Hospitality Management: A Brief Introduction
Publication Year: 2015
“An innovative and cross-cutting approach to Hospitality that examines the fundamentals of the subject in a concise and commendable way. Roy Wood’s academic and practitioner expertise is brought to bear on this succinct synthesis of the subject that will quickly become a must read for all students and academics in the hospitality area.” –Professor Stephen J. Page, Bournemouth University Hospitality Management: A Brief Introduction is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying hotel and hospitality management and hospitality studies. The book includes coverage of the principal areas of functional management in hospitality including: employee relations • accommodation management • food and beverage managementxs • marketing and sales • industry structure and strategy • the nature of management roles • hospitality management education • future trends ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Where are we going? The nature of hospitality management
- Chapter 2: What kind of industry? Structure, strategy and the nature of the hospitality industry
- Chapter 3: A people business? Human resources in the hospitality sector
- Chapter 4: Is your room alright? Accommodation management in hospitality
- Chapter 5: Are you enjoying your meal? Food and beverage management in hospitality
- Chapter 6: Would you like to join our customer loyalty programme? Marketing and consumption in hospitality
- Chapter 7: Can I speak to whoever’s in charge? The role of management in hospitality
- Chapter 8: So you give degrees to waiters? Hospitality management education
- Chapter 9: Conclusion – The proof of the pudding?
- Web resources and applications
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© Roy C. Wood 2015
First published 2015
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ISBN 978-1-4462-4695-5 (pbk)
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Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY
To the memory of Professor John O’Connor: gentleman, mentor, friend
List of Figures[Page vi]
- 2.1 Challenges facing the Indian hotel industry 30
- 3.1 Selected statistics on UK and European hospitality employment 48
- 4.1 Getting out of the turndown 66
- 4.2 A typical hotel ‘environmental’ notice 70
- 5.1 Miller Matrix, menu engineering and cost/margin analysis quadrants 92
- 7.1 Performance measures against which hotel managers believe they should be measured 122
List of Tables[Page vii]
- 2.1 Top travel and leisure companies in the Financial Times Global 500, 2013 23
- 2.2 Top 10 hotel companies, 2013, by number of rooms 26
- 2.3 Average room rate and number of branded hotel rooms, Indian hotels, major cities, 2005–2013, various years 29
- 2.4 Top 10 Indian hotel companies, 2013, by existing room inventory and country of origin 29
- 2.5 Top 10 global chain restaurants, 2013 31
- 4.1 Some significant hotel bombings 76
- 5.1 Favourite lunches in workplace restaurants serviced by Sutcliffe Catering Group, 1968 and 1994 84
- 5.2 Dishes appearing most frequently on restaurant menus, 2012 84
- 5.3 Market supply of eating places, 2013 86
- 5.4 Leading global restaurant brands, 2013 87
- 6.1 Senior marketing executives: formal hospitality educational qualifications (top 10 hotel companies, 2013) 103
- 6.2 Senior marketing executives: formal hospitality educational qualifications (top 10 branded restaurant companies, 2013) 104
- 6.3 The 10 industries with the most loyal customers (US) 109
- 7.1 Speculative comparison of hospitality managerial job categories analysed by Berkeley Scott compared to median gross annual earnings as determined by the Office for National Statistics 129
About the Author
I have never believed that any work of writing – least of all academic writing – is entirely an act of individual will or ability. The various positive influences I have enjoyed both on, and in, my career are numerous and, through discussion, encouragement and (dis)agreement, they have undoubtedly worked their way into both my thinking and writing, as has experience of the various employments I have been privileged to undertake. In this latter respect I owe debts that can never be repaid to Heinz Bürki, President of IMI University Centre, Luzern, Switzerland for trusting me with his School for five-and-a-half wonderful years; P R S Oberoi, Chairman of EIH Ltd for allowing me two equally fascinating years working at corporate level in one of the world’s finest hotel companies; and Qutub Dadabhai, who gave me the opportunity to work in ‘hands on’ vocational education, thus filling a gap in both my CV and business experience. My current employer, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands, in the form of both Ms Gienke Osinga and Professor Frans Melissen PhD have been supportive of my position and work in a manner that no-one has the right to automatically expect, and I thank them sincerely for their personal and professional confidence.
Over a long period I have benefited from regular insights into management in the hospitality industry provided by those for whom it is, or has been, a daily reality. My thanks thus go to: Karan Berry, Major Rajesh Chauhan, Rohit Dar, Amanda Hayman, David Mathews, Gillian Rae, Susanne Reitz and Professor Dr Udo Schlentrich. The other constant social and intellectual influences in my life in recent times include Professor Michael Riley, Dr Bob Brotherton, Karan, Shivali and Mehek Berry, Gareth Currie, Juni Hidyat, Bryen Li, Henry Liu, Christian Lo, John Mackillop, Sandra Miller, Heather Robinson, Ashish Sachdeva, Stephen Taylor and Abhinav Ummat.
