ITB 2022 Special Reporting
Mistakes New Hotel General Managers Make
By Mandy Ferrin
Friday, 16th April 2021

Hospitality has always offered challenges unique to the industry and while every job presents its own sets of issues, stepping into the field can be a shock to new general managers.

You expect the bookings to pour in… but then nothing happens.

You can blame the economic climate or a lack of travelers, (and perhaps that IS the case) but it could also be due to some common mistakes. No two days are alike in hotel management. Virtually every decision you make is an opportunity to strengthen operations – so take action!

Mistake #1 – Not Delegating

It’s far too common to see a new manager or a newly promoted manager take on everything by themselves. This often results in the manager being overwhelmed and not completing the tasks. The entire team needs to function as a single unit with a focus on the ultimate end game, which is high-level custom satisfaction and the overall success of the department.

As a new manager, you are going to need to get your subordinates on the same page, so you may have to have campfire sessions to openly discuss strategy and execution plans. This also lets you get input from the staff, as some experienced staff members will have valuable input, and new employees offer a fresh set of eyes to offer an alternative approach to departmental challenges.

Mistake #2 – Not Providing a Good Guest Experience

Guests aren’t booking just a room, they are booking an experience. From the time of their arrival until they leave, they need to experience the hotel and everything it has to offer at its finest.

It starts with attitude. Regardless of how your day is going to what negative things are happening at the hotel, you need to deliver the experience the guest wants and deserves to have. You should be going out of your way for every guest you encounter so they walk out that door knowing the experience they had was unlike anything they could have ever imagined.

Mistake #3 – Ignoring the Guest Perspective

Saying “there is nothing I can do” is not something any guest wants to hear when he or she is shelling out $170 for the night.

Going above and beyond is key to a successful business. You can’t be rigid with the rules when it comes to customer service in the hospitality industry. You MUST look at every situation through the eyes of the guest and present them with a solution that will have them walk away from the encounter feeling good. If you set aside convenience, customers will set your hotel aside from the competition.

Mistake #4 – Poor Revenue Management

Overblown discounts, a weak distribution plan and ignored reviews are common mistakes general managers make.

Selling the right room, at the best price is impossible when your occupancy rates have taken a tumble. Now, more than ever, revenue management is the cornerstone of your hotel’s profitability. Whether you chose to manage it internally or use an outsourcing model, it’s time to take your strategies to the next level. You do not want to lose the long-term battle with your competitors in order to get an immediate cash grab. Whatever strategies you implement, need to be strategies set for the long haul.

Mistake #5 – Failing to Create a Great Place to Work

Even prior pandemic, hospitality has always been infamous for its turnover rates. In late 2019, hospitality had a turnover rate of 73.8%, which is WAY higher than the national average of 10% – 15%.

So, is all this turnover detrimental to the industry? It can be. Some of it is expected. However, issues like low wages, lack of opportunity and poor management practices should also be considered. Throwing these issues under the rug can prove costly.

What advancement opportunities do you offer? Do you have a desirable benefits package? When an employee has a complaint submitted to HR, do you try to rectify the situation?

Are you unhappy with the decisions your managers are making? Is the local talent pool just not presenting you with the “ideal” candidate? Joseph David International is one of the top hotel recruiters in the country because we don’t just find candidates, we find the ideal fit for your organization. For more information about our hospitality services, please click here.

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