The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Hotel Manager
Published: 07 Jun 2018
What must it be like to manage a hotel? While some hotels are small, others are owned by national or multinational companies and therefore landing a job like this could prove even more beneficial for your career.
Of course, larger companies tend to pay better – and there’s a lot to be said for adding a household name to your CV, too.
But how do you begin to go about becoming a hotel manager? What qualifications do you need – and what kind of annual salary can you expect to earn? We’re bringing you the answers to all these questions and more in our ‘Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Hotel Manager’ Guide.
Your one-stop-shop when it comes to career advice, this guide will hopefully steer you in the right direction and put your mind at rest regarding the more challenging elements of a role like this. Read on…
What is a Hotel Manager?
So, what does a Hotel Manager do in terms of day-to-day duties?
In much the same way as a shop manager will look after a shop floor team, a hotel manager will oversee several staff and ensure the day-to-day running of the premises is smooth and successful.
You’ll be accountable when it comes to budgeting and finance management, and you’ll also be in charge of planning and directing anyone who works within the hotel. As well as ensuring budgets are met, then, you’ll oversee everyone from the front-of-house staff to the kitchen team.
If you’re a hotel manager in a larger hotel, though, you may find you’re in charge of a particular area. You could be accountable for the smooth and hassle-free running of guest services, or you may even be predominantly in charge of marketing, for example.
Each hotel manager is different, depending largely on the hotel chain or company they work for.
That said, there will be plenty of similarities in the way all hotel managers work.
Hours of Work
As a hotel manager, what are your hours of work likely to be?
Typically, hotel managers work a 9am to 5pm day, but there will be some evening and weekend work too. On top of this, you might also be expected to travel around the country to meet suppliers or corporate clients, too.
Be aware that, as a hotel manager, you’ll spend much of your working week on your feet; it really isn’t a role for someone who wants to sit behind a desk all day. Instead, you’ll be in charge of everything from budgeting to staff recruitment.
As a hotel manager, you’ll be responsible for any number of day-to-day tasks. These can include:
- Budget setting
- Forecasting the hotel’s income
- Building security
- Fire safety
- Licensing regulations
- Booking events for corporate clients
- Dealing with customer complaints and queries
- Organising building maintenance work
- Managing staff
- Organising catering
- Planning accommodation
- Promoting the business via well-thought-out marketing campaigns
- Maintaining financial records
- Setting sales targets
- Monitoring and training staff
- Building a rota for all staff
- Meeting hotel guests
- Ensuring security is effective
- Lending a hand to ensure conferences run smoothly
- Organising necessary renovations and carrying out inspections to the premises
- Maintaining a good level of health and safety
Planning to work for a larger hotel? Department managers will report to you; these could include housekeeping, event management, catering and maintenance and human resource staff.
For anyone with a can-do attitude, hotel management is a great route to take. It’s also ideal if you like the responsibility of managing a team, as well as boosting morale and solving problems as and when they arise.
Vital Hotel Manager Skills
If you’ve considered becoming a hotel manager, you might have wondered what key skills or personality traits you might need to do well in the job. Here are just a few:
- Excellent communication skills
- Good customer service skills
- Budgeting skills
- Good marketing know-how
- A ‘people person’
- Problem solving
- Passion and drive
Key Hotel Management Qualifications
So, what qualifications do you need to be a Hotel Manager?
Open to all graduates, as well as those with an HND, entering the hotel management industry can prove a wise move for anyone who enjoys dealing with customers. It’s also a rewarding job that offers plenty of scope for progression too.
In terms of the qualifications needed to enter the profession, any of the following degrees will stand you in good stead:
- Leisure studies
- Business with languages
- Hotel and hospitality management
If, however, you decide that you’d like to work as a marketer within a hotel, you may find that a relevant degree will help better your chances.
Don’t have a degree in any of the subjects listed above? Consider entering the sector via a management training programme. These are generally run by large hotel groups and are for graduates only. You’ll need a degree of a 2:2 or higher, as well as a willingness to succeed and a passion for the industry.
What is a Hotel Manager's Salary?
Join the hotel management profession and you could start on £20,000. This could increase by up to £15,000, which means you could soon be earning up to £35,000 per year.
Experienced hotel managers can earn between £40,000 and £50,000, with the highly experienced taking home £60,000 per year. While these figures are only intended as a guide, we hope they give you an incentive to make your mark in the industry.
How To Become A Hotel Manager
So, how do you become a Hotel Manager then?
By now you might be wondering how you can become a hotel manager. The good news is there are no set requirements, and you can get into a career of this kind by simply applying for a place on a management trainee scheme. You may find these online, so do keep an eye out for relevant programmes or courses.
Ordinarily, you’ll be seen as a more attractive candidate if you possess an HND or degree in, say, hospitality. That said, other subjects may be accepted, or you might decide to work your way up to a hotel management position by starting from the bottom and putting the hours in.
If this is the route you’d like to take, look out for kitchen supervisor jobs, or consider going down the apprenticeship route.
How To Develop Your Hotel Management Career
So, imagine for a second that you’ve been a hotel manager for some time – what next?
Scope for progression is vital to any career-driven candidates out there – and you’ll find that your career prospects may depend on your experience and the size of the company you’re working for.
Plus, if you’re willing to relocate to a larger chain with the aim of going into regional management, you’ll stand yourself in much better stead in the long-run.
Here’s what you can do to progress further, should you want to:
Hone Your Communication Skills
Good customer service skills are vital in a role like this. Hone them to absolute perfection by dealing with complaints efficiently and quickly, and by making sure you greet each and every guest. Keep hold of any good feedback that comes in via past guests, adding it to a folder; any evidence you have that you’ve provided good customer service will go down well in a future interview.
A great hotel manager is an organised one. You’re responsible for how well the hotel operates – and ultimately, how much money it makes – so it’s important that everything runs like clockwork. Pay attention to every detail – and ensure everyone’s doing their job to the very, best of their ability. Keep a close eye on the reception desk, the concierge team, housekeeping, catering, entertainment, reservations, and security. Make sure everyone knows what they’re doing; a well-oiled operation is always a successful one.
As a hotel manager, you’ll have to learn to budget. You’ll be setting everything from room rates to menu prices in your role, after all. Brush up on your maths skills and form a good rapport with food suppliers. Estimating the cost of food could well be a daily responsibility for you, so make it an enjoyable one and your job will never feel like a chore.
Put the Work In
Never be afraid of a hard day’s work. Starting out at the bottom can help you climb the ladder to hotel management success. By beginning in the kitchen, for example, you can experience first-hand what it’s like to work in another area of the building. Spending time getting to know each job or department will only serve to make your hotel more successful when you eventually go on to manage it. Once you’re in a hotel management role, never dish out a job that you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself. Understanding and experiencing hard work will always help when it comes to being empathetic towards the team you eventually go on to manage.
Still want to get into the hotel management sector? Take a good look around the Leisure Jobs site for relevant opportunities. Plus, don’t forget to check out our other jobs-focused guides like this one. Each guide features a raft of information and advice for anyone looking to branch out and begin a new career.
So there you have it; everything you need to set out on the road to a new hotel management career!
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