Running a hotel is tough. It’s not enough to have a modern, clean, and comfortable environment with a friendly staff. You need to make sure you get the right number of guests coming through your doors for it to be successful.
The first step in achieving this goal is ensuring that people want to stay at your establishment in the first place and that means having an excellent front desk team on deck day and night. When vetting potential employees, look for those who are customer service oriented, well-groomed, and personable-the type of people who would naturally put customers at ease as they check into their room or ask about services from housekeeping or food & beverage staff. These qualities will translate seamlessly when the new staffer is interacting with guests daily.
Check it before it goes bad
Checking how systems in the hotel work, from the computers and elevators, to credit card readers, to the security measures and alarms are a must. Keeping your systems running smoothly with preventive maintenance software can save you a lot of time and money. Without such a program, hotel owners rely on walk-through inspections to find out about the state of their systems, meaning that there will always be blind spots. On top of that, issues can go unnoticed and unresolved. There’s also the possibility of multiple different things going wrong at once because they weren’t ever detected in the first place.
The right software enables you to set an inspection schedule and track whatever type of equipment you need to be checked or repaired. When all is well, the system alerts staff when it’s time for an inspection. The right system can also remind staff to do all necessary maintenance like brushing off filters in commercial refrigerators. With the right preventive maintenance program, you’ll be able to keep your hotel’s systems in tip-top shape without requiring too much of your own time or money.
Manage your staff with software
The best front desk teams are well-balanced teams of skilled individuals who work together toward a common goal. But before they can do this, they need to know who is doing what. Make sure each staff member has access to the information needed to do their job successfully. You should also make sure that scheduling is done by the book with an online system because juggling time off requests and making schedule adjustments for unexpected occasions can be a huge pain without the right software.
Last but not least, take the time to do a thorough exit interview and find out what you can do better as a manager or employer to keep your best employees. You may find that what you’re doing right now is part of the reason why they’re leaving, and if that’s the case, it doesn’t hurt to make adjustments. Making such changes can help you avoid losing more staff members and improve your hotel management.
Flexibility with policies and procedures
Ensure that your team understands that there is a difference between the policy and the procedure when it comes to executing tasks. The goal is not just to have them rigidly follow rules, but to actually understand why they’re in place, and to know how they fulfill the larger goal of your establishment. You can do this by starting with training that is based on feedback from employees who have been in their positions for a while, then asking new hires what they think would work better before implementing any changes-the catch being that you actually listen to their suggestions and take them seriously.
Policies are there to guide behavior, not just dictate it. Procedures are what you use to train your employees on the best way to conduct themselves and their tasks. It’s important that you have both in place but also that they are not the same because then you’re asking for problems without being able to avoid them.
How to choose the best system for your needs
There are a ton of different software systems for managing your hotel, many of which come with high price tags. When it comes to choosing the best system for you and your establishment, look at your priorities and what exactly you want out of that system. You also need to be realistic about how much a good solution is going to cost.
Think about what you need for your hotel and how long you’ll need it before getting into budgeting concerns. You don’t want to invest in a system that’s going to be outdated next year just because it can do more than the one you’re choosing, especially when ease of use and affordability are more important than ever.
Using good hotel management software isn’t just another trendy addition to the long list of hotel software that you need to consider. You want something that will help your team stay on top of tasks and allow you to see exactly how your establishment is performing compared to others in the market.
Types of management programs
There are two main types of management software-hotel property management systems and hotel revenue management systems. The first one is designed for large hotels with a lot of rooms to manage, while the second is for smaller businesses with fewer rooms (think boutique hotels).
Hotel property management systems
A great option when you have multiple locations or when you want to manage inventory, employee schedules, and food and beverage operations. You can also connect your property management system with other software systems so you don’t need multiple programs for each function.
Hotel revenue management systems
You should consider this option if you only have one location or if you don’t plan on expanding anytime soon. A hotel revenue management system can help you analyze and plan your rates so you can improve revenue and keep occupancy as high as possible.
The three main components to consider when choosing a hotel management software: functionality, usability, cost. While all of these things should be taken into consideration, it’s important to remember that you aren’t looking for a perfect system. You need something that is going to work well enough and be easy enough to use so your team doesn’t suffer because of it.
Choosing the right hotel management software for your needs is not an easy choice. You need to consider what you want it to do, how competitive pricing will affect your business goals, and whether or not ease of use matters more than functionality. We’ve outlined some things to think about that should help guide your decision-making process when choosing a system that’s best suited for you.