3 Examples of SMART Goals in the Hospitality Industry (2023)

By Hotel Tech Report

Last updated March 23, 2022

7 min read

Some goals are so squishy and ill-defined that they are effectively meaningless -- and often raise more questions than answers. SMART Goals are the cure to these unfocused strategies. We’ve all had bosses setup goals that are impossible to reach because they’re so vague: ‘do right by the guest.’ (How? What’s “right?”). Be the best hotel in Miami (How? For which guest segment? Compared to whom?). Drive more revenue. (How? How much?)

Ill-defined goals are also hard to measure, making them perfect shields for laziness, incompetence, and/or a general lack of accountability. Vague and general ideas can be powerful when applied to your company’s mission statement as guiding rules but when it comes to goal setting - they can kill your business.

One strategy to build actionable goals that successfully motivate staff to make measurable progress is with SMART goals. Here's what you need to know about using SMART goals in hospitality, from creating the goals to some SMART goals examples in the hospitality industry that illustrate how effective they can be. Once you experience the impact that planning SMART can have on your hotel’s productivity and success, you’ll wonder how you ever did without!

What are SMART Goals?

The concept of SMART goals was introduced in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant and former corporate planner, in a paper called “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” Doran’s thesis was that achieving success requires goals to be clear and attainable, with enough specificity and measurement to actually track progress.

A SMART goal is:

  • Specific. Goals must be as specific and focused; never vague or derivative. To get precise, follow a Six Sigma principle and answer the “6 Ws:”

    • Who needs to be involved in this goal?

    • What are you trying to accomplish?

    • When does this goal need to be accomplished?

    • Where does this goal apply? Especially useful if this is related to a time-bound event or a particular department/promotion/campaign/season.

    • Which are the essential skills needed to achieve this goal as well as any obstacles to overcome?

    • Why is this goal important?

  • Measurable. You've got to be able to accurately measure performance so you know unequivocally whether or not you’ve completed the goal.

  • Achievable. Goals should be challenging but never out of reach. If a goal isn’t realistically attainable, then it may be discouraging and bad for morale. You should have enough levers/tactics to take action and realistically achieve the goal

    (Video) SMART Goals Quick Overview with 21 SMART Goals Examples

  • Relevant. Goals should never be a distraction from your property’s overarching objectives. If a particular goal is irrelevant to current priorities, it will not only fail to influence outcomes but it will struggle with ownership and adoption team-wide.

  • Time-bound. For the greatest chance of success, goals must be bound by a specific timeframe. Otherwise, goals can limp on forever, without a defined end -- and thus no way to evaluate performance.

SMART goals have a magical way of focusing your efforts by eliminating distractions and unproductive tangents. With a SMART goal, it's much easier to know what's working in service of your business and what's not.

How to Write SMART (Goals)

Now that you know all about SMART goals, let’s talk about execution. Taking the SMART approach to goal planning requires a new way of thinking about how to write goals.

The defining feature of writing SMART is in the preparation: it all starts with questions. The answers will shape your goals, so you want to ask yourself and your team members as many questions as it takes to get to specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely goals. These questions should be approached with a positive attitude; there are no right answers and the point is simply to get closer to actionable goals that unite teams and deliver results.

For each goal, start by writing down your initial goal. Then, methodically go through each part of the S.M.A.R.T acronym to further refine your goal. Finally, review your initial goal and adjust based on the results of each section to come up with your final SMART goal.

  • Specific: What specifically do you want to achieve? Who needs to be included to make this happen? Who is ultimately responsible for achieving the goal? What steps will you take to achieve it?

  • Measurable: How will you know when you have successfully accomplished the goal?

  • Achievable: Given current budget and staffing, can your team realistically achieve this goal? Which tactics will you use to achieve the goal?

  • Relevant: Why now? How does this go help us achieve our broader business objectives?

  • Time-bound: What's the timeframe and is it realistic to accomplish this goal in that time?

A few other guidelines to write SMART:

  1. Align individual, departmental and property goals. If goals are at odds with each other, there will be conflict between competing priorities. Be sure that goals align across the entire operation to keep everyone moving together in the same direction towards the same overarching business objectives.

