Hammetts Hotel in Newport RI

5 Challenges of Opening a Hotel

Opening a hotel is no small feat. From maintaining the property to organizing staff, hotel management is a constant juggling act to ensure everyone, from guests and visitors to the housekeeping and culinary teams are satisfied with their experience.

While there’s no one right way to open a hotel business (there will always be challenges to overcome), there are some things you can do to help ease the process. Read on to learn more about how you can conquer the five main obstacles of opening a hotel.

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1. Finding and Retaining Top Talent of Hotel Staff

How to open a hotel begins with finding the right staff. The success and growth of the property heavily depend on the ebb and flow of state and local economies, which also affects the task of maintaining a strong staff.

It’s essential to find a team with a balance of industry expertise and a willingness to grow and learn. And while it’s important to hire a good team, it’s equally critical to onboard them correctly and devise techniques to retain them over the long term. As a new hotel, make sure to onboard staff cohesively so everyone is on the same page and continue to listen to their concerns to ensure you’re creating an environment where they will want to continue to work.

2. Setting Budgets in the Hotel Industry

General Managers work hand-in-hand with department heads to coordinate staff and budgets. It’s essential when opening a hotel to set a detailed, comprehensive, and realistic budget. Make sure to not rely on gross estimates for what the property needs, but rather on a detailed back-of-the-house budget (B.O.T.H.). The B.O.T.H. can include everything from kitchen essentials and chemical supplies to other operating expenses like large equipment. This should be completed at least a year prior to opening and can also help serve as a checklist for everything that needs to be ordered before guests arrive.

Other budget items that should be included in detail are advertising campaigns, compensation, and benefits.

3. Starting Hotel Operations

In hotel business, there will be countless operational challenges no matter if a property is new or has been welcoming guests for decades. For new hotels, it’s important for GMs (along with other senior team members) to understand how individual operations affect the bigger picture of the property.

From reservations management and front-end operations to housekeeping, these moving parts must work in sync to meet guests’ expectations. Utilizing a property management system or completing a test run of operations before the opening day can help overcome any of this disconnect right away.

4. Hotel Branding

New hotels are facing more competition than ever before. Between Airbnb’s and other unique accommodations, it’s important for hotels to distinguish themselves from the rest and offer guests an unparalleled experience. 

Before opening a hotel, GMs and the rest of the staff must understand its brand and what makes it different from other properties. This will not only help you market your hotel but also create personalized guest experiences.

5. Data Security

Data security is another facet of the hotel industry that is new in the 21st century. When opening a hotel, there must be strict data security measures (along with other general safety precautions on the property) to protect the personal information of guests. Ensuring proper data storage and using secure hotel technology gives you and your guests the peace of mind that their information like credit card numbers, addresses, and more are safe when they book a stay at your property.

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Want to learn more about how to open a hotel? Contact the team at Main Street Hospitality Group. We have a variety of hiring and partnership opportunities around hotel development that can help advance your career in the industry.

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