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Maximizing Profitability: Three Essential Tasks for Hotel GMs

11 July 2024
In the hospitality industry, it's a common belief that once a hotel has been built, it can be managed with minimal changes for 10-12 years before any significant upgrades or renovations are necessary. However, this approach can lead to stagnation and a decline in guest satisfaction in today's fast-paced and competitive market.
To stay ahead, hoteliers must adopt a continuous development mindset, constantly refining their products and services, including amenities, services, and technology. This proactive approach enhances the guest experience and drives profitability and long-term success.
In this blog post, we'll explore the three essential tasks that hotel general managers must focus on to achieve superior financial results: designing the guest experience, attracting guests/customers, and delivering the guest experience productively. By excelling in these areas and leveraging the strengths of specialized teams, GMs can drive exceptional financial performance and establish their hotels as market leaders.

1. Designing the Guest Experience

Crafting a unique and memorable guest experience is the cornerstone of a successful hotel. Traditionally, once a hotel is designed and built, it rarely undergoes significant changes. However, when the guest needs change and new hotels enter the market, continuously improving the guest experience is critical to long-term success. Unfortunately, many hotels do not dedicate sufficient resources to this, leading to a gradual decline in the quality of the guest experience. Even if well-maintained, a lack of innovation can result in an outdated and less appealing experience for guests. A dedicated product development team, or at least an ad-hoc team meeting regularly, can significantly benefit guest satisfaction and profitability.


The impact of a well-designed guest experience is multifaceted, driving multiple positive outcomes.
  • Increased Guest Satisfaction: A well-designed guest experience leads to higher satisfaction rates, encouraging repeat visits and positive reviews.
  • Enhanced Brand Loyalty: Unique and personalized experiences build brand loyalty, ensuring guests return and recommend the hotel to others.
  • Higher Average Spend: Guests delighted by their experience are more likely to spend on premium services, amenities, and upgrades.
  • Competitive Differentiation: A distinctive guest experience sets the hotel apart from competitors, attracting a diverse clientele.
  • Improved Online Reputation: Exceptional experiences lead to positive reviews and ratings, boosting the hotel's online presence and appeal.

Team: Product Development

To design and continuously refine the guest experience, the general manager needs a dedicated product development team, in-house, outsourced, or consultants, composed of:
  • Designers: Professionals who craft innovative and appealing guest experiences.
  • Technology Experts: Specialists who integrate modern technologies to enhance guest comfort and convenience.
  • Guest Experience Analysts: Experts who gather and analyze guest feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Five Most Important Tasks for the Product Development Team

  1. Researching Guest Preferences: Conduct surveys, focus groups, and market research to understand evolving guest needs.
  2. Developing New Amenities and Services: Innovate new features and services that enhance the guest experience.
  3. Integrating Technology: Adopt and incorporate the latest technologies to improve convenience and comfort for guests.
  4. Monitoring Trends: Stay updated with industry trends to keep the hotel's offerings competitive and appealing.
  5. Analyzing Feedback: Regularly review guest feedback to make data-driven improvements to the guest experience.

2. Attracting Guests/Customers

Attracting guests is crucial for maintaining high occupancy rates and ensuring steady revenue flow. This involves a robust marketing strategy, effective sales techniques, and strategic revenue management to capture and convert potential guests. A solid commercial team is essential for this task.


The numerous benefits of attracting guests significantly boost the hotel's performance.
  • Increased Occupancy Rates: Effective marketing and sales strategies ensure the hotel remains filled, maximizing room revenue.
  • Broader Market Reach: Targeted marketing campaigns and partnerships can attract guests from diverse demographics and locations.
  • Optimized Revenue Management: Strategic pricing and inventory control maximize revenue, especially during high-demand periods.
  • Reduced Customer Acquisition Costs: Efficient marketing and sales techniques lower the cost of acquiring new guests, enhancing overall profitability.
  • Enhanced Market Position: A strong brand presence and reputation in the market position the hotel as a preferred choice for travelers.

