I recently had a request to comment on the role of the hotel general manager – specifically as to how this role has changed and to what we could attribute this. I am certain that many general managers who have been around for while will answer a resounding YES, my role has changed significantly! The hotel manager’s role may have changed over the last decade or so owing to a multitude of reasons but in fact it should not have done so.
Faced with rapid technological advances in hotel management systems, the general manager has been forced to adapt or die. We have only to look at property management systems, point of sale systems, online booking portals, social media and online reputation management to grasp just how far we have progressed (or rather digressed). These innovations have been developed in order to make our jobs less stressful and more streamlined. Having all of this information at our fingertips gives us incredible insight into trends in the industry and how a property is performing. We can analyse what guests really want and what they think of us too! But are we in danger of tunnelling ourselves behind screens and monitors with an abundance of data in our heads at the expense of our core business, that of being exceptional hotels?
At BON Hotels we strive to maintain the traditional tried-and-tested methodology that a hotel manager is in essence a conductor who orchestrates a team of professionals in order to ensure an unbelievable guest experience. A hotel manager is an all-rounder who has the delicate task of balancing three main tasks, i.e. interacting with guests, being with staff and administering operations of the hotel. These principles should not have changed at all and if a manager over-prioritises any one of these, the balance will be out and he or she will not be successful.
The temptation of relying too much on technology results in a manager who is a lot more desk-bound and this is not ideal. Managers need to be on the ground and in tune with the pulse of the guests and staff.