Lodging Managers

Significant Points

* Long hours, including night and weekend work, are common.
* Employment is projected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations.
* College graduates with degrees in hotel or hospitality management should have better opportunities for jobs at full-service hotels and for advancement than those without a degree.

Nature of the Work

A comfortable room, good food, and a helpful staff can make being away from home an enjoyable experience for both vacationing families and business travelers. Lodging managers make sure that these conveniences are provided, while also ensuring that the establishments are run efficiently and profitably. Most lodging managers work in traditional hotels and motels, but some work in other lodging establishments, such as recreational camps and RV parks, inns, boardinghouses, and youth hostels.


Lodging establishments can vary significantly in size and in the number of services they provide, which can range from supplying a simple in-room television and a continental breakfast to operating a casino and accommodating conventions. These factors affect the number and type of lodging managers employed at each property.

The one person who oversees all lodging operations at a property is usually called a general manager. At larger hotels with several departments and multiple layers of management, the general manager and multiple assistant managers coordinate the activities of separate departments.  In smaller limited-service hotels—mainly those without food and beverage service—one lodging manager may direct all the activities of the property.


Lodging managers have overall responsibility for the operation and profitability of the hotel. Depending on the hotel and the size of its staff, lodging managers may either perform or direct housekeeping, personnel, office administration, marketing and sales, purchasing, security, maintenance, oversight of recreation facilities, and other activities. They may hire and train staff, set schedules, and lend a hand when needed.


Within guidelines established by the owners of the hotel or executives of the hotel chain, lodging managers set room rates, allocate funds to departments, approve expenditures, and ensure that standards for guest service, decor, housekeeping, food quality, and banquet operations are met. Increasingly, lodging managers also are responsible for ensuring that the information technology common in today’s hotels is operational. Some lodging managers, often called revenue managers, work in financial management, monitoring room sales and reservations, overseeing accounting and cash-flow matters at the hotel, projecting occupancy levels, and deciding which rooms to discount and when to offer rate specials.


Front office managers, a category of lodging manager, coordinate reservations and room assignments and train and direct the hotel’s front desk staff. They ensure that guests are treated courteously, complaints and problems are resolved, and requests for special services are carried out. At some hotels, they may greet the guests personally and provide them individual attention to see their needs are met. Any adjustments to bills often are referred to front office managers for resolution.


Convention services managers coordinate the activities of various departments to accommodate meetings, conventions, and special events. They meet with representatives of groups or organizations to plan the number of conference rooms to reserve, the configuration of the meeting space, and determine what other services the group will need, such as catering or banquets and audio, visual, or other electronic requirements. During the meeting or event, they resolve unexpected problems and monitor activities to ensure that hotel operations conform to the group’s expectations.


Lodging managers may work with hotel sales and marketing directors and public relations directors to manage and coordinate the advertising and promotion of the hotel. They help develop lodging and dining specials and coordinate special events, such as holiday or seasonal specials. They may direct their staff to purchase advertising and to market their property to organizations or groups seeking a venue for conferences, conventions, business meetings, trade shows, and special events.


Lodging managers who oversee the personnel functions of a hotel or serve as human resource directors ensure that all accounting, payroll, and employee relations matters are handled in compliance with hotel policy and applicable laws. They also oversee hiring practices and standards and ensure that training and promotion programs reflect appropriate employee development guidelines.


Computers are used extensively by lodging managers and their assistants to keep track of guests’ bills, reservations, room assignments, meetings, and special events. In addition, computers are used to order food, beverages, and supplies, as well as to prepare reports for hotel owners and top-level managers. Many hotels also provide extensive information technology services for their guests. Managers work with computer specialists and other information technology specialists to ensure that the hotel’s computer systems, Internet, and communications networks function properly.

Work environment.

Because hotels are open around the clock, night and weekend work is common. Many lodging managers work more than 40 hours per week and are often on-call, which means they may be called back to work at any time. In some hotels and resort properties where work is seasonal, managers may have other duties less related to guest services during the off season or they may find work in other hotels or occupations.

The pressures of coordinating a wide range of activities, turning a profit for investors, and dealing with guests who sometimes are angry can be stressful. Managing conferences and working at the front desk during check-in and check-out times can be particularly hectic.

Source: bls.gov, cnn.com, education.com, sjsu.edu, seattleschools.com, rateglobe.com

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