  2. Stay focused. Distractions are the enemy of SMART. The point is to focus your energy around achievable goals, so if you find focus drifting from your core objectives then your goals are still too broad.

  3. Begin with the end in mind. Popularized by Stephen Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this mindset is a critical part of writing SMART. Before diving into the writing phase, look ahead at your outcomes and work backwards. Clarity around what you want to achieve will focus your attention on only what matters most.

  4. Decision driver. Each goal should provide clarity and focus by helping staff decide whether or not to pursue a project. All they have to do is ask themselves whether or not a potential project, tool, initiative or campaign contributes to a relevant SMART goal. If it does, then it should be considered and if it doesn't then there's no reason to continue consideration.

  5. Set regular check-ins. Don’t just write your goals down and return to them at the end of each quarter. To track progress, set regular check-ins with relevant stakeholders and adjust your approach on the fly as needed. Then you can celebrate wins and keep everything on track.

You also may want to consider creating team and individual goals. That way, individual team members understand the larger goals and their role in achieving them. This increases ownership and engagement by motivating staff towards a common purpose -- and keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

SMART Goals: Examples in the Hotel Industry

Whether you're a hotel management company or on property general manager, setting SMART Goals can completely bring focus to your team and transform your hospitality business. Before we look at a few SMART goals examples in hospitality, let’s define what’s not SMART. Avoid goals that are:

(Video) SMART Goals - Quick Overview

  • Too general: “Surprise and delight guests” doesn’t give staff clarity.

  • Immeasurable: “Streamline operations” doesn’t provide a means of measurement.

  • Not actionable: “Improve the guest experience” doesn’t provide

  • Irrelevant: “Be better stewards in the community” is not necessarily directly relevant to your core business.

  • Not time bound: “Be the best hotel in our market” doesn’t set a timeframe for measuring progress towards the goal.

The pitfalls of murky, ill-defined goals are many: they confuse employees; they can cause tension because team members working against each other; lack of accountability; too broad that people don’t know where to start and become paralyzed, which ultimately leads to doing nothing; dilute your brand proposition in the eyes of employees; makes management look “out of touch” and thus reduces trust. In these ways, poor planning can actually be more detrimental to a hotel’s operations than no planning at all!

SMART GOAL EXAMPLE #1: Increase % of direct bookings by 10% in Q2

Instead of “be less reliant on OTAs,” a SMART goal would specify a measurable outcome that achieves the overarching goal of becoming less reliant on OTAs.

  • Specific: In addition to the specific goal, you want to further refine the goal by defining the specific tactics required to achieve the goal, as well as who will need to be involved to implement those tactics. Answer questions like:

    • What needs to be accomplished?

    • Who is responsible for it?

    • What steps will you take to achieve it?

  • Measurable: There's a clear target of a 10% increase in direct bookings.

  • Achievable: The goal is attainable because there are many ways to influence success:

    • Improve rate parity with OTAs with a rate shopping tool.

    • Adjust availability on OTAs through your channel manager

    • Optimize yourhotel’s booking enginefor conversion (you could also upgrade your broader hotel management software which includes booking engine and channel manager)

    • Renegotiate contracts with OTAs to get better terms.

      (Video) Don't Forget about Setting Goals in the Hotel.

    • Spend more on digital marketing (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Google, Tripadvisor, Kayak) to acquire direct traffic.

    • Use CRM and email marketing to capture business from loyal guests.

    • Implement direct booking tools that allow you to personalize the booking experience for stronger conversions.

  • Relevant: This goal could align with an overall objective to reduce commission costs and improve profitability. It could also be relevant in the broader context of rising commissions from third parties.

  • Time-bound: It's limited to a single quarter so performance can be measured by comparing direct booking percentage at the start of the quarter to the end of the quarter.

SMART GOAL EXAMPLE #2: Grow average non-rooms revenue per guest by $37 by end of Q4

Rather than an ill-defined objective of “increase guests’ on-property spending,” this goal specifies an exact amount of guest spending increase.

  • Specific: In addition to the specific goal, you want to further refine by answering key questions like:

    • What needs to be accomplished?

    • Who is responsible for it?

    • What steps will you take to achieve it?

