Top Challenges Hotel Managers Face

30 Aug, 2016 | Tags: , , , ,

Running a hotel is one of the most difficult jobs yet one of the most rewarding in these times. Loaded with a variety of responsibilities, a hotel manager is supposed to look after the entire management staff. Hotel managers need to have a friendly personality, excellent organizational and time management skills to manage numerous responsibilities, such as, financial management to commercial accountability for budgeting, organizing, planning and directing all hotel services.

Managerial duties of a hotel manager include the following:

⦁ planning and organising catering, accommodation other hotel services on a daily basis
⦁ promoting and marketing the hotel business;
⦁ managing budgets and creating financial plans
⦁ controlling overall expenditure;
⦁ maintaining financial and statistical records;
⦁ carrying out detailed inspections of services and property
⦁ achieving monthly sales and profit targets;
⦁ proposing and analysing revenue management strategies;
⦁ training, recruiting and monitoring staff;
⦁ planning work schedules for individuals and teams;
⦁ greeting and meeting customers;
⦁ dealing regularly with customer and client complaints and comments;
⦁ ensuring smooth running of events and conferences;
⦁ supervising maintenance, supplies, renovations and furnishings;
⦁ dealing regularly with suppliers and contractors
⦁ ensuring effective security;
⦁ ensuring full compliance with licensing health and safety, law and other statutory regulations

Running and managing a hotel is a grueling task. There are three types of people that a hotel manager must please at all time, and they are the guests arriving at the hotel, employees / staff, and hotel’s corporate management. A hotel manager is expected to face up to his responsibilities and challenges with those people and simultaneously keep the hotel afloat.

Hotel managers usually have a tough and an unpredictable schedule. If a customer is facing an issue with such as a toilet overflow or a power outage in the room. hotel manager is summoned, since he is the man who is in charge and responsible for smooth functioning of the hotel. Below are some of the challenges that hotel managers have to confront on a regular basis:

1. Operational Challenges: A hotel manager has to ensure that the housekeeping is up to date on all the floors and room occupancy details, bookkeeping are all updated timely. He is also responsible for ensuring that the staff is well trained to handle and manage all kinds of customers and clients.

2. Technical Challenges: A hotel manager is responsible for creating occupancy reports and forecasts and also managing overbooking. He is also responsible for fixing the right price for all kinds of rooms at the hotel. He is supposed to look after the overall expenditures at the hotel.

3. Security Challenges: Hotel manager is responsible for maintaining optimal safety and security at the hotel. Having a proper surveillance system throughout the hotel property as well as automatic door-locking system in the hotel rooms that can immediately change codes when a customer or guest loses a door key are some of the measures the hotel manager must take to ensure proper security for guests.

4. Revenue Challenges: In this digital age of internet bookings, room prices vary from one website or hotel to another. It has been noted that hotel managers who carry on with fixed rates tend to miss out on opportunities that can bring them huge profits if they raise prices during holiday and peak seasons, and subsequently lowering the rates during off-peak season to encourage occupancy. Hotel managers must experiment with pricing in order to ensure and maintain a steady flow of guests as well as revenue.

5. Leadership Challenges: Hotel managers face leadership challenges in the form of industry corporatization. In this era, company structures are rapidly changing and growing more complex, which makes it difficult to ensure consistency in customer service.

A hotel manager must create and maintain team unity, establish open communication policies and make an effective information management system that can help in smooth functioning of the hotel.

6. Amenity Challenges: Hotels now provide amenities such as a coffeemaker, TV and radio as essentials in guest rooms, but not so long ago, they were considered luxury items for a hotel room. It has been noted that vacant rooms consume electricity with an average of 12 hours a day and the cooling and heating in the room costs takes up half of a hotel’s operating costs. A hotel manager is faced with increasing costs which he must encounter by devising strategies to make amenity-usage sustainable.

7. Cost Challenges: A hotel manager has to look after the increases in renovation and construction costs that often result in escalating capital reinvestment and increased capital requirements for new construction which takes time. Many clients and companies demand improvements and upgrades in the hotel’s physical condition and press for more stringent adherence to world class standards for the hotel to compete with the international hotels worldwide, which often result in escalating capital reinvestment that a hotel manager must deal with.

