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The Art and Science of

Opening a Hotel
Tom Dupar

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Introduction
Opening a hotel is one of the most
frustrating and exhausting aspects in the
hospitality industry, even though it is also
the most rewarding.
Dupar has been an Operations Project
Manager (OPM) since 1989 and have
opened over forty three-, four- and five-
star hotels around the world.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Introduction Cont.
The OPM is the third person hired, after
the General Manager and the Director of
Marketing.
The OPM is the third person hired, after
the General Manager and the Director of
Marketing.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Introduction Cont.
 TheOPM oversees the following aspects of a
project:
◦ Review blueprints and specifications for the entire
building
◦ Assist with the creation of a model room
◦ Develop the pre-opening staff plan
◦ Develop and manage the pre-opening budget
◦ Develop the operational supplies and equipment budget
(OS&E)
◦ Oversee the purchasing, warehousing, delivery and
installation of the OS&E
◦ Develop the interior graphics package
◦ Coordinate the installation of third party vendors

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Blueprints
The OPM’s responsibilities start with the
architectural blueprints.
The focus is to ensure that there is a good
flow for guests, staff, and goods.
The bell person bag storage room should
be located between the porte cochere
(entry) and the elevators.
If valet parking is being offered, ensure
that there is a convenient cashier’s station
near the porte cochere.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Blueprints Cont.
Ifice machines are offered for guest self
service, the machines must produce daily,
an ample supply (10 pounds per room per
24 hour period) for the number of guest
rooms on that floor or floors.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Model Room
A typical king and double/double room are
built close to the site to review every
single item that will make up a guest
room.
These model rooms will serve as sales
tools for the sales & marketing staff
selling group rooms up to three years
before opening.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Pre-Opening Staff Plan
The pre-opening staffing begins with an
organizational chart with all positions.
The pre-opening staff plan is a
comprehensive document that states:
◦ Who is hired
◦ When they start
◦ How much they will be paid
◦ If they are allocated a relocation allowance and
benefit costs.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Pre-Opening Budget
The OPM develops and manages the pre-
opening budget.
This budget typically consist of three
major categories:
◦ labor cost (40%)
◦ sales & marketing efforts (40%)
◦ miscellaneous (20%).

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
OS&E
The largest and most complex aspect of
the OPM’s responsibility is specifying,
quantifying and budgeting for the
operational supplies and equipment
(OS&E) list.
The OS&E comprises all of the items that
are not nailed down, in a hotel with the
exception of the furniture, fixtures and
equipment (FF&E).
One of the largest and most complicated
purchase orders is for staff uniforms.
◦ The uniform order is placed 90 to 120 days
before the first uniformed staff is hired.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Purchasing, Warehousing,
Delivery, and Installation of
the OS&E
In an ideal process, the five hundred
purchase orders are issued beginning six
months prior to opening.
Most goods are delivered to a local
warehouse and pulled for delivery to the
site as the general contractor completes
construction and turns over areas.
Once receiving and distribution begins on-
site, another obstacle comes to the
forefront; garbage.
Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Interior Graphics Package
The project manager reviews the interior
graphics package for errors and
omissions.
This package includes every sign needed
to direct guests and staff in front and back
of the house areas.
The OPM works with the marketing
department to develop the identity for the
unique areas within a property.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Third Party Vendors
There are many third party vendors that
will need access to the property prior to
opening.
The project manager schedules and
directs all of these vendors.

Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &


Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Human Resources
The OPM also assist the Human Resources
department during the last two months of
pre-opening so that they have all of the
tools needed to recruit and hire the staff.
On average, the HR department will
interview at least five applicants for every
position.
Once the offer letters have been
accepted, all line associates start work
about three weeks out.
Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved
Opening Day
The activity during the last 72 hours
before the opening ceremonies is chaotic.
As soon as the general manger cuts the
ceremonial ribbon, the operations project
manager knows what kind of job they
have done.
The next step for the OPM is to go find the
next project and do all of this one more
time!
Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. All rights reserved