Industry Update
Opinion Article 7 October 2013

Hotel Math: Two Plus Two: This is meant for hoteliers only. If you aren’t one, stop reading

By Gabor Forgacs, Associate Professor, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Ryerson University

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There is a new GM appointed to the hotel. He is keen to get to know his team as fast as possible. He has an idea: he goes around and asks the same question from each manager. Based on their answers, he figures he can see what expectations would be realistic. His question to each manager is: "How much is two plus two?"

The answers he got from the department heads were as follows:

  • Director of Housekeeping: There is no way we can get it up to four. My girls are so overstretched, they need to be paid overtime to meet this target.
  • Director of Rooms: You know Boss, I can explain this. On most days, yes, it would be around four, but today we are so overbooked that I will have to play it by ear.
  • Director of Sales: What was your question? Two plus two? It depends: if am I buying, I can get this down to $3.40, however, if I am selling, I can get $5.60 for this. How does that sound?
  • Director of HR: Well, first we will set up a committee for sure, have a meeting and we will get the minutes to you by Monday. Can I book your boardroom for tomorrow afternoon? With some refreshments?
  • Director of Maintenance: I mean, we can get this fixed, no problem, but did you say by four? Seriously? Which month?
  • Controller: You've gotta be kidding, right?
  • Director of Catering: I'll do it but no ice sculptures or flower arrangements for this budget. Did you want round tables?
  • Chief Concierge: Not a problem Boss. Would you like it in Roman Letters as well?
  • Bell Captain: C'mon Boss. We can do better than that.
  • Director of Revenue: It doesn't matter which channel, boss. They can call in, hit our landing page or just walk through the front door. I will get that $3.20 on average, from each and every one, no problem.

Gabor Forgacs

Dr. Gabor Forgacs is Associate Professor at Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. He has twenty years work experience in the hotel industry on two continents including a management position at a Four Seasons hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the position of president and general manager of a full service hotel in Budapest, Hungary.

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