Hospitality management is a broad field that encompasses a lot of different types of roles across a huge, vibrant and diverse industry. At its essence, it can be defined by two central pillars: leadership and customer service.
If you’re passionate about creating memorable experiences for people and you’re a natural leader, a Hospitality Management career could be the perfect career path for you.
So, what exactly is involved with the job and what are the duties and responsibilities of a hospitality manager?
Let’s start by taking a quick look at the different careers out there, and the skills or qualifications you need to do those jobs.
Different types of Hospitality Management careers
The hospitality industry encompasses a broad range of businesses that are all defined by customer experience as a central part of the business model. It includes:
- Hotels, resorts and accommodation
- Relaxation and wellness industry
- Restaurants, catering, food and beverage
- Travel and tourism
- Event management
- Adventure and recreation
As a hospitality manager you could steer your career towards a senior leadership position in any of these areas, for example:
- Food and Beverage Manager
- Event and Recreation Manager on a cruise ship
- Manager of a boutique hotel
- Marketing manager in the wellness industry
- Manager of a restaurant, bar, club or live music venue
Skills and qualifications required to be a hospitality manager
A hospitality manager is a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ position where you may be managing many different tasks across different divisions, particularly if you work for a small business. To manage all these roles, hospitality managers need to be equipped with a diverse array of skills.
Some types of roles require specific operational skills, such as knowledge of a specific revenue management or digital booking system. Practical ‘hard skills’ and knowledge that hospitality managers typically need be on top of include:
- Marketing and social media fundamentals
- Front office operations
- Front of house
- Restaurant operations
- Accounting and bookkeeping fundamentals
- Revenue management fundamentals
- Food and beverage management
- Event management
However, research also shows that 86% of the skills that hospitality managers need are ‘soft skills’, meaning they are skills relating to areas such as personal interaction, management and problem solving. The soft skills typically required by hospitality managers include:
- Customer service
- Leadership skills
- Team management
- Empathy and listening
- Problem solving
- The ability to stay calm under pressure
- Time management
- Cultural awareness
Qualifications are typically required in order to acquire all of these necessary skills.
Many soft skills can be developed on the job, through work experience and with mentoring from superiors. However, many of these skills such as leadership styles or marketing fundamentals require education and training.
Both the soft skills and the hard skills above are taught as part of a typical hospitality management course. Knowing this, employers do generally require some kind of training for hospitality management roles: at minimum a Diploma and preferably a Bachelor level qualification.
Hospitality Manager duties and responsibilities
As a hospitality manager, your primary concern needs to be the positive experience of customers and guests. This is the hub on your wheel of tasks and responsibilities; everything revolves outwards from that primary concern.
Secondly but no less important, you are responsible for the wellbeing of staff working under you. In Australia, according to Workplace Health and Safety regulations, it’s the responsibility of managers to ensure staff are safe, happy, mentally well and free from discrimination or sexual harrasment in the workplace.
In order to ensure customer or guest satisfaction, you need to complete many different tasks and fulfil many responsibilities throughout a typical working day.
Overall, it’s your job to make sure that every area under your jurisdiction is running smoothly, whether it’s front of house, housekeeping or human resources. You will oversee staff, keep a careful eye on all the various operations and systems that keep your division running, and report to senior management.
Here are some more of the common duties and responsibilities of a hospitality manager:
- Hiring, onboarding and training personnel
- Supervising, mentoring and evaluating staff
- Placing stock orders with vendors and suppliers
- Handling customer complaints and requests
- Assist in pricing products or services
- Setting budgets and monitoring expenses
- Enforce adherence to regulations, quality and health and safety standards
- Ensuring all records are kept properly and consistently
- Review activities and prepare reports for senior management
As you become more experienced and confident in your hospitality manager position, you will find that the possibility for promotion will arise relatively quickly. The hospitality industry has one of the fastest rates of management promotion of any industry.
According to one survey of managers in the hospitality industry, 94.4% of staff interviewed reported being promoted within the first year. A junior Hospitality Management position is a great way to start your journey to the most senior industry roles like CEO of an international hotel brand.
The hospitality manager role offers a lot of great options for anyone who’s ambitious and looking for a flexible and dynamic management career. If you’re a people person, you can thrive in this job.
Check out more information about the Hospitality Management courses on offer at Torrens University Australia.