What Is Hotel Organizational Structure?

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Hotel operations are segmented into four divisions: food and beverage, operations and rooms, marketing, and finance. In the hotel business, the staff the guests see or interact with is called the "front of the house" and what guests aren't aware of is called "back of the house." For example, the wait staff of the restaurant is considered front of the house but the kitchen staff is back of the house. In a small hotel, the general manager directly supervises each division. In larger hotels, managers and directors are responsible for their divisions. The directors report to the managers and the managers to the general manager.


The owner of the hotel is at the top of the organizational structure and chain of command. Owners who don't have hospitality experience, or who own more than one hotel, hire a general manager or a hotel management company to oversee the hotel's operations. The management company hires the general manager. The general manager then hires the second-tier staff.

General Manager

The general manager is responsible for all operations of the hotel, both back and front of the house. Second-tier managers report to the general manager. If the hotel is part of a chain, most of the marketing programs are put in place by the franchisor. The general manager may decide to supplement those programs with the hotel's own efforts or to offer special packages as incentives for guests to book a reservation at the hotel.

Second Tier Management

The second level of management includes the assistant general manager, who fills in when the general manager is off, and the night manager. The front desk manager is responsible for greeting guests, taking reservations, and coordinating the guest's requests with the appropriate hotel department. The food and beverage manager runs the hotel's room service, catering, restaurants and bars. The operations manager oversees housekeeping and keeping the hotel systems running smoothly. The marketing manager runs the sales, marketing and publicity departments. The controller manages finance and accounting. Each of these managers must coordinate with each other. If the marketing manager books a group that requires meeting rooms, a luncheon and a continental breakfast, the food and beverage manager has to work with the operations manager to service the guests.

Third Level Management

In large hotels, each of the second-tier managers has directors reporting to them. For example the food and beverage manager has a director for each restaurant, a catering director, and a beverage manager. The food and beverage manager may also have an executive chef reporting to him who develops the menus and oversees the kitchen. In upscale hotels where the gourmet restaurants are considered an important amenity to the guests and attracts diners outside of hotel guests, the executive chef may report directly to the general manager. The marketing manager has a director of sales, a director of publicity, and possibly a director of advertising.

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