Questions that Keep Hotel GM’s Up at Night

Questions that Keep Hotel GM’s Up at Night

Hotels can be as varied as wine with as many minute details but all General Managers suffer from the same inherent problems. Tackling these problems is the difference between success and failure for many hotels without the benefit of a brand or big budget.

The most basic of questions for hoteliers is, “who are my guests / are they happy?” Time changes everything and just because you knew your guest yesterday does not mean your guest is the same today. The most important data to determine who your guests are is geographic, where did they come from and where are they going? Because the majority of your guests book using OTAs, obtaining this information can be difficult to impossible. Many GMs will have their staff ask specific questions to note into their CRM while others will send out questionnaires to answer post-stay. Both of these methods are time intensive and can be very porous allowing vital information to slip through the cracks.

The next question that keeps GMs tossing and turning is, “how is my staff spending their time?” Payroll/overtime is one of the highest costs for most hotels and knowing this information will help GMs to manage their total payroll hours. Any given hotel is only as good as its employees and knowing this a good GM will understand that which personalities are best suited for different positions. Knowing how your employees are spending their time will assist in managing their productivity but the problem lies in the size and duties of each hotel and staff member.

Inventory tracking is another of the long list of items that really seem to get under the skin of many GMs. Inventory management is essential in running a service based business. It is the small things that count in life because those small things tend to add up. And tracking inventory gets more and more difficult depending on the size of the hotel. Imagine having to keep track of 30,000 bottles of shampoo and when/where they get disseminated. GMs sometimes have to get creative when it comes to tracking their inventory so those little numbers don’t start adding up.

Labor, cost control, revenue, customer satisfaction etc, the list can go on for days. Labor retention, training and scouting are all time intensive areas and what GM has more than 24 hours in a day to do all of this? All hotels suffer from the same basic problems but they are solved in as many different ways are there are genres of hotels. What business owner doesn’t stay awake at night over revenue? How many invoices can you scan to ensure you were charged correctly, or that the math adds up, or that they didn’t double charge. How GMs aren’t suffering from heart attacks statistically more than any other profession is beyond me but the truth is without attention to detail no GM will survive.

To be able to sleep at night a great GM will hire a great team in their image and strive to instill the hotel values with every job.

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