Lodging managers make sure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience, while also ensuring that an establishment is run efficiently and profitably.
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Lodging managers make sure that guests have that good experience. A comfortable room, good food, and a helpful staff can make being away from home an enjoyable experience for guests on vacation or business travel.
Lodging establishments vary in size from independently owned bed-and- breakfast inns and motels with just a few rooms to hotels that can have more than 1,000 guests. Services can vary from offering a room to having a swimming pool; from free breakfast to having a full-service restaurant; from having a lobby to also operating a casino and hosting conventions.
Lodging managers typically do the following:
The following are types of lodging managers:
General managers oversee all lodging operations at a property. At larger hotels with several departments and multiple layers of management, the general manager and several assistant managers coordinate the activities of separate departments. These departments may include housekeeping, personnel, office administration, marketing and sales, purchasing, security, maintenance, recreational facilities, and other activities.
Revenue managers work in financial management, monitoring room sales and reservations, overseeing accounting and cash-flow matters at the hotel, projecting occupancy levels, and deciding which rooms to discount and when to offer special rates.
Front-office managers coordinate reservations and room assignments and train and direct the hotel’s front-desk staff. They ensure that guests are treated courteously, complaints and problems are resolved, and requests for special services are carried out. Most front-office managers also are responsible for handling adjustment to bills.
Convention service managers coordinate the activities of various departments to accommodate meetings, conventions, and special events. They meet with representatives of groups to plan the number of conference rooms to be reserved, design the configuration of the meeting space, and determine what other services the group will need, such as catering or audiovisual requirements. During the meeting or event, they resolve unexpected problems and ensure that hotel operations meet the group’s expectations.
Most large, full-service hotels require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. Smaller hotels generally seek applicants who have an associate’s degree or certificate in hotel management or operations. Some applicants may qualify with long-term experience working at a hotel. Many hotel employees who do not have hospitality management training, but who show leadership potential and have several years of experience, may qualify for assistant manager positions.
Large hotel chains may offer better opportunities than small, independently owned hotels for advancing from assistant manager to manager or from managing one hotel to being a regional manager. However, these opportunities also usually involve relocating to a different city or state.
Lodging managers must have good customer-service skills when dealing with guests. Satisfying guests’ needs is critical to a hotel’s success and ensures customer loyalty. Lodging managers also need strong interpersonal skills because they interact regularly with many different types of people. They must be effective communicators and must have positive interactions with guests and hotel staff, even in stressful situations.
All lodging managers must establish good working relationships to ensure a productive work environment. This objective may involve motivating personnel, resolving conflicts, or listening to complaints or criticism from guests.
All lodging managers should have excellent listening skills. Listening to the needs of guests allows managers to take the appropriate course of action, ensuring guests’ satisfaction. Listening to the needs of workers helps them keep good working relationships with the staff. The ability to resolve personnel issues and guest-related dissatisfaction is critical to the work of lodging managers. As a result, they must be creative and practical when solving problems.
Lodging managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Operating a profitable hotel is important, as is the need to motivate and direct the work of employees.
Lodging managers keep track of many different schedules, budgets, and people at once. This task becomes more complex as the size of the hotel increases.
More than half of lodging managers in 2010 were employed in the traveller accommodation industry, which includes hotels and motels. Most of the remainder worked in other lodging establishments such as recreational vehicle (RV) and recreational camps, youth hostels, inns, boardinghouses, bed-and-breakfasts, and resorts. The pressures of coordinating a wide range of activities, turning a profit for investors, and dealing with angry guests can sometimes be stressful.
The median annual wage of lodging managers was $46,880 in May 2010. (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $29,460, and the top 10% earned more than $87,920.