Team: Commercial

To attract guests and ensure a steady flow of customers, the general manager needs a robust commercial team that includes.
  • Marketing Professionals: Experts who create and execute targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Sales Representatives: Personnel who engage with potential clients and close bookings.
  • Revenue Managers: Specialists who analyze market trends and optimize pricing strategies.

Five Most Important Tasks for Commercial Team

  1. Developing Marketing Campaigns: Create and implement targeted marketing campaigns to attract diverse guest segments.
  2. Managing Sales Channels: Optimize using various sales channels, including online travel agencies (OTAs), direct bookings, and corporate partnerships.
  3. Revenue Optimization: Continuously analyze and adjust pricing strategies to maximize occupancy and revenue.
  4. Market Research: Conduct regular market research to identify new opportunities and adjust strategies accordingly.
  5. Customer Relationship Management: Build and maintain strong relationships with guests to encourage repeat business and referrals.

3. Delivering the Guest Experience in the Most Productive Way

Operational efficiency is essential to delivering the guest experience while maximizing profitability. This task involves streamlining operations, managing resources effectively, and ensuring high-quality service delivery. An efficient operations team is essential for this task.


Operational excellence brings multiple advantages, enhancing both guest satisfaction and profitability.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: Efficient processes and resources minimize waste and unnecessary expenses, increasing profit margins.
  • Higher Staff Productivity: Optimized operations improve staff efficiency, allowing them to focus on delivering exceptional guest service.
  • Consistent Service Quality: Maintaining high operational standards ensures guests receive consistent, high-quality experiences, fostering loyalty.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implementing eco-friendly and sustainable practices can lower costs and appeal to environmentally conscious guests.
  • Improved Financial Performance: Efficient operations lead to better flow-through from revenue to profit, enhancing overall financial performance.

Team: Operations

To deliver the guest experience efficiently and productively, the general manager needs a dedicated operations team that includes:
  • Operations Managers: Leaders who oversee daily operations in each department and outlet to ensure smooth functioning.
  • Housekeeping Staff: Personnel who maintain cleanliness and order throughout the hotel.
  • Maintenance Crew: Experts who handle repairs and upkeep to ensure facilities are in top condition.
  • Service Staff: Team members who provide food, beverages, and other services to guests, ensuring their needs are met.
  • Front Office Staff are the first point of contact for guests. They are responsible for check-ins and check-outs and provide information and assistance.
  • Team Members from All Departments and Outlets: Employees from various departments (such as food and beverage, spa, and recreation) who contribute to the overall guest experience.

Five Most Important Tasks for the Operations Team

  1. Process Optimization: Continuously improve operational processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
  2. Staff Training: Ensure all staff members are well-trained and equipped to deliver high-quality service.
  3. Quality Control: Implement rigorous quality control measures to maintain consistent service standards.
  4. Sustainability Initiatives: Develop and execute sustainable practices to reduce environmental impact and operational costs.
  5. Guest Service Management: Oversee and manage guest services to ensure a seamless and enjoyable stay for all guests.


Hotel general managers can achieve superior financial results by focusing on designing the guest experience, attracting guests/customers, and delivering the guest experience productively. To succeed in these tasks, GMs need three specialized teams: product development, commercial, and operations. By mastering these areas and leveraging the strengths of their teams, general managers can drive exceptional financial performance and establish their hotels as market leaders.
Adopting a continuous improvement mindset for the guest experience can be a game-changer in an industry where change is often resisted. By excelling in these critical areas, general managers can drive their hotels towards greater profitability, earning recognition as industry leaders and heroes in the eyes of their stakeholders.

Key Takeaways

  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly update and enhance the guest experience to maintain competitiveness and appeal.
  • Specialized Teams: Utilize dedicated teams for product development, commercial activities, and operations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Guest-Centric Focus: Prioritize guest satisfaction and loyalty to drive repeat business and positive reviews.
  • Operational Excellence: Streamline operations to reduce costs and improve service quality, contributing to higher profitability.
  • Innovative Approaches: Embrace new technologies and trends to differentiate the hotel and attract a diverse clientele.