During the final stages of this book’s preparation, its dedicatee – Professor John O’Connor – passed away. John O’Connor gave me my first full-time employment as a hospitality educator some 30-plus years ago and remained a constant and objective friend. In return, I hope I was a thankful one.
Finally, and somewhat more prosaically, I wish to thank, first, Sage Publications for permission to use edited and modified versions of my contributions to B Brotherton and R C Wood (Eds) (2008) The Sage Handbook of Hospitality Management and R C Wood (2013) Key Concepts in Hospitality Management; and, secondly, NHTV Breda University [Page x]of Applied Science, the Netherlands, for similar permission in respect of my inaugural professorial lecture given in 2011 entitled ‘The End of Hospitality?’ I would also like to acknowledge the value of the critical insights of my colleague Rob van Ginneken. Finally, I wish to record my thanks to the staff of NHTV’s Sibeliuslaan Library for their superb responsiveness to my requests during the preparation of this book.Breda, The NetherlandsMay 2014
Author’s Preface[Page xi]
In any introductory textbook it is difficult to develop a central coherent argument or position. After all, the reader of such a book is, for the most part seeking an entrée into a field, subject or discipline, or, to continue the French culinary theme, a soupçon of the main ideas, issues and topics embraced by a particular area. They wish to acquire broad familiarity with topics rather than face a detailed and prosy treatise. Many existing introductory texts on the hospitality industry follow the worthy if sometimes over-descriptive approach of offering reviews of the various sectors making up the industry combining this with consideration of selected management topics. This book is somewhat different.
First, though the intention here is that the text will allow the reader to acquire a broad familiarity with the field of ‘hospitality management’, the approach taken is both descriptive and analytic, drawing on available research to illuminate and substantiate key themes and issues.
Secondly, this approach is underpinned by a pragmatically critical perspective on the hospitality industry. Many people equate the word ‘critical’ with ‘negative’ and it has, sadly, become increasingly common, even in academia, for those who hear an observation or opinion that does not correspond to their own world-view to respond by seeking to restrict or close down debate, often attempting to undermine the person articulating critical ideas by chiding them for being negative and/or ‘cynical’. The underlying philosophy here is that any true loyalty to anyone or anything should be critical. Excessive conformity is the enemy of progress; reasoned critique is the wellspring of advancement. At the same time, to be critical for its own sake is to practise an art form with limited utility – hence the attempt to strive for pragmatism in this book. Most people are pragmatists: they recognize the value of idealism while understanding that the world is an imperfect place in which idealism faces a constant battle to flourish. Accordingly, this book presents a ‘warts and all’ view of hospitality and the hospitality industry. From one perspective, the hospitality industry can be wonderful to work in: exciting; offering fantastic rewards for those who progress to senior positions; and one which on occasion attracts extraordinary talent to its ranks. From another point of view, it is an industry which struggles to attract sufficient talent to make it a model or source of inspiration for other business sectors; where many people experience employment as demeaning, degrading and poorly paid; in which work–life balance is impossible to achieve; and in which conservatism and tradition often suffocate quality and innovation. This is the ‘real world’ of the hospitality industry – as with most aspects of life nothing is ever as good – or bad – as it seems.