8. Technological Challenges: Due to the advancement in technology, hotels worldwide are adopting digital interfaces and integrating all of their workflow onto information systems, that are dramatically easier than conventional workflow systems. Many hotel managers today are taking full advantage of the new technology and streamlining their operations. This upgrade requires significant investment but there are unlimited benefits of using a dedicated information system. It also requires proper training and understanding of the interface. Most current information systems installed at various hotels have been found to be under-utilized, the main reason is hospitality industry’s reluctance to invest in refresher courses and training of their staff. To fully benefit from digital technology, hotel managers must support integration and adoption of new technology that can help streamline the workflow.

9. Customer Expectations: Hotel manager is also responsible for addressing and satisfying the ever evolving needs of his customer needs to fulfill which is his main priority. In this day and age, customers are increasingly aware and sophisticated in their use of technology and expect the same from the hotel they are staying in. Technology gives hotels an opportunity to reach out to their customers effectively and efficiently.

Hotel managers can successfully manage a hotel if they learn to confront these numerous challenges with determination and their brilliant management skills.


In-Store Connections: How to Teach Employees Better Customer Service

22 Oct, 2015 | Tags: , , , ,

To attract customers, you have to set your business apart from all others in your industry. You can accomplish this by making your products or services spectacular, but attractive offerings only make up one part of the equation. You also have to make your clientele feel welcome by providing better customer service.

Look through the tips below to improve your customer service skills and your employees’ skills as well. Together, you and your staff can transform your company into a business customers adore.

Don’t Neglect Online Customers

Every modern company needs an online presence. But you can’t just stop at a website. You also have to give customers a way to interact with your business over the Internet. Your online customers likely have more questions than people who visit your store, so use a service like Enterprise instant messaging (preferably on your website) and social media platforms to give your clientele someone to contact.

You don’t have to have a presence on every social media website, but make sure you at least use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Hire a team or a third-party partner to handle these online interactions for you. Make sure they are trained to know how to handle all questions they might encounter.

Don’t Waste Time on Distractions

When business gets slow, you and your employees might feel tempted to chat, watch movies, play games, or do things that distract you from the storefront or the sales floor. But you cannot give in to this temptation. Have your employees on alert at all times so they can welcome customers to your business and ask them if they need assistance. You’ll likely have fewer frustrated shoppers with this strategy.

Ask Every Customer If There’s Anything You Can Do to Help Him or Her

Even if a customer looks like they simply want to browse, your employees should still greet them and ask if they can be of assistance. A smile and greeting show customers you care about their opinion, and they’ll more likely turn into repeat customers as a result. Additionally, if you ask every customer if he or she needs help, no shopper will leave dissatisfied.

Remember to Treat Each Customer with Respect—Be Genuine

You’ll likely see a few angry customers from time to time. They may have had a bad day, or maybe had a bad experience with a product or service. But not matter what they say or do, you have to treat them with respect. Teach your employees to exercise patience and understanding. Teach them to smile and stay calm and courteous in the face of anger.

When your employees treat your clientele with respect, they can resolve many emotional problems. And even if they can’t fix problems, they can at least avoid making them worse.

Have an Intimate Knowledge of Products and Services

Sometimes customers feel frustrated because they ask the staff questions and get lackluster answers. Train each of your employees on every aspect of your business so they can answer every question thoroughly.

Customer service plays an important role in your business’s success. Boost your company’s ratings and revenue by implementing the tips in this list.


Employee Retention – How to Keep Your Top Performers

09 Sep, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Chances are that you know or have seen people that are self-driven.  They work well with others and they excel at their job.  They’re not clock watchers, they want to excel at everything they do, and they always strive to exceed expectations.  Due to their reputation of striving for excellence, they have created an extensive network of cross-connecting with like-minded people and businesses, and their networks continue to grow in size and quality.  They’re the ones that everyone wants, and recruiters (or “headhunters”) can’t wait to connect with them.  When you have outstanding employees of this magnitude, there is always the concern of losing them, especially to competitors.  So the question remains, how do I keep my top performers?  In order to delve into this subject matter further, you must first be aware that your perspective of whom your top performers are might be quite different than someone else’s opinion.  So, be prepared to back-up your opinion with facts, and be able to express them in a private and/or group setting, and in written form.  Remember, you being able to identify top performers can also make you a valuable asset, and yes, a top performer.

