The profit margins in the hospitality industry remain quite low so every manager needs every edge he or she can muster to stay ahead of the competition. As a manager, you probably get helpful newsletters and magazines describing ways to spot “bad” employees. However, do you know the warning signs that will provide you indications your own performance is lagging behind? You need a list of the oh so typical mistakes you absolutely have to avoid that will not only assist you toward getting the best out of your employees whether your hospitality business is a hotel, banquet center, restaurant or casino:
DO NOT Have an Annual Plan
Why bother? Just because most hospitality businesses follow seasonal trends, why make life more organized through proper scheduling like maintenance during non-peak times as well as conducting employee reviews at regular intervals during the calendar year. If you did so, operations would run much smoother. With a carefully thought out plan, even when complications arise, all your proactive foresight should help you keep operations on an even keel.
DO NOT Invite Inspections
When you invite and schedule a friendly inspection – fire, health, safety or otherwise – the results can be carefully incorporated into any plan for getting situations “fixed” long before accidents occur or any authoritative inspecting agency proffers an “unfriendly” inspection that can affect your bottom line or tarnish your operating image in the eyes of your insurance company.
DO NOT Spend Time in the Trenches
If you do not wish to be a successful, spend no time in operations involved in the work your employees do. If you were to show up on the floor or even take on duties for a full shift, you would find easier ways for communication between you and your staff since when having you at hand, they can point out things that need your attention opposed to writing a memo or sending an email. Your presence working elbow-to-elbow with employees will boost morale and your image will skyrocket to higher levels in the eyes of the people who work for you.
DO NOT Refer to the Calendar
Got a holiday event coming up soon like a New Year’s Eve? You’ll be busy then anyway but instead of letting a holiday or a season happen to you and your business, why not take advantage of the holiday enthusiasm planning a special themed event to coincide with the holiday. Or, possibly create an aggressive marketing campaign well in advance that will help you capitalize on what will be good times anyway. When you make the most of good times, it will help you survive the not so good parts of the calendar year.
DO Not Pay Attention to Your Competition
The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive. You can find a restaurant on every corner with hotels facing each other across a street. You need to constantly be vigil examining what your competition is doing and then do much better yourself.
DO NOT Allow Staff Working Freedom
The other side of the coin when it comes to management spending time in the trenches is to lead with confident authority delegating responsibility to staff members effectively. When managers feel the necessity to follow up checking each and every little detail, staff members will get the impression you have no trust in their abilities. Micromanaging is a sign of ineffective and unsuccessful management.
DO NOT Expect the Business to Run Itself
When you avoid micromanaging, you can’t just spend all your time out on the golf course. Face it, no one is going to care about the business as much as you will. Therefore, logic does dictate that in your absence activity might just wander a bit off the field you originally chose.
DO NOT innovate
There’s absolutely nothing creative at all about the hospitality business, right? Your job is to always provide the basics, correct? You need to do what everyone else does, don’t you? Do so and this becomes a blueprint for guaranteed failure. Innovation demands offering newness that no competition does. Be constantly inventing new menu items, different concierge services and always add extra luxury touches to your operation. Each time you create a new aspect of your business you become a market of one until your competition imitates you.
DO NOT Ignore the Computers
One of the most costly line items found when concerning hospitality operations is the high cost needed for computer software. However, where a Hollywood film studio may need a current $1,000 copy if Photoshop, your operation can more than likely get away using free or shared software to make those advertising flyers. There are free software offerings that emulate the latest Windows applications. Your reservations software runs just as well on a free UNIX system. Your needs should be basic where any program that can open, edit and save text files will fill the bill.
DO NOT Ignore the Internet
Every hotel needs a web site. Why? Because, guests can make reservations after finding out online just how wonderful you really are. Why does your pizza parlor need a website? Customers can place orders online. Also, why should you have wireless service at your hospitality business? Duh? Don’t you travel with your laptop – both for business and personal use? Hey, web hosting is cheap these days and building an inexpensive website is also. In fact, you pay moiré for newspaper advertising than you ever will for website creation and hosting. This one is a no-brainer.