By: Kristen Shelton, Director of Sales and Marketing
The best hotels have well-rounded staffs who work well together and understand each other’s roles. Most people are aware that there are general managers, sales directors, and front office managers, but fewer are aware of the operations manager position. Operations managers are the keystone team members who keep the day-to-day hotel operations running smoothly. This position is integral, which is why operation managers are so important in the hospitality industry.
In most hotel management companies, the General Manager oversees all departments. Which includes ensuring housekeeping, food and beverage, sales, maintenance, accounting, and hotel front desk jobs are running smoothly. With so many focus areas, a General Manager has to delegate the daily operations role to the Operations Manager. Each department head then reports to the operations manager to accomplish everyday tasks.
Operations Manager Qualities
The most qualified operations managers are veteran hoteliers. Typically, this person would have worked at the front desk and spent time understanding and working in housekeeping. Stepping into an operations role is a great way to get into hotel management for someone aspiring to become a General Manager.
In addition to having a lot of hotel knowledge, hotel operations managers are very task-oriented and have excellent leadership skills. This role requires someone who can inspire a team to get things done. An operations manager position’s vital function is motivating people and measuring and monitoring productivity.
Behind the Scenes
The Operations Manager is not only a team leader, but they have to stay on top of the supplies ordering for the hotel. Keeping the right supplies on hand can be a big challenge, depending on how large a hotel is. Recent supply chain issues have also complicated this part of the job.
Each hotel has to have what we call “par.” Par Level, referred to as par stock. Hotel stock management refers to everything a hotel should have in store daily.
The Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring the par levels are adequate to fulfill daily guest needs. Par levels are considered for linens, toiletries, food, etc. They guarantee the hotel doesn’t run out of guest amenities and supplies. It is an essential job.
Operations and Facilities
Another behind-the-scenes function of an operations manager is working closely with the facilities and maintenance teams. It stinks when something at the hotel breaks or stops working. Facilities teams can stay very busy with these repairs.
The most prepared hotel management teams work on general and preventative maintenance initiatives. Facilities teams with vital preventive programs tend to have fewer maintenance issues and less time repairing equipment. As shared in our Director of Facilities, Vinny Kraus’ blog post, a hotel aims to provide a stress-free guest experience.
Operations managers play a crucial role in coordinating these preventative maintenance activities. To have an effective general and preventive maintenance program, daily, monthly, and quarterly planning is required. The operations team has to manage the out-of-order rooms and ensure there are still enough rooms to sell to guests. The team also tries to complete these tasks with minor disruptions to our guests.
Operating the Front of the House
Hotel operators have to make sure that the behind-the-scenes operations are running smoothly, and they also oversee the front of the house. Operations Managers work closely with Front Office Managers to maintain the front desk processes like reservations, check-ins, guest services, and check-outs.
From ensuring there are enough people working hotel front desk jobs to guest resolution, the front desk managers have a lot to balance. The front desk team is ultimately responsible for the majority of guest interactions. They are essentially the “grand central station” for hotel management.
Hotel Operator jobs also include handling guest resolution. If a guest experiences any service failures or makes any complaints, it is often the Operations Manager who will work with the guest. Guest satisfaction is essential to hotels, so finding a resolution to any problems is crucial to service recovery.
The Many Hats of Hotel Operations
As you can see, Hotel Operations Managers have many hats to wear. Being the second in charge is a huge role. There are many components to keeping the daily hotel duties up and running; it takes a whole team and a very strong operations manager to run a hotel.
After understanding the responsibilities, it is apparent why Operations Managers are so important in the hospitality industry. The managers in this role are essential to keeping the hotel running smoothly. Suppose you aspire to become a hotel general manager; working as an Operations Manager is a great start. Check out our Careers page for operations opportunities.