General Manager, The Hotel Hershey
Contact Person: Mr. Brian O'Day, General Manager
Phone Number: (717) 533-8802
Mr. O'Day has been General Manager of The Hotel Hershey since April 2003. Prior to that, he was General Manager for a number of properties and hospitality businesses. His first GM assignment was at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel in 1989. His hospitality experience stemmed from his work in F&B, where he worked in all areas of F&B and served as F&B Director at 3 separate properties: The Royal Orleans, The Williamsburg Inn, and The Sagamore.
He was recruited by the Hotel Hershey via past industry associates. General Manager is the only position he has held while working at the Hotel Hershey.
Mr. O'Day cites numerous personal skills necessary in order to succeed at his position. The requisite skills at the top of his list are planning, organization, a firm financial understanding, strong interpersonal skills, and a genuine drive to excel in the guest service industry. One will understand exactly why these skills are such a necessity when considering the meticulous day-to-day work Mr. O'Day oversees.
Typically he will arrive around 7:00 AM and work until about 7:00 PM Monday thru Friday and typically 3-4 hours on Saturday and Sunday. During the busy season the weekends extend to almost full days. The daily routine is comprised of a number of meetings and a daily walkthrough of the operation. Each day, Monday through Friday, the Executive Team of the Hotel meets from 8:30 to 9:00 AM. This includes: Rooms Director, F&B Director, Hotel Controller, Director of Convention Services, Executive Chef, Director of Security, Director of Engineering, and Spa Director. He also meets individually with each member of the executive team once a week. The weekly schedule also includes: Marketing Meeting, Hotel Staff Meeting, Resorts Executive Committee Meeting, Project Meeting and a meeting with the Resorts Group Vice President. In addition to the Hotel he also bears responsibility for the Resort Golf Operations which includes a 36 Hole Golf Club; 18 hole Public Course and a 9 hole "Juvenile" course built by Mr. Hershey for the local youth. The Golf operations add more meetings to his weekly schedule.
Mr. O'Day offered the following insights on the Hospitality industry: "Learn all you can about every aspect of the operation. If your interest is F&B, then spend time in the kitchen and learn about the utility operations (dishwashing & cleaning). Work every station and learn every ala carte operation. If your interest is rooms, then make sure you understand housekeeping, etc. Learn & understand how the business is run and how to write and keep on a budget plan. Learn how to make money/profits for your organization. If you can produce quality operational and financial results you will always have opportunities. Always be willing to learn more and take on more. The hours are long but the experience is invaluable."