Identifying Your Top Performers. 

In order to identify your top performers, you must first be engaged with your staff, and spending time finding what they feel is working well, their concerns, and positive/negative feedback.  They need to feel connected to you and to the company’s purpose (or vision) in order for them to feel comfortable opening up and sharing.  So, build those relationships with your staff and you will build more trust.  After striving for more open communication, you may find out amazing things.   There are instances where managers assume that one employee was responsible for a great idea, problem-solving a customer service issue, or coming up with huge solution to an existing problem, only to find out that someone took credit where credit wasn’t due.  You will also get a better indication of how people within your business react with one another.  Who is spreading negativity, who is spreading gossip?  More importantly, who works well in a team environment?  So, first and foremost, create and nurture those relationships.  Remember, communication is key.

Now that you know who your top performers are, you can better address ways to retain them.   In order to address this challenge, let’s flip it over and look at this from the top performer’s perspective:

What are their needs? 

People are driven by many different motives and what you may assume drives them, may not be it at all.  This is where you need to start digging.  Make sure you’re having informal conversations with these performers; get to know how they tick.  At times, you may want to take them out to lunch, have some one-on-one time with them, and find out what it is that they really want.  Do they enjoy working with the business?  Why or why not?   Figure out what additional training may be beneficial to them and to your company.  Are they looking at your company as potential for long-term growth? What are their short-term and long-term goals?   If not, when you identify what it is that they want, you can better guide them on this path within your organization. What would motivate them to want to stay longer?  Are they open to continuing education?  Would your company reimburse for approved courses.  As they receive more expertise, they should be able to use it in their current job, and/or along their stated career path within your company.  What’s the best part of their job?  Their worst?  Share a little about yourself and ask them to share a little about them.  Find out what do they like to do for fun?  When you are asking and sharing, you can find out what their “whys” are and understand its importance to them.  Share the good qualities that you see in them

Do your business needs and their needs match up? 

No one can see into the future, but it’s important that your outstanding employees see that they are being groomed for better things.  They may not remain if there isn’t a clear path to greater opportunities.  So, what are you making available to them?  We’ve already discussed extra training, and now is a great time to expose them to the next level of work, to get the flavor of it.  You can see how they are responding to this and they are assessing if this is, in fact what they really want too. Continue to keep their goals in front of you both and keep the lines of communication open.

Be a visionary. 

Paint a vision of where you see them in one year and in five years.  Remind them of the opportunities in your company and connect it to their vision. 

Perks.  Who doesn’t like perks?  A gift card for two to a special dinner, a couple of tickets to their favorite sports team game, an afternoon off so they can go see a play their child is performing in.  Raises may or may not be available but potential bonuses might be.  Explore different areas and gear them toward their unique perspective

Name Recognition.  When they do something great, make sure you bring it up in the next meeting when appropriate.  Introduce them to higher ups in the company so interaction naturally happens.  Invite them to your LinkedIn.  And, what a great time to ask them if they know of anyone else that might be interested in the company.  Top performers know other top performers.

At the end of the day, the more an employee sees that you know who they are, appreciate what they do, open up opportunities and connections for them, and paint the same vision, the more chance you’ll have of retaining those top performers.


Turning Your Restaurant into the “Spot

20 May, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You know you’ve watched Friend’s and wished you were sitting on that vintage couch, drinking coffee with the gang at Central Perk. And why wouldn’t you wish that? The Friends gang found their perfect spot: a table (with a reserved sign, if you never noticed) surrounded by comfy seating, enjoyable atmosphere, and a great menu. But have you ever wondered why they chose Central Perk as their favorite hangout? Sure, maybe it was because Rachel worked there, or because they lived upstairs.

But it also brings up some basic principles of being a great restaurant. Becoming a favorite spot isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some basic etiquette can quickly turn your restaurant into your guest’s favorite go to spot.

Invite Your Guest

Your restaurant is more than a restaurant; it’s the place people want to go when they aren’t at work, catch up with their best friends, or take their significant other out for a date. Your staff members are the gatekeepers of your doors, and everyone enjoys a friendly gatekeeper. Simply existing as a restaurant isn’t enough to become a favorite spot. Be an inviting restaurant. Smiles, greeting at the front door, and friendly service are all ways you can be inviting. Invite your guests to come, invite them to stay, and invite them to come again.

