Hospitality Management Education and Career Guide

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What You'll Do as a Hospitality Manager

hotel manager shows desk clerk paperwork

There are many ways you can use a hospitality degree. Graduates go on to have careers in hotels, restaurants, event venues, marketing, casinos, and more. But to succeed as a hospitality manager in any industry, you'll need to be personable, well-organized, and able to think on your feet.

In this Article

What Is a Hospitality Manager?

A hospitality manager is responsible for keeping a business running smoothly. The manager may coordinate the business' operations, hire and manage staff, manage inventory and order supplies, address customer complaints, manage budgets, price products or services, and ensure that the business is adhering to any industry regulations.

Specific responsibilities can vary depending on the field. For example, a restaurant manager will need to monitor food handling and preparation safety, while an event manager will need to coordinate with vendors to ensure that an event goes smoothly. Travel hospitality managers might network with several service providers to coordinate smooth and enjoyable trips for clients.

A hospitality manager's responsibilities can vary depending on the field. For example, a restaurant manager will need to monitor food handling and preparation safety, while an event manager will need to coordinate with vendors to ensure an event goes smoothly.

No matter the position, hospitality managers draw on similar skills and personal qualities to succeed, says May Silvers, a former director of catering and event planning at several luxury hotels before she started her own company, M2 Hospitality, in 2012. "You'll be using your people skills, your financial skills, your leadership skills, and your conflict management skills," she says.

Duties and Responsibilities

Hospitality managers are responsible for coordinating many elements that keep businesses operating. From staffing to budgeting to customer service, management positions are multi-faceted and require excellent time management and multi-tasking skills. While there's plenty of variety in the hospitality field and salaries may vary, managers still have some common duties and responsibilities:

Managers need to manage both daily and long-term work and activity schedules, creating them and making sure they're carried out.
Managing staff
Managers need to oversee, schedule, and sometimes train staff so that all shifts are covered and team members have the skills they need to be successful.
Overseeing budgets and finances
Hospitality managers are business administrators, responsible for ensuring that an entire business or a specific area stays within budget. They also need to keep a close eye on profits.
Managing inventory
A manager is also responsible for the supply chain, tracking inventory and ordering supplies, which are essential to smooth operations.
Interacting with customers
Managers engage with customers, address complaints, and help solve problems with the goal of seeing that customers have a positive experience. 

Hospitality Manager Roles

While all hospitality managers perform similar core duties, each field has some specific requirements. Challenges also vary from field to field. Here's what you can expect from these five popular management roles:

Hotel Manager

What They Do: Hotel managers hire and schedule staff, manage booking schedules, address customer concerns, oversee finances, budgets, and pricing, supervise facility improvements, and set sales targets, among other things.

Skills They Need: These managers need to have excellent time-management skills, be well-organized, and understand how to address challenges creatively.

Restaurant Manager

What They Do: Restaurant managers oversee both the front of the house and the kitchen, review inventory and order supplies, hire employees, create staff schedules, verify safe food handling procedures, and ensure optimal customer service.

Skills They Need: This role requires a manager who understands food safety, is detail-oriented and organized, and has excellent interpersonal communication skills.

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

What They Do: Meeting, convention, and event planners oversee all of the details of an event such as a wedding or annual convention. They plan and coordinate events and oversee them to ensure they go smoothly. This requires communicating with many parties, including clients, to design an event that meets and exceeds expectations.

Skills They Need: Event planners need to have excellent multitasking and organizational skills. They also must be able to manage their time well and understand event organization best practices and challenges.

Facilities Manager

What They Do: A facilities manager is responsible for all of the planning and maintenance that a facility like a resort, casino, or hotel requires. Their responsibilities might include scheduling repairs, making sure the facility complies with safety regulations, keeping occupants safe and happy, securing the facility, and supplying occupants with the equipment and supplies they need.

Skills They Need: Facilities managers need to have strong interpersonal skills, be well-organized, and be detail-oriented when it comes to regulations and finances.

Marketing and PR Manager

What They Do: Marketing and PR managers help build public awareness of a business through branding, media appearances, marketing campaigns, and marketing analytics. They work with hospitality businesses such as resorts, restaurants, hotels, and casinos.

Skills They Need: These professionals need to be personable, have excellent oral and written communication skills, be detail-oriented, and have a strong understanding of marketing and publicity best practices.

A Day in the Life of a Hotel Manager

One of the great benefits of a hospitality career is that no two days are ever the same. At a hotel, scheduled meetings and other events can play a significant role in daily operations.

A hotel manager often starts the day by arriving at the office and walking through the hotel to greet guests and employees. During this time, the manager will learn about any immediate issues and check in to see how the hotel is doing.

Next, the manager will return to their office and read all of the reports that have been generated overnight. These may include information about the hotel's revenue, as well as any problems that have arisen.

The manager needs to promptly address any staff or guest complaints. They'll use problem-solving and listening skills to engage with staff or guests and identify a solution to the problem.

A manager is accountable to a hotel's stakeholders, such as company executives, and will prepare a daily report to keep them updated on the hotel's performance. Sometimes the manager might negotiate with stakeholders for more money for renovations, inventory, and other improvements that can help to increase the hotel's profitability and success.

"Every day is a different day, a different experience," says Silvers. "It's never dull, and there's always something new. The satisfaction from making people happy—that" one of the perks of working in the hospitality field."

An Evolving Industry

Since the hospitality industry is constantly evolving, managers are always learning something new—whether it involves technology or guest services.

"Hospitality is a constant sharpening of your skills, your people skills, and if you're in food and beverage, it's a sharpening of your knowledge," says Silvers. "It's the same with events—you're in a constant learning mode."

paige cerulli

Written and reported by:

Paige Cerulli

Contributing Writer

may silvers

With professional insights from:

May Silvers

Owner, M2 Hospitality

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