A hospitality manager is a supervisor of operations at a hotel, restaurant, casino or convention center. They are primarily responsible for the day-to-day operations, including personnel, maintenance, customer satisfaction and financial and administrative duties.
A lodging manager ensures that a guest traveling for business or on vacation has a pleasant experience at their hotel or motel. It is also their responsibility to make sure the hotel operates efficiently and profitably. Lodging managers may supervise front desk staff, cleaning staff, kitchen, and security and even billing personnel.
A restaurant manager ensures the daily operations of a food service operation. They direct staff and ensure that customers are satisfied with their experience, and that the business remains profitable. A restaurant manager typically supervises the front of the house – the wait staff, cashiers and handles all direct contact with customers. In some instances, the restaurant manager is the executive chef, and manages the entire restaurant – including all cooks, dishwashers, financials, stock and payroll.
A casino manager oversees the day-to-day operations of a gaming establishment. This includes supervising employees, monitoring gaming areas, overseeing all aspects of security as well as any lodging and restaurant or bar activities. In addition, casino managers are compelled to make sure that gaming rules are followed and the casino is in full compliance at all times with regulatory requirements. Many casinos are open around the clock, which makes for long or odd work hours. Because of the increased amount of money changing hands, casino managers are at higher risk for attempted robbery than other managers.
The duties of a hospitality manager vary depending upon which industry you work. Restaurant managers would need slightly different skills than hotel managers and casino managers. All hospitality managers have the goal of ensuring their customers feel welcome and valued, and enjoy their experience. You must be able to deal with the public comfortably and confidently. You’ll need to be able to perform well under pressure and respond quickly and fluidly when a situation needs your attention. In additional managers need basic math and English skills. Speaking additional languages fluently is a big bonus for casino and lodging managers.
In order to accomplish these goals, the manager needs the cooperation of well-trained staff. A hospitality manager needs to have excellent interpersonal skills as well as human resources training to oversee the large number of employees in various departments.
Because of the nature of the work, frequently evening and weekend work is required. Very often managers work full work weeks (sometimes 50+ hours or more) and are on-call at other times to protect the interests of the company. Usually managers are paid on salary, and not hourly.
Industry experience is necessary, as well as education. Most businesses require 2-5 years of industry experience, which is why many managers work their way up to their current position. Knowledge of business and business practices, solid leadership and communication skills as well as stellar customer care abilities. Education requirements vary by establishment. Typically the larger the company or corporation, the more education is required and desired. Certifications in specialty areas provide a leg up with industry specific positions.
There are a large number of colleges and universities that offer Associates, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in hospitality, tourism and restaurant management. Undergraduate classes may include classes such as accounting, management, labor laws, cost control and marketing. Graduate level courses focus more on in-depth leadership and global issues impacting the industry.
Population and income growth are expected to continue to drive a demand for services in both lodging and food areas. In response, more businesses will open; however, business will continue to consolidate positions such as having front-line staff perform the duties of a manager to reduce costs.
Hospitality Manager Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, lodging managers earned median annual salaries of $46,830 as of May 2013, while food service managers earned median salaries of $48,080 per year. Hospitality managers often start their management careers in entry-level positions before advancing to higher-level positions. Increase in employment from 2012 through 2022 is expected to be at or around 1% – 2% increase. Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree or higher are expected to have the best job opportunities.