Top Six Management Issues in the Hospitality Industry.

Most times, hotel managers must have to handle a variety of tasks which may include marketing the business and encouraging bookings in other to balance revenue and expenses. This is quite a task and not easy at all. Changing times have also brought with it changing demands and the challenges have by far grown from what have been in previous times especially with the herald of technological developments and ever spontaneous customer behavior. A lot of management issues have arisen from these and a few have been discussed below to enable us have further grasp of what they are.

Hospitality Industry

Most times, hotel managers must have to handle a variety of tasks which may include marketing the business and encouraging bookings in other to balance revenue and expenses. This is quite a task and not easy at all. Changing times have also brought with it changing demands and the challenges have by far grown from what have been in previous times especially with the herald of technological developments and ever spontaneous customer behavior. A lot of management issues have arisen from these and a few have been discussed below to enable us have further grasp of what they are.

  • Adapting to new technologies: Guests nowadays are tech savvy. They need their concerns to be addressed as quickly as possible and this sometimes can be a challenge. With this operational efficiency must be high right from front desk to housekeeping so that their demands are met right on time. Also, with OTAs bringing the majority of sales and growing aggressively managing them and being compliance is yet another concern. Many smart solutions are available like complete hotel PMS with channel manager and booking engine. The speed at which technology is revolutionizing the industry over the past few years is alarming. Before you can fully adopt one piece of tech, another disruptive idea is underway and everyone is into it .The modern hospitality solutions are very user-friendly but being used to traditional methods, hoteliers find difficulty in adapting to new technologies.
  • Labour and skill shortages experienced in the industry: This isn’t just about the service staff or the housekeepers, this goes way beyond the supervisors to the departmental managers. Finding tech savvy mangers that can seamlessly manage & integrate hotel information systems to their decision making is not an easy fete. Hospitality business needs a very well trained, disciplined and mannered staff.  Even when the available staff are invested in and trained, there is no guarantee as to their sticking around when they find a better offer out there. For such people, the irregular working hours and not-so-encouraging pay might be contributing factors. Meanwhile, some hotels do not focus much on staff training which results in operational inefficiency and often customer dissatisfaction and as we know, customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of most hotels and then profits a little after. However, the best remains better training programmes, certifications and courses that could help staff skills as well as ensuring that your staff is well taken care of.
  • Revenue Management: As the hotel business is seasonal in nature, managing a constant stream of revenue is a difficult task. Hoteliers need to charge seasonally to ensure profitability. Conventional methods of managing price calendars and keeping a track of competition is a complex and time-consuming exercise. A witty approach like Rate Management Tool and the PMS with multiple pricing options and Yield management can really boost the under-tapped revenues. Taking into consideration also the rising competition, the hoteliers have to be at the top of their game when it comes to marketing and advertising as guests now have a host of options to choose from.
  • Dealing with the issue of seasonality in the hotel – Think of those hotels in coastal regions and the wildlife parks whose main businesses only happens when it’s the high seasons or during holidays. In essence, the hospitality business is generally seasonal and this is a major challenge. Except for a few guests who could be available from time to time for businesses and vacations, business majorly peaks during holidays or festivities like Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day. The rest of the time, they have to close some rooms, lay off some staff to reduce the costs and probably go about some side businesses in other to thrive.
  • Unprecedented factors like weather changes, insecurity & government policies. As a hotel manager dealing with environmental factors that may affect the business is always difficult because they are factors beyond his control. The weather could be very bad at unprecedented times and the rate at which guests troupe in could be on the low. Political threats and terrorism could also be a problem. The manager might have to secure high tech equipments and trained security personnel to keep the guests safe which could both be quite expensive to maintain.
  • Customer Satisfaction- Dealing with complicated guests or customers or their complicated needs could require much more than just natural instinct to be calm or patient. Most times, getting yourself and your staff trained on customer service would go a long way to assist and even at that, the hotel manager and staff must make conscious efforts to satisfy their customers in whatever way necessary or they lose the to a competitor. Customer satisfaction remains the ultimate goal of hotels. But the today’s customer is very hard to predict, difficult to understand sometimes and honestly speaking the famous hospitality catchphrase, that “the customer is always right”, doesn’t really help the situation. Hotel managers have to struggle to understand the customer from the moment when they book their hotel to the moment they take their leave and they must leave excited and satisfied. You have to be able to proffer solutions to the complaints made, not just for one customer but hundreds of them with varied needs & expectations including rising technological needs and beautiful rooms with everything speck and clean and intact and of course, the food.

In conclusion, these issues have been discussed so as to find a means to solve them as tackling these issues will enable hoteliers stay ahead in the market. Managers therefore, need to have with them a good team with cutting edge skills so as to have the support they would likely need. Not to say that technology hasn’t been a much needed help in hotel management. It has by all means but it has also brought with it additional expenses, increased customer expectation and a struggle to keep up as it continues to evolve.

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