NAME: Matthew Holt AGE: 30 PERSONAL: Matthew grew up in a seaside town and got a Saturday job in a local hotel at the age of 15. He found he really enjoyed it, and continued to work there while studying for his GCSEs and A-levels. After he finished his A
NAME: Matthew Holt
PERSONAL: Matthew grew up in a seaside town and got a Saturday job in a local hotel at the age of 15. He found he really enjoyed it, and continued to work there while studying for his GCSEs and A-levels.
After he finished his A-levels, the hotel offered him a full-time post. Although he knew he wanted to work in the hospitality industry, Matthew decided to go to university instead, where he studied for a degree in tourism.
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After finishing his studies, Matthew joined the graduate management trainee scheme of a large hotel chain. After completing the scheme, he was given a full time post as an assistant manager in one of the company's hotels. He has recently relocated to take up a job as manager of a different hotel.
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Hotel managers are in charge of the day-to-day running of a hotel, and also take responsibility for its finances. The job will usually involve striking a balance between providing customer satisfaction and keeping to a realistic budget.
The job can vary depending on the size of the hotel. In smaller establishments, managers are often very hands on and may help out with some of the more routine tasks, such as carrying guests' luggage, manning reception or serving drinks, if the need arises.
In larger hotels, managers may have less contact with guests and spend more time focusing on the business side. In some of the bigger establishments, a team of managers may have responsibility for different aspects of the hotel, such as housekeeping or marketing.
Whatever the size of the hotel, a manager's job is likely to involve looking after the accommodation and facilities and ensuring that guests are comfortable and enjoy their stay. They will usually make sure the building is in a good state of repair and safe for guests and staff.
They will also recruit staff and ensure they are working well, and may need to draw up rotas.
Managers often set budgets and targets, and monitor supplies. They may also be responsible for marketing the hotel and bringing in new business.
In larger hotels, managers may only meet VIP guests or clients who are using the conference facilities, but some managers may also greet ordinary customers and deal with any complaints.
Hotel managers often work long hours, including evenings and weekends, and shift work may be required. Some will live at the hotel and can be called on to deal with problems and make decisions even when they are off duty. Managers who work for large national or international chains may be expected to relocate.
SKILLS & PERSONALITY
Hotel managers need to have excellent organisational and problems solving skills and to be able to keep calm in a crisis.
They need to be able to work well as part of a team and motivate and lead staff. They also need to make a good impression on customers, so a smart appearance, outgoing personality and helpful, polite manner are also essential.
Good business sense and a head for figures are needed to ensure the hotel is profitable and marketing ability may also be required.
Foreign language skills are often an advantage, especially in international hotel chains.
TRAINING & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Some hotel managers are self-employed and act as owner/managers of their own small hotels and guesthouses, but larger hotels often employ managers. Entry requirements can vary, but many hotel chains run management training schemes, which usually require a degree or HND.
These schemes are normally open to all graduates, but a degree in a related subject, such as travel and tourism, hospitality management or business, may be an advantage. Postgraduate qualifications, diplomas and conversions courses are available for graduates whose degree is in an unrelated subject. Experience of working in a hotel or the hospitality trade is also an asset.
It is possible for non-graduates to become hotel managers by entering the hospitality industry at a lower level and working their way up. Professional qualifications are available, and employees may be able to study for these while working.
EARNINGS & PROSPECTS
Salaries vary, and typical earnings for a trainee manager range between £10,000 and £17,000. Depending on experience and the size of the hotel, senior managers can earn anywhere between £25,000 and £100,000.
In addition to a basic salary, managers may also receive benefits including live-in accommodation, free meals and discounts on rooms at other hotels owned by the same company.
Promotion and progress depends on the size of the hotel. Larger chains may have a clearly defined career path, and trainee managers may start out with responsibility for one particular aspect of a hotel, such as food, before progressing to deputy or assistant manager and then general manager.
Promotion may also involve moving to a bigger hotel, or into a strategic role, such as corporate marketing or human resources. In larger chains, there may also be a chance to work in head office or as a regional manager.
Hotel managers can also use their experience to set up their own hotel or move into another aspect of business.
"The job can be a bit all-consuming, especially if you actually live in the hotel. It can be hard to maintain a life outside work."
"I enjoy the variety and the chance to work with such a wide range of people. There's a lot of work and organisation going on behind the scenes, and it gives me a real buzz when a big event or conference goes off without a hitch."
For more information on jobs and careers in hospitality visit