BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Hotel and catering services are basically concerned with the essentials of food, housing, but they are profit centers too; also offering entertainment, providing myriad services and meeting many other needs. Man’s basic need for food and shelter has not changed in the course of civilization, but the environment in which they exist is undergoing constant change. Adapting to the change calls for flexible leadership, one of the many attributes of management and one not usually required of technically skilled workmen. Some changes are gradual, of course, others come suddenly. But all of them contribute to the dynamic nature of the society and to one important segment of that society - the ever- changing hotel and catering field.
In the past, hospitality management was a management of personality. Few managers of the old school were managers in the present day sense of the word. Capital investment was smaller, labour problems were almost unknown, most were family businesses; government control and regulation practically unheard of. Management was the skill of Mine Host, the ability to comfort the traveller and welcome the stranger.
Not so today where investment requires corporate ownership; labour involves complex contracts and a myriad of government regulations, limitations and restrictions tap the energy of the modern manager.
It is not surprising therefore, that today’s executives are meeting in conferences, attending seminars, talking to the experts and consulting with advisers. They are less and less on the floors of their establishments and more and more behind their desks. Here, efforts are concentrated on the problems of rising costs and slender profits. Increasing competitions, costly modernization and other problems preoccupy our present-day managers. With increasing expectations, they look to the implementation of sound business practices to provide the means of countering the many few pressures facing the hotel and catering industry.
For any hotel, no matter how well operated, must have to be first located in an ideal spot, in perfectly favourable economic conditions to be able to attain an ultimate efficiency without marketing activity backup. The fact is that business exists in a dynamic environment affected by economic, legal, political and technological conditions that have varied impact on business fortune in terms of periods of boom and adversity.
The truth is that no matter the quality of management in terms of capacity, standards and resources, hotels and catering houses definitely need marketing efforts to achieve corporate goals and objectives of profit maximization.
Marketing entails management functions “which organize and direct all the business activities involved in assessing customer needs and converting customers purchasing power into effective demand for a specific product or service and in moving that product or service to the final consumers or users so as to achieve the profit target or other objectives set by the company” as defined by the Institute of Marketing.
Having established the need for marketing in the Hotel and Catering Industry and understanding the services so offered and their nature, it becomes absolutely necessary for this study to find out their implications of marketing in Hotel and Catering Industry and suggest the best ways to effectively market the services provided by the industry.
In comparison with industrial manufacturers and consumer goods, inadequate marketing efforts by proprietors of hotels and catering services have been identified as the main problems of the Hotel and Catering Industry in Nigeria. From the economic and financial returns of their performance one easily observes that most hotels have not been able to meet main business objectives of profit making and maximization. Statistics show that many well-researched, built and commissioned hotel projects in Nigeria have not done well in profit maximization due to poor and low sales volume. Many cannot pay staff salaries or undertake major repairs and renovations to meet today’s challenges as a result of this. Added to this, is the problem of poor or inadequate marketing efforts. There is poor drive to create awareness of general services offered by the hotel industry in Nigeria. It is hoped that at the end of this study, solutions to these problems would have been proferred so as to introduce effective marketing to Hotel and Catering services in Nigeria.
1.2STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
The study seeks to provide answers to the relationship if any, between conscious marketing efforts and business prosperity in terms of enhanced profits. In other words can effective marketing in hotels and catering services industry be relied upon for improved business fortunes? It is hoped that at the end of the study adequate answers/solutions could had been provided.
Generally, the study is designed to find ways of effectively marketing Hotels and Catering Services to customers in Nigeria. Specifically the study will attempt to:
(a)Highlight effective marketing strategies to create awareness on services provided by firms in the hotel and catering industry.
(b)Find the reasons for the general apathy to hotel and catering services by the customers,
(c)Find the causes of the low level of marketing efforts offered by the hotel and catering industry,
(d)Identify the causes of low sales and low profits in the hotels and catering services.
(e)Identify some of the management problems faced by the industry.
(f)Identify the major customers complain in service area
(g)Find solutions to customers complaints,
(h)Suggest ways which hotels and catering services can maximize profits
(i)Suggest ways to effective communication in the business.
1.4SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Few research works are known to have been carried out to this area.
It is necessary to study the ways of operating hotels and catering services in marketing their services effectively to the customers. It is also significant to assess the service quality of the hotels and catering industry and the measures that can be put in place for the overall aim of enhancing efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction.
It is hoped that at the end of the study, suggestions will be made which will benefit the hotels, customers and the entire nations as a whole.
Findings from this research is expected to enhance better quality services for the satisfactions of customers. The study will also be useful to the Hotels and Catering Industry as a future reference point
1.5SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The project is basically concerned with the effective marketing of Hotel and Catering Services. The area of study is however restricted to the Nigerian Air Force Club, Kaduna as the case study.
1.6LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major limitation of this study is the fact that very few known research work has been carried in this area. As a result of this the number of relevant existing literature to be reviewed is scanty.
Time constraints is another limitation with the limited time given for the submission of this project and meagre financial resources of the researcher, it was not possible to travel far to gather diverse data for this work.
This study intends to use the survey methods of gathering both primary and secondary data, primary data will be collected through questionnaire and personal interviews of the management and staff of NAF club, Kaduna and their customers.
The secondary data will be obtained through documentary research techniques by consulting books, journals and records of the Nigerian Airforce Club, Kaduna. Data collected will be analyzed, conclusions drawn and recommendations made accordingly.
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