Management Theories & Practices in the Hospitality Industry
The term “hospitality” covers a wide range of activities and usually refers to the delivery of accommodations, eating and entertainment. Hospitality management is a field found in voluntary, commercial and non-commercial enterprises. While theories and practices may differ slightly from catering and institutional to hotel and restaurant management, many of the concepts prevail in all industries that define their purpose as delivering hospitality services.
At its core, hospitality management theories are dedicated to entertaining strangers. To open one’s hotel, restaurant or nightclub to unknown guests is to invite them in to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Hospitable hosts welcome everyone to the table. The theory of opening one’s home to a stranger extends to the various kinds of businesses involved in serving the public and invites its patrons to stay, linger and be entertained in some fashion.
Management theories in hospitality derive from the earliest civilizations that sought to meet the needs of their social groups. In a commercial setting, that translates to the modern marketing theories that drive hospitality management practices. In other words, managers providing a service first need to find out what consumers want and then find a way to satisfy those needs most effectively. The hospitality industry is a responsive arena that should be poised to react when society expresses a need.
The hospitality industry utilizes the concepts of service in every facet of its operations. Restaurants rely on servers to deliver a meal, hotel managers demand the highest levels of customer service and entertainment companies provide service to patrons, all in hopes of building a reputation and return business. Referrals are an integral part of hospitality success. Those only occur when a venue sets the highest customer service goals and extends that service effectively.
Management theories become practical for those who must report revenues to a corporate board or venue owner, show a profit for investors or simply struggle to break even and remain open. As such, hospitality practices must include extensive money and resource management skills. Those talents also include managing human resources. After all, theories remain only that until highly-trained, customer service oriented staff members provide the services that consumers are willing to pay for.