or quirky home, or even a habitable spare room, it’s easy to rent out that space to someone on the other side of the world, using a person to person marketplace on the internet. Organisations like Airbnb have given travellers millions of fresh and different accommodation options, and conventional hotels have had to reinvent the way they operate.

To take on this challenge, hotels have had to upskill their staff, particularly at upper-management level, and provide a whole new level of service, while working with a leaner budget. Hotel management in the modern age requires people who can not only take charge of the basics, including customer service, food and beverage operations and housekeeping. It also requires an in-depth understanding of business. How to handle a budget, especially a tight budget, is one area of the hospitality business that needs smart minds working on it. Increasing profit margins is another. Marketing is yet another. While human resources, where the imperative is to find and retain the best people, is another hugely important component of hotel management. Someone armed with these business skills, along with that killer smile, will be very highly regarded indeed.

Choose the Right Hotel Management Course

hotel in the tropics

To get the skills hotels are after, enrolling in a degree level course is a great idea. Today’s hospitality management courses cover more than the basics of hotel management. There’s an added layer of business-orientated classes as well, a more academic range of courses that complement the traditional and practical side of hotel management. Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration is one of the more prestigious education providers in this field, and their courses reflect the broader range of skills now required in hotel management. Not everyone can go to Cornell, but their hotel management courses provide the perfect template and should act as a guide when you’re looking at what is being offered by other education providers. Look out for business and economics related classes, and lots of them. Degrees and other study programs that cover these areas, as well as traditional hotel management skills, are more highly regarded in the job market.

If you already work in a hotel and aspire to climb the ladder to a managerial position within your organisation, then here is some good news. You don’t need to leave your job to upskill yourself. As is the way in modern education, online learning makes it easy to study anywhere, anytime, and with minimal disruption to your current career, your family life, or your love life. Again, Cornell is one of the leaders in providing online degrees, diplomas and other courses in hotel management, but there is no shortage of options elsewhere. Just remember; the more advanced your qualification, the more chance you have of landing your dream role in hotel management. Just be sure your course, whether it’s on-campus or online, has an eye for business, as well as hospitality.

I’m Qualified. Now What?

Hey, congratulations! You’ve gone and got the degree you need to succeed in hotel management. Your course was business orientated, and you’re as comfortable with spreadsheets as you are with bed sheets. So, now what?

A career in hotel management can take on many forms; there is more to this industry than being a general manager, for example. Some of your options in the field of hotel management include:

Hotel Manager
General Manager
Director of Rooms
Director of Hotel Operations
Executive Assistant Manager
Resident Manager
Food Manager
Resort Manager
Casino Manager

Regardless of the role in hotel management, you’ll be expected to bring a good deal of business acumen to the job. And, in some cases, the versatility to cover more than just one role. One way modern hotels are handling the challenges they face, including increased competition, is to cut costs. This is achieved in many ways, including downsizing the number of people working for them at all levels, including managerial.

hotel dining room

There’s now an expectation, even a demand, in some organisations that a good manager can work across more than one role, which is another reason why a more comprehensive qualification in hotel management is so desirable. Or, some managers might be expected to look after more than one hotel, especially when several of those hotels are close together in a geographical sense.

Don’t panic when you read about downsizing at managerial level. Someone armed with an advanced degree in hotel management is still hot property in the job market, which just stresses the importance of doing the right college course. Besides, there are positive forecasts that the hospitality industry is recovering nicely after the Global Financial Crisis, so more opportunities will be created in the years ahead. And those opportunities can be very rewarding.

Variety and Vagaries of Hotel Management

If you want a career where no two days are the same, and where there is an abundance of different roles, hotel management is right up your street.

On any given day in hotel management, you’ll oversee your reception staff and ensure they’re giving guests the sort of welcome they deserve. A first impression sticks like mud, and a bad first impression turns that mud into something rancid, so a warm welcome in any hotel is essential.

That great first impression needs to be followed up by consistently high levels of service for the duration of a guest’s stay. Rooms must be immaculately clean. Beds must be incredibly comfortable. Food served in the hotel restaurant must be delicious. The man making martinis in the bar must not forget the olive. All of these ‘musts’ are handled by your employees, but the buck stops with you. Your employees need to reach, and exceed, the standards you set.

