Job Description for Hotel Director of Operations
The operations director is a key decision-maker in the hierarchy of a hotel’s management. While there is certainly an element of prestige that comes with achieving this stature, the hours are still long – as they are for subordinate managers – and the work equally as demanding, if not more so.
They usually come to the role with several years of experience in another hotel management function, which can include general manager of a smaller property. Operations directors already have a proven track record in revenue management, budgeting, profit and loss statements and forecasting. They have already demonstrated an aptitude for successfully motivating and managing teams, resources and networks. Operations directors also come to the job with a polished set of communication skills and likely a degree in hospitality management or a similar field such as business or finance. They are highly familiar with property management software and revenue management systems.
The operations director typically reports to the general manager, assisting in the execution of the top hotel executive’s overall strategy for the property while also highlighting issues as they may arise and formulating solutions. The operations director will also be heavily involved in formulating the annual budget and monthly forecasting methodology.
On a day-to-day basis, the director of operations is fully responsible for all departments within the hotel and thus, all heads report to him or her. Meetings will regularly take place to ensure each division’s sales and revenue targets are tenable, standard operating procedures are continuously met in order that routine operations are smoothly carried out and GSTS (Guest Satisfaction Tracking System) feedback is reviewed and appropriately actioned.
The operations director will also monitor overhead expenditures, incident reports as well as department requests, purchase reports and accounts payable and accounts receivable. He or she will further have a relationship with the hotel’s suppliers and vendors to assess the quality of goods and services purchased from these third parties and also for performance assessment purposes. Another major aspect of this job is managing the procurement process and resource allocation. The person in this pivotal position will oversee supplies, inventory and purchasing. Hotel chefs and F&B managers should also expect to inspect stock, accompanied by the operations director.
He or she will also be highly involved in human resources functions. From determining staffing needs at any given time, to hiring, training and planning staff development, the operations director will collaborate with both the hotel’s HR department, as well as each department head, to determine their specific staffing requirements. Direct reports will also receive constructive feedback from the operations director, either in a formal or informal manner.
Among those direct reports are the hotel’s top sales and marketing executives with whom the operations director works closely, together monitor conversion rates, the efficacy of all distribution channels and pricing.
Additional responsibilities also extend to ensuring the property meets all legal requirements and conforms to local codes and established regulations. That includes administering effective security processes and maintaining legally required health and safety procedures.
Data is also germane to the daily work of a hotel operations director who carries out cost-benefit analysis to improve efficiencies and measures performance via data and metrics.
An operations director’s specific responsibilities will also vary based on the type of the hotel company they work for, as well as the size of the hotel. An operations director working for a hotel that doesn’t have an F&B outlet or a spa will not shoulder as much responsibility as an operations director who works for a full-service hotel. However, the salary will be commensurate not only with experience, but also with the assigned duties. But all things being equal, many operations directors are expected to be on call 24 hours a day in the event of emergencies or other urgent situations.