  • Measurable: There's a target of increasing guest revenue of $37 per guest.

  • Achievable: The goal is attainable, with clear tactics to drive success:

  • Relevant: The goal may align with broader objectives to increase overall revenues, to better leverage on site amenities, and/or to improve profitability per guest.

    (Video) HOSPITALITY Interview Questions & Answers! (How To Prepare For A Hospitality Job Interview!)

  • Time-bound: The goal is set to be achieved by the end of Q4, giving everyone a target time frame to achieve the goal.

SMART GOAL EXAMPLE #3: Increase website conversion rate by 25% in Q2

  • Specific: You want to further refine the goal by defining the specific tactics required to achieve the goal, as well as who will need to be involved to implement those tactics. Be clear about:

    • What needs to be accomplished

    • Who is responsible for the goal

    • What steps will you take to achieve the goal

  • Measurable: Success measured by increase in website conversion rate

  • Achievable: The goal can be achieved by trying different tactics:

    • Build a new website for your hotel

    • Add a chatbot to your website

    • Get a faster and more mobile-friendly hotel booking engine

    • Build conversion-optimized direct booking campaigns with a digital marketing agency

  • Relevant: The goal aligns with broader property objectives to increase direct bookings, provide a better guest experience, and/or upsell more packages and room upgrades on the website.

  • Time-bound: Progress will be measured over a single quarter.

Here are a few more examples of SMART goals for hotels to get your creative juices flowing:

As you fine-tune your goals, maintain a positive attitude, motivate staff with specific goals oriented toward 1-2 property-wide objectives, and share progress so everyone can have visibility into performance and ownership of results. With SMART goals, your team can move more quickly and be much more successful at achieving desired outcomes.

Don't know where to get started with SMART Goals? Perhaps you should partner with a hospitality consultant who can bring an outside perspective to your business.


What are 3 smart goals examples? ›

SMART Goal Components:
  • Specific: I want to read at least one book per month instead of watching TV.
  • Measurable: I've joined a book club where we set weekly reading goals.
  • Achievable: I enjoy reading and learning but have just gotten away from it lately.
  • Relevant: By reading, I'll learn more about my industry.
Oct 14, 2022

What are the three goals of hospitality management? ›

B.S. in Hospitality Management Program Goals
  • Goal #1 Have Analytical, Critical, and Strategic Thinking Skills. ...
  • Goal #2 Have Substantive Content Knowledge. ...
  • Goal #3 Have Leadership, Communication, Interpersonal, and Social Skills. ...
  • Goal #4 Be an entrepreneur or an intraprenuer within the hospitality industry.

What are the 5 smart goals your answer? ›

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives is a good way to plan the steps to meet the long-term goals in your grant. It helps you take your grant from ideas to action.

What is SMART in hospitality industry? ›

Essentially, a smart hotel is a hotel which makes use of internet-connected devices, which are capable of communicating or interacting with one another. This is sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) and means that even ordinary devices or appliances can send or receive data, making them 'smart'.

What is the best example of SMART goal? ›

Good example of a SMART goal:

I will perform a half hour of cardio and half hour of strength training per day, 5 times a week and I will only eat starchy carbohydrates 3 times a week.” 5. Bad example of a SMART goal: “I want to write a book”.

What's a SMART goal example? ›

An example of a SMART-goal statement might look like this: Our goal is to [quantifiable objective] by [timeframe or deadline]. [Key players or teams] will accomplish this goal by [what steps you'll take to achieve the goal]. Accomplishing this goal will [result or benefit].

What are the 3 types of goals examples? ›

There are three types of goals- process, performance, and outcome goals.
  • Process goals are specific actions or 'processes' of performing. For example, aiming to study for 2 hours after dinner every day . ...
  • Performance goals are based on personal standard. ...
  • Outcome goals are based on winning.

What are your goals in hospitality industry? ›

The goal of the hospitality industry is to provide customers with an enjoyable experience. Whether that enjoyment comes from eating a good meal, relaxing in a luxurious spa, or getting a good night's rest away from home, making sure each individual guest is taken care of is paramount.

