Hotel math: two plus two

By Dr. Gabor Forgacs

This is meant for hoteliers only. If you aren’t one, stop reading.

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.

Dr. Gabor Forgacs is an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in Toronto.