A successful hotelier is frequently asked the question, “What makes a hotel good?” The answers are endless, but there is one ingredient that will make or break a property. You can have the best operational management in place and the greatest, most forward-thinking systems and procedures in the mix, but if your general manager is weak, you are setting yourself up for failure. That may sound like a lot of responsibility to place on one person, but I’ve experienced it over and over again, that if the business does not revolve around an excellent general manager who is aligned with the company ethos and vision, it most certainly won’t realise its true potential and will, in most cases, nose-dive.
There’s a relentless trend revealing itself, possibly as the result of a very profitable era in hotel management when sales, marketing and advertising budgets were outrageous, with general managers earning massive salaries and using their status as a tool to stroke their egos and the property they were managing as a playground of pretention. These motives are becoming easier to notice as we move into a new era of hotel management, and are important to eliminate.
What makes a good manager is a question I can answer. Simply put, someone who can roll up his/her sleeves and get stuck in, one who embraces the vision and values and through his/her management style, inspires that commitment throughout the entire team. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that a property is being managed by a person who can be trusted to have the best interests of the hotel, its people and its guests at heart. I can even add that each property requires certain general manager skills suited to the markets supporting that particular hotel. What may work for a five-star property may not work for a three-star one.
The test for a management company such as ourselves is to find these gems and groom them into the BON ethos and principles. In the early evolution of our company this is proving to be a case of trial and error as we realise that we cannot afford to accept poor quality managers. Good people are what we are about, and we intend to keep it that way.