[Page xii]Thirdly, and following from the above, it makes sense ‘up front’ to outline some of those overarching factors and themes that appear to give the hospitality industry its particular character. In preparing this text, and in addition to drawing on knowledge from my early academic career, some 600 research papers in academic journals and a further 30 or so textbooks and monographs covering the period 1999–2014 have been reviewed. In addition, a number of texts authored by industry figures, including biographies and autobiographies, have been trawled for useful insights. Regrettably, not all of the latter works offer up the wisdom that their covers invariably promise but some, at least, are useful and even valuable (see Venison, 1983, 2005; Meyer, 2006; Tomsky, 2012; http://waiterrant.net/). Inevitably, on this scale of coverage, obvious and sometimes less obvious commonalities and continuities are revealed. The majority of these will be touched upon again at various points in the text so only the briefest of summaries is advanced here.The Contested Nature of Hospitality … and Management
The terms ‘hospitality industry’ and ‘hospitality management’ have gained broad acceptance and legitimacy as descriptors of a range of economic activities, and their management, concerned with the public provision of accommodation, food and related services for those away from home. Yet as terms, they can be all of poorly defined, misleading, and, on occasion, the source of conflict, the latter not least because of a growing realization that ‘hospitality’ is a very broad social phenomenon that has meaning beyond the industry it purports to describe. These and related themes are discussed in Chapter 1, which is also concerned with the nature of management – both generally and in hospitality – and the reliability or otherwise of management knowledge.An Economically Global, National and Local Industry
Those, usually representative-composed organizations that lobby on behalf of the hospitality industry at local, national and global level tend to suggest that the importance of the industry is underestimated, and that it can, given the correct support, be a major source of jobs and wealth creation. Similar claims are often made for the tourism industry more widely. Yet, as we shall see in Chapters 1 and 2, anyone who dispassionately reviews the available evidence is certain to come up with a more nuanced view. Many businesses in hospitality, being small in nature, operate at what may politely be called the economic margins. Many are what are – equally politely – called ‘lifestyle’ businesses where the provision of services is not made in pursuit of some abstract entrepreneurial wish fulfilment but simply to make a ‘living’. In the corporate sector, differences between hotels and restaurants emerge. Even large internationally branded hotel chains possess many features of economic marginality – albeit different in nature and scope to those of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). [Page xiii]Branded restaurant chains, operating in higher demand markets, look more like an international business in any other industry, a fact perhaps reflected in McDonald’s Restaurants being the highest ranked hospitality company in 2013 (at 51st position) in the well-regarded Financial Times Global 500.
A further observation here is that, though rarely stated in so many words, there is a pride among those involved in the hospitality industry that it was the first, truly global industry (for many it remains so). Global presence does not always, however, mean global scope. Most hospitality businesses serve the needs of their local, national and regional communities more than they do those of visitors. The industry is dominated by the aforementioned SMEs. In many countries, product and labour markets are predominantly local. There are parts of the world where an indigenous population possesses values that limit the ability of some or all of that population to work in hospitality occupations and this means that labour must be imported. In other parts of the globe, similar values combined with economic and social inequality lead to many hospitality jobs being taken by nationals who have origins elsewhere.People, People, People
The hospitality industry is essentially a people industry. This egregious cliché forms the basis for the investigation of hospitality industry employment in Chapter 3, and for an examination of hospitality managers and management in Chapter 7 and hospitality education in Chapter 8. At this juncture it is only necessary to note two points. The first will become evident in Chapter 2, namely that the capital investment requirements for new hospitality businesses is considerable, not least in the case of large and professionally managed – and usually internationally branded – hotels and in the chain restaurant industry. Many hospitality businesses are capital and labour intensive although the latter is much more variable than people think, largely because we allow ourselves to succumb to the romanticized image of the ‘luxury-plus’ hotel invariably peopled with countless employees. At best, however, establishments of this nature account for only a tiny proportion of the total market supply. The second point here is that in many countries, and certainly the UK, almost all forms of hospitality labour carry a degree of social stigma. This was well captured in an early study of the UK industry by Saunders (1981) and continues as a recurring theme in both academic and public discourse on the industry. A report in The Independent newspaper by Wynne-Jones (1996: 11), commenting on the preference of young craftspeople entering the industry for a career as chef rather than waiter, quoted a member of the British House of Lords, Lady Parkes, as saying ‘We’ve got to get away from this stupid pre-war attitude that waiting tables is in some way demeaning. On the continent, you see waiters take a pride in their work: it’s considered a profession. In this country, people hark back to the days of domestic service and it’s seen as a stigma.’ Some 16 years later, Harris (2012a: 30) wrote: ‘Unlike in Italy, France or elsewhere in Europe, where waiters are regarded as skilled professionals, in Britain the job is hardly regarded as a profession at all. [Page xiv]At best, it is seen as a necessary station on the way to more glamorous destinations … it is regarded as a holiday job or a temporary berth before something more prestigious in another sector comes along.’
Stigma has many practical implications and not only for operative level workers in hospitality. Although in many countries it is possible to attain well-paid general manager positions at a young age, in terms of career development, graduates rarely enjoy preferment advantages compared to non-graduates entering the sector (Riley and Turam, 1988). This raises important questions about both the value of formal hospitality education and the human resource practices of the industry – both issues we shall examine in this book.The Product and Service Mix
The distinctive features of the hospitality industry’s product and service mix are the provision of accommodation and food which are the subjects of Chapters 4 and 5 respectively. This provision comes in myriad, but not infinite, forms. In large organizations offering both products, and their related services, specialist managers are called into being to deal with them, and this specialization has implications for the structure and operation of hospitality organizations.