Of course, you can’t be a ‘helicopter manager’, and hover over the shoulder of your staff all the time. Your brilliant, and regular, training will ensure they have the skills required to handle matters in a friendly, efficient and unsupervised manner when providing guest services. If you want to rest assured that your standards are being met, even when you’re not around, then training your employees, in all departments of the hotel, is another key duty.

If you’re a financial or revenue manager, how much you charge your happy guests is one of your responsibilities, and it’s a big one when the chase for the traveller’s dollar is more intense than ever. The financial side of hotel operations is often handled by a general manager, thanks to the business skills they have learnt while studying hotel management, and this part of the job is a huge part of a manager’s working life.

Successful hotel management, at the end of the day, is about managing people. The financial side of the hospitality business is intrinsically linked to how well you handle the people you encounter, both employees and guests.

The best hotel managers usually boast the best staff members, and this is no happy accident. Great employees reflect the standards set by management, through superior training and leading by example. Great employees make for a great stay. The service they provide your guests makes for happier guests…and happier guests spend more while they’re in the hotel, and they’re more likely to return. This is excellent news if those guests are business travellers, because they’ll come back on a regular basis, and bring their expense accounts with them. So, it’s up to you to set the service example for your employees to follow.

As a hotel manager, you’re responsible for hiring and firing employees. Hiring is a challenging task when you’re confronted with a lot of applicants, although the best qualified ones will stand out and make your job easier. Firing employees is more unpleasant, but a necessary evil if your standards are not being met. The people you can’t fire, however, are your guests. Even the difficult ones that you put on your best fake smile for. How you handle these guests can make, or break, your reputation.

People skills are still vitally important in hotel management, even if things like budget management and revenue gathering seem to be more of a focus in the industry these days. It’s hard to create revenue without happy guests, and you have to be the trendsetter in creating this happiness. You can’t blame your employees for letting the team down service-wise, when you set a poor example yourself by being surly or confrontational. It is a mental and physical challenge remaining calm and civil when confronted with difficult guests. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to raise a warm smile after a long and demanding day. But you know what? You have to do it. If you can do it, you will be rewarded very nicely indeed.

The Rewards of Hotel Management

Payscale.com states that the average salary for a General Hotel Manager is $51,564 per year. Of course, a salary might be lower if you work in a limited-service hotel, with fewer facilities and guest services. But on the other side of the coin, and there is always another side to every coin, you could earn a substantially higher salary in a more salubrious establishment. If you make it to the top of an exclusive five star hotel, or a casino, your salary is way above the national average. Think six figures, and you’re in the ballpark of what you could earn when you reach the top.

Hotel management offers a healthy salary to those with experience and skills. But the rewards can become even greater when assorted job benefits kick in, and they include:

hotel in caribbean

– Bonuses for staying under budget

– Bonuses for exceeding forecast guest numbers and consumer satisfaction index

– Profit sharing plans

– Free meals, laundry and parking for on-site managers

– Free or heavily subsidised education to upskill

– Transfers within the company to hotels in overseas destinations.

As you can see, it’s not always the salary that counts. The overall package can make a career in hotel management a very lucrative one, even with its challenges and demands.

Some Statistics to Finish

Everyone loves a good statistic. Especially writers who have run out of things to say! But these statistics are more than just a page filler. They simply endorse some of the key messages you’ve read about. Consider these facts and figures as food for thought as you ponder a career in hotel management.

– The three degrees with the highest hotel general manager salaries are BS Business, BA Business Management and BA Hospitality Management.

– Three cities with the highest hotel general manager salaries: New York, Chicago, Miami

– Average salary range for a hotel general manager at an establishment with 50 to 199 employees: $34,955 – $94,690

– Average annual bonus earned by a hotel general manager with five to nine years of experience: $3,963

– Average annual bonus earned by a hotel general manager with 20 or more years of experience: $9,836

– Percentage of hotel general managers earning more than $110,000: 10 percent.

– The three degrees with the highest hotel general manager salaries are BS Business, BA Business Management and BA Hospitality Management.

Yes, you’re absolutely right. The first statistic and the last statistic are exactly the same. Some things are just worth repeating. It’s a very unsubtle reminder that business orientated college degrees will take you a long way in hotel management. They’ll make you a much more attractive prospect to employers, and they’ll reward you with higher salaries. When the right person takes the right course of study, hotel management can be very lucrative career.

Thank you for reading this article on hotel management. It’s time for you to check out and embark on that career journey. I hope you enjoyed your stay.