Understanding what it means to be a hotel owner, and how to turn hospitality values and responsibilities into practice
Being a successful hotel owner doesn’t just come with a fabulous hotel and a savvy marketing strategy. The success of a hotel owner starts with understanding what it means to own a hotel – what they are responsible for, what hospitality values are important to their guests, and what hotel trends are current in the industry.
Working in the hotel industry requires a specific personality type – you need patience, kindness, thoughtfulness and general hospitable values. Owning and running a hotel can be a stressful job – and like all service industries, the customer is always right. It is your utmost job to impress guests, and whenever there’s an issue, your patience and kindness will need to come into play.
There’s also a variety of hotel owner responsibilities that you must consider – from your impact on the environment, to understanding and knowledge of current ethical matters (such as the food you serve in your hotel restaurant) and more. Being a hotel owner comes with a variety of responsibilities, and it’s a complex job to balance all of these.
We’ve put together some general advice to help you understand the key hospitality values, hotel trends and hotel owner responsibilities that you should know. Whether you’re a new hotel owner, or an existing one, learning or refreshing your understanding of these points will be highly valuable to your approach to hotel management.
Getting started: an introduction to the hotel industry
Successful hotel owners practice patience, kindness and understanding
Whether you’re an existing hotel owner, or a new one, it will be helpful to understand the persona of an independent hotel owner.
If you’re new to the hotel industry, this is especially important, as you’ll want to ensure to shift your work mindset to your new industry (and ensure your personality fits).
For instance, if you’re switching industries from a corporate, cut-throat industry, where it’s all business, you’ll need to recognise (and take note of) the differences in mindset (and values) that are in your new industry.
Because, (as in its name) the hospitality industry requires kind, hospitable values.
Persona of an independent hotel owner
Independent hotel owners, generally, are thoughtful, hospitable people that practice patience, and have a passion and desire to serve others.
Gaining a scope of hospitality trends & hotel owner responsibilities
Once you’ve grasped an understanding of the patience and passion you need to become a successful hotel owner, the next step is to become an expert in the industry.
You will need to do a lot of research and reading, in order to gain a solid understanding of industry hospitality trends, hotel owner responsibilities, and current news.
Here are a few examples of current industry trends & hotel owner responsibilities you’ll need to be aware of:
Sustainability & environmental concerns
The tourism and hospitality industries are known to consume a lot of precious elements such as water and energy. More than this, they also create a lot of waste. As an accommodation owner, it is your responsibility to minimise your environmental footprint and contribute to sustainable preservation for future generations.
Covid-19 & meticulous cleaning practices
As a hotel owner, you will be providing your guests with a home away from home. This means that you need to create a clean and comfortable space for your guests. The hospitality industry follows strict housekeeping practices to achieve this – and with Covid-19, these cleaning standards have become even more meticulous.
Hotel software & technological advancements
Like most industries, the hospitality industry is becoming more and more tech-savvy. Artificial intelligence is growing and hoteliers are adapting to a more technological way of doing business. This is everything from cloud-based hotel management systems, to self-check-in’s, to hotel service ‘robots’ – the industry is becoming more and more digital.
Service standards: your responsibility as a hotel owner and hospitality operator
So, what does owning a hotel mean for you?
In order to answer the question ‘what does owning a hotel mean for you?’, you must understand the responsibilities of being a hotel owner.
As a hotel owner, your main purpose is to provide exceptional guest experiences and services to travellers (your guests). But you also have a responsibility to the local environment, people and future generations.
Owning a hotel also means that you must put in place safety measures to ensure the safety of your guests and staff. This involves keeping your building warrant of fitness up to date, food health and safety certificate at a high level, and have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers regularly checked too.
Owning a hotel means:
- You are there to serve guests to the highest standard possible.
- You are responsible for ensuring your hotel business does not cause major detriments to the environment.
- You are responsible for the health and safety of your guests and team.
The hotel industry is always changing. Owning a hotel (and operating it efficiently) requires a consistent awareness of market trends and updates. Covid-19 is a prime example of an extensive impact to the hotel industry that has been both unexpected and concerning for hoteliers. Here are some tips to owning a hotel (and thriving) during this global pandemic.
