A hotel consulting agreement is a service contract in which a professional advisor (the consultant) agrees to analyze and help improve the business performance of a hotel (the client). The objective of the document is mainly to clarify expectations and limit each party’s exposure to risk.
Among other details, the agreement explains what services the client is requesting, when the services will be provided, and how payments should be issued. Recording this information in a consulting agreement reduces the potential for misunderstandings, as it provides written proof of what was agreed to between the client and the consultant.
A hotel consultant works with hoteliers and other members of the hospitality industry to help enhance the profitability and overall performance of their client’s business. Generally, a hotel consultant will analyze the company’s operating procedures, identify current and potential weak points, and suggest practical solutions using their industry expertise.
Hotel consultants are often educated in business administration or hospitality management and have strong communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
The responsibilities of a hotel consultant will vary depending on the circumstances. When working with investors and those interested in opening a hotel, the consultant may be tasked with the following:
- Developing business plans
- Selecting a targeted demographic
- Conducting market research
- Establishing internal and external branding strategies
Consultants hired by hotels already in operation will coordinate with the company owners and management to increase productivity and achieve goals. In this scenario, the consultant will often advise on the following:
- Business operations (client experience, internal organization, income, etc.)
- Marketing and branding
- Financial management
- Staffing and training
- New markets and mergers
- Vendor relationships
- Renovations and new construction
- Contract negotiations
- Technological improvement
- Management software
There aren’t any specific licenses or certifications needed to work as a hotel consultant. However, having an academic background in hospitality management, coupled with several years of experience in the hotel industry, are qualifications that clients and employers generally demand.
For those interested in acquiring additional training and credentials, there are certifications that can be obtained from the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute and similar educational facilities.