Remember Your Guest

Did your guest return? Remember them! Starting conversations and asking questions helps your guest feel welcome. And if you remember their answers, you’re winning at guest relations. Simple questions can help you in making your restaurant their favorite spot.

Some starting questions could be: Do they have a favorite table? What’s their favorite item on the menu? Do they have a favorite staff member that gives them great service?

Asking these types of questions (and remembering their answers) will help you tailor a perfect setting for your guest. Remember your guests and they will return!

Serve Your Guest

You’ve succeeded in making your guest feel invited, you’ve remembered their favorite table, now give them service that will make them want to return again and again.

Thankfully, unlike Central Perk, you own a business in the 21st century; there are so many digital options at your fingertips to help your service run smooth.

Using What Time Do I Work for your employee scheduling will ease your mind and give you more time to spend on the floor with your guests. It might even help avoid conflict with employees, which leads to happy employees and even happier clients.

OpenTable is a great option for your guests to let you know when they’re coming to visit, and to save their favorite table. Using digital technology in your restaurant gives you more control of your floor.

Your guests will become staples in your seats because they know what to expect when they visit: genuine and enjoyable service. Smiles at the door, their preferred table in the corner, their favorite server remembering their usual drink order, and it’s all uphill from there. Congratulations. You’ve just been chosen as your guest’s favorite “spot”.

Strive to give your guests dependable and enjoyable service that will make them love your restaurant and want to continue to return. Working closely with your staff members will ensure that your goals will be met.

Also, if you didn’t already know, Rachel wished Central Perk had used What Time Do I Work for their scheduling needs. It might evan have allowed her to spend more of her time focused on fixing her dating life!

Good luck helping your guests make the right choice to choose you as their favorite spot! Let us know how you make your restaurant your guests favorite go to spot.


How to get new customers through the door and keep them coming back for more

09 Apr, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

fun at restaurant

Getting new customers through the door is a large feat in itself, but keeping them can be just as challenging. There are many factors that play into the customer experience. We have put together the list of some simple and budget friendly ways to get new customers, and a list of reasons that weighs heavily on their decision to come back.

 

How do I attract new customers?

Getting new customers is the goal of all businesses; you cannot grow by simply maintaining your current customers, you need new customers. Trying a new restaurant is a big gamble for most people in today’s market, as they are very selective on where they spend their hard earned money.

Standout

You need to be known for something, it can be type/ethnicity of food you offer, special promotions or signature dishes.

Be social

 If people don’t know that you are out there, how are they ever going to walk in the door? Social Media is huge in today’s culture, not only can you share images, articles and experiences, but now with “check-ins” friends of your patrons can see that they came to your establishment.

Offer deals

A great way to get new customers to try your bar or restaurants is to offer special deals for new customers, such as a free appetizer or shared dessert.

 

How do I keep customers coming back?

Now that you have new customers coming in the door, let’s look at the flip side of keeping them coming back for more. There are many reason that you could experience slow nights (bad economy, it’s a week night or that there are no special events or holidays) that are out of your control. Here are the top 3 reasons within your control that make customers decide not to return to your bar or restaurant.

 Current Menu

Regularly check your menu to ensure that your pricing is aligned with your target demographic and that you are mixing in enough seasonal/trendy offerings with your signature dishes to keep customers interested and coming back for more.

  Loyalty Programs

 Loyalty programs can be as simple as deals based on the amount of money spent during each visit and/or the number of visits, and offer discounts on future purchases.

 Welcoming Atmosphere

 You guests have come to you not only for food and drink, but an enjoyable time with friends and family. Some of the top areas of importance include clean floors/tables/bar, clean bathrooms and the service that they receive.

 

How do I ensure employee satisfaction?

To ensure your customers will have a great experience, you must have a happy staff providing high quality service. The number one reason for employee dissatisfaction stems from scheduling. Scheduling includes ensuring that you have the right number of staff on for your customer level and ensuring that you fairly allot time-off and/or overtime shifts. What Time Do I Work.com offers easy-to-use and affordable online scheduling software designed to make scheduling a staff of any size a breeze with features like automatic staff communication about schedules, the ability to track and store employee time-off requests and scheduling conflicts and overtime alerts. Try What Time Do I Work.com for yourself today and get the first 30 days free.