Top Challenges Hotel Managers Face
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.