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Hotel and Lodging Managers - Career Overview

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If you enjoy helping people, you might want to consider a career as a hotel, hospitality or lodging manager. The hotel manager often 'sets the experience' for his establishment's guests, making them feel at home, whether they are vacationers or business travelers.

Lodging managers may employed at establishments including inns, camps, resorts, amd dude ranches, in addition to hotels and motels. Their primary responsibility is to make sure their facilities are profitable and efficient, while providing for the needs of their guests.

Depending on the size of the hotel, motel, or inn, a lodging manager may be responsible for the entire operation, or may oversee a single department. In larger hotels and resorts, there is typically a general manager, with several assistant managers who oversee different parts of the facility. In a smaller motel or inn, the manager may have complete responsibility for all operations. A good way to determine the responsibilities of a lodging manager is to look at his or her job title.

Job Titles in the Hotel and Hospitality Industries

The General Manager is the most senior executive of a hotel or motel, although he or she might report to the owner or executives of the parent hotel chain. The General Manager has financial responsibility for the operation, setting budgets, approving expenditures, and determining room rates. The General Manager also has responsibility for front of the house operations as well, setting standards and overseeing restaurant and banquet operations, guest services, housekeeping, and decor.

Some hotels have Resident Managers, who, as their name implies, are always available to assist with guest or staff related issues. They normally work eight hour scheduled shifts, but are expected to be available during other parts of the day. In larger hotels, there may be several resident managers, with overlapping shifts so that one is always present at the hotel.

Front Office Managers are responsible for the hotel's check-in and check-out desks. The direct the front desk staff, and handle guest complaints, issues and requests. In many cases, front office managers have the authority to adjust guests' bills, in cases where there is a dispute over charges.

The public rooms and guest rooms are the responsibility of the Executive Housekeeper. They ensure the cleanliness of these areas, and train and supervise the housekeeping staff. They also have the responsibility of ordering the supplies needed to clean and stock guest rooms.

Larger hotels employ Convention Service Managers to coordinate the banquets, meetings, and other special events. Before the event, the convention service manager meets with the event's planners to determine room requirements, meeting configurations, amenities needed, and banquet services. During the event, they are available to answer questions and resolve issues, and keep an eye on things to ensure that the facility's service standards are met.

In larger hotels and resorts, there may be a number of assistant managers reporting to each of the senior managers listed above.

The hotel and lodging business has come to rely extensively on computers to keep everything running smoothly. From keeping track of inventory to automating wake up calls, computers have reduced the number of staff required to run a hotel. This reliance on computers means that most larger hotels have computer specialists who are on call to monitor the system, and keep everything running smoothly.

Working Conditions

Hotel managers may sometimes face the challenges of long hours and working under pressure, Because hotels are open 24 hours a day, managers frequently have to work evenings and weekends. During busy periods, they may put in more than 40 hours per week.

Hotels exist to serve their guests, and enjoying working with people is a requirement for a career in the lodging industry. The pressure of catering to the needs of guests, particularly during conventions and other busy times, can lead to job stress.

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