There is a growing tension in both the academic and ‘real’ worlds of hospitality between those who regard the provision of services as the main focus of hospitality management and those who argue for a more instrumental approach emphasizing the primary objective of hospitality provision – the creation of profit. Thus, in the case of the first, we frequently hear that the hospitality industry’s success depends primarily on delivering guest and customer satisfaction, creating ‘customer delight’, and in the case of one international hotel company at least, fulfilling ‘even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests’, which is a very neat trick when one thinks about it. A report in The Economist (2013d) described the modern corporate hotel as ‘industrial’ and points to how companies have sought to ‘engineer “emotional touch points” and “wow moments” with guests’ in order to compensate for physical soullessness. Somewhat dryly, The Economist notes, approaches of this kind may be counterproductive as ‘many people do not want to be touched, emotionally or otherwise’ – a surely accurate diagnosis.
Indeed, one problem experienced by the hospitality as well as many other industries is a periodic obsession with ‘innovation’, not always easy in an industry that must cater to basic and familiar human needs. On occasions, the pressure to innovate, which can be perceived by managements as arising from the need to gain competitive advantage, has led the hospitality sector to succumb to, or overindulge the whims of specialists including chefs, interior designers and marketing executives. The results from the point of view of the effective provision of the industry’s basic products and services have not always been positive, a point considered in Chapters 4 and 5, and further in Chapter 6. Indeed, there is a good case for arguing that managerial obsessing at the margins of customer and guest concerns detracts from [Page xv]the hospitality industry – and especially the hotel sector – fulfilling the more basic requirements of their business – clean and well-designed and -equipped rooms; and honest, effective service.Conservatism, Exceptionalism and Operational Bias
Throughout this text, as opposed to in specific chapters, we shall encounter certain recurring themes concerning the conservatism, exceptionalism and operational bias of the hospitality sector.
The hospitality industry is a conservative industry in the sense of being seemingly all of traditional, cautious, insular and averse to change. This is hardly surprising since, although the purchase of hospitality products and services is an economically discretionary activity (very few people have to buy them), the core products and services of the industry relate to fundamental human needs for shelter and nourishment. It is, Pizam and Shani (2009: 141) state in a fascinating study, ‘a business that has been providing essentially the same basic services throughout history’, noting that many of the managers they interviewed believed that: ‘Although technological developments have definitely impacted the industry … the industry is not as technologically astute as other industries, nor does it need to be. Yet technology does allow for a slightly higher degree of sophistication in providing the service, especially in regard to catering to specific needs of individual guests.’
The phrase ‘nor does it need to be’ is suggestive here, if only because it encourages us to consider the strong tradition of insularity and related exceptionalism that imbues the values of hospitality management and its practice. There is a long tradition in the industry and its associated institutions (particularly the edifice of hospitality education) of insisting that both the industry and management practice differ significantly, if not uniquely, from other forms of industry and management in terms of the products and service they offer – notably accommodation and food and beverage – and thus require separate and distinctive forms of management. Similar views have, until fairly recently at least, arguably dominated approaches to hospitality management education and research. Since all industries have their distinctive features, this claim to uniqueness has always seemed somewhat improbable. The hospitality industry has many features in common with other sectors. That it is a sector with low barriers to entry, numerically dominated as we have seen by small and medium sized enterprises, many owned and operated by those without prior management experience or professional qualifications (albeit with variable success) is certainly not suggestive of the existence of a unique managerial skill set.
In a highly perceptive commentary, Mars et al. (1979) described internships and placements that figure in most formal hospitality education programmes as part of the ‘pre-entry’ (to industry) socialisation’ of students. The socialization entailed is one that embraces a managerially operational bias and world-view – emphasizing the importance of day-to-day operational control, rather than the skills of long-term planning and any number of other techniques that usually fall under the heading [Page xvi]of ‘strategy’. This operational bias has implications not only for managers themselves in terms of career development possibilities, but also for those they manage and indeed, it permeates the culture of the hospitality industry to an extent that we have only recently begun to thoroughly understand. For example, it has implications for managerial turnover in the industry (which is considerable); for helping to explain why so few graduates in hospitality management are found in senior corporate positions within the sector; and for why certain ‘traditional’ and generally disadvantageous human resource practices (to employees and the organization) endure for no obvious reason.Concluding Remarks
We shall touch upon the above themes on a number of occasions in the various chapters of this text. In adopting a critically pragmatic approach to our subject matter the main hope here is to stimulate prospective ‘hospitality managers’ and others to reflect upon this fascinating industry and their own relationships, as owners, employers and consumers, to it. Despite its centrality to our lives, the hospitality industry is still little understood (and occasionally misunderstood). It is the intention of this text to give a little solidity to the base from which future, and broader, narratives might hopefully emerge.
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