How to run a hotel business successfully: you’ll also need to learn about travel patterns
If you’re starting a hotel business, or in need of a refresher, you’ll also need to gain an understanding of patterns in the tourism and hospitality industries.
You may be an experienced entrepreneur or businessman/woman, but without the understanding of industry specific trends and patterns, you might struggle.
Some skills and expertise are transferable across industries, but some are specific – so you’ll need to make sure to do everything you can to become an expert in your field.
The following are examples of travel patterns you’ll need to know:
While owning a hotel it’s good to keep in mind that for most destinations, travel demand is seasonal. For example, if your property is a ski resort, you’ll be busy in winter, but will experience low season in summer. Creating or supporting local events in shoulder or off-seasons can help. Seasonality is a consistent travel pattern that you’ll need to cater for.
One of the major elements you’ll need to consider when answering the question ‘how to run a hotel business successfully’ is tourist behaviours. There are a variety of types of travellers in the hotel industry that travel for different reasons. Finding your niche and learning their travel patterns (preferred locations, average spending, etc.) will be crucial.
Owning a hotel will also mean learning hospitality values & what’s important to your guests
Earlier, we asked ‘what does owning a hotel mean for you?’ and we covered the two main responsibilities of serving your guests and doing your part to protect the environment.
Part of these responsibilities is learning the values that are important to your guests (therefore, important to you).
The modern traveller is often ethically, and environmentally, conscious, so it is your responsibility to ensure that your service offering reflects their values. It will also be important to learn general hospitality etiquette.
Here are a couple of examples of modern tourist values you might need to consider (dependent on your target market):
20 years ago, plant based diets were rare – in fact, it was difficult to find vegetarian and vegan food at all in some places. Today, many travellers are wary of animal welfare and the impact of farming on the environment – hence, they often take great consideration with what they eat. As a hotel owner, and therefore hospitality provider, catering to these values might be crucial to serving your target market. It is also commonplace now for most properties to source local produce and products (many of which are often organic).
Earlier, we discussed the responsibility of hotel owners preserving the environment for future generations. This is both an industry responsibility and also a value and expectation of your guests. Nowadays, modern travellers often look to stay at accommodation properties that minimise their environmental footprint – this is an example of a value that might be important to your guests.
Values such as ethical foods and environmental impacts will be important to many of your guests; therefore important to you. Ethical food, for example, may not be important to you at an individual level, but if it’s important to your guests, then it’s important to you at a professional “hotel owner” level. The bottom line is, what’s important to your guests, is important to you.
Here are some examples of general hospitality etiquette you’ll want to know when starting a hotel business:
- Treat all guests respectfully and equally.
- Always have a positive, helpful attitude, especially when a guest is upset.
- Address guests by their name (not he/she) (and never assume their preferred pronoun).
- Make guests feel safe and welcome.
- Be professional and tidy at all times.
- Ensure cleanliness and organisation of rooms and common areas.
- Personalise the guest experience (e.g. if possible, try to remember guests by name).
- Listen to feedback from the guests. It does not mean you have to act on all, but consideration of it helps improve your business.
- Do not run yourself to burn-out. Running a hotel can mean long hours, it’s important to look after yourself as well as the guests.
These are just a few of the main hospitality etiquettes you’ll need to follow when considering how to start a hotel business. Respecting your guests and treating them all equally, with professionalism and positivity is crucial. Personalising the guest experience is also a great way to make guests feel special and have them talk about their stay with friends.
Remember guest preferences (e.g. favourite coffee, activities they love) by building comprehensive guest profiles in Preno.
Owning a hotel comes with a variety of hospitality values and responsibilities, be sure to instil them in your daily hotel practices
As a hotel owner, it is your job to serve guests to the highest standard possible. You must stay on top of new hotel trends, hospitality values and changes to the industry.
In this day and age, there are a number of values held by travellers (your guests) that are important to uphold. From minimising your hotel’s impact on the environment, to implementing strong health and safety practices, to having the right mindset when you come into work.
Running a hotel can be stressful, but with the right mindset, understanding, and implementation of the right values – you’ll be on the right track to being a successful hotel owner.
Need help running your hotel business?
Preno’s powerful hotel management system takes control of your business, so that you can focus on what counts: taking care of your guests.