What are some goals in hospitality? ›

Examples of measurable front office goals:

Increase the hotel's average occupancy level by two percent above the previous year's level. Increase the volume of repeat guest business by 10 percent. Collect GSTS card from 95 percent of all guest while checkout. Reduce Check-in and check-out times by two minutes.

What are 3 short term SMART goals? ›

A short-term goal is any goal you can achieve in 12 months or less. Some examples of short-term goals: reading two books every month, quitting smoking, exercising two times a week, developing a morning routine, etc.

What are SMART goals answer? ›

A SMART goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

What is an example of a SMART goal in business? ›


I will acquire three new clients for my consulting business within two months by asking for referrals, launching a social media marketing campaign, and networking with local businesses. This will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.

What is smart hospitality examples? ›

Smart Hospitality Services

For example, in-room dining can now be ordered through interactive displays or voice-activated assistants. Hotel staff can also use IoT technologies to monitor guest activity and health, and provide personalized services such as room cleaning and laundry service.

What is smart key in hotel? ›

Mobile Keys (sometimes also referred to as mobile keyless entry or digital key) are a technology that allows hotel guests to use their mobile devices as room keys. This technology enables contactless check-in at hotels, where guests can bypass the front desk and go directly to their rooms using their mobile devices.

How does smart hotels can help the growth of hospitality industry? ›

In a smart hotel, IoT-connected devices are leveraged in order to create a better guest experience and a streamlined hotel management system for staff and administrators. The hospitality industry presents many opportunities to use automation solutions to enhance smart hotel rooms.

What are SMART goals for your employees? ›

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Ambitious (yet attainable!), Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals allow your employees to develop a deep and precise understanding of the goal, its purpose, the way success will be measured, and the goal's connection to broader company priorities.

What are 3 good goals for work? ›

25 examples of professional goals
  • Boost your time management skills. ...
  • Find new challenges in your role. ...
  • Learn a new skill. ...
  • Improve your work-life balance. ...
  • Foster team collaboration. ...
  • Expand your professional network. ...
  • Take on leadership responsibilities. ...
  • Consume content from thought leaders in your industry.
Oct 8, 2022

How do you set SMART goals at work examples? ›

How do you write SMART goals?
  1. Specific. The first step to setting SMART goals is to get crystal clear about what you're trying to achieve. ...
  2. Measurable. Outlining specific goals makes it easier to measure them. ...
  3. Attainable. ...
  4. Relevant. ...
  5. Time-bound.
Mar 1, 2022

What are your goals examples? ›

Career Goals Examples (Short-term & Long-term)
  • Gain a New Skill. ...
  • Boost Your Networking Abilities. ...
  • Intern with a Large Company to Gain Experience. ...
  • Start Your Own Business. ...
  • Improve Your Sales or Productivity Numbers. ...
  • Earn a Degree or Certification. ...
  • Make a Career Switch. ...
  • Become an Expert in Your Field.
Sep 8, 2022

What are your 3 steps to achieve your goals? ›

3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals – and Making Your Vision a...
  • Step 1: Dream. If you can't picture it, you can't reach it. ...
  • Step 2: Plan. Now that you have your clear vision, it's time to determine what outcomes or goals you need. ...
  • Step 3: Act.
Oct 13, 2012

What is a goal list 3 steps to goal setting? ›

There are three components to making your goals work and leveraging your RAS: Write down with clarity what you really want. Visualize it. Employ congruent self-talk for achieving those goals.

What are smart goals for restaurants? ›

S.M.A.R.T Goals. Perhaps the best way to achieve your restaurant goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T method — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Following this process helps you create goals that your restaurant can actually achieve to help it truly succeed.

What 3 skills do you need to succeed in hospitality? ›

5 Essential Soft Skills for Careers in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Stress and time management. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Strategy and innovation.

What are some smart goals for receptionist? ›

Career Goals for Receptionists
  • Project Professional Image. Set career goals that exceed the minimum duties of your job. ...
  • Enhance Technical Skills. Receptionists must be comfortable and proficient with technology. ...
  • Strengthen Communication. ...
  • Increase Efficiency. ...
  • Improve Customer Service.

What are the 6 smart goals? ›

To recap, the acronym S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. If you've reached so far, I want to congratulate you for investing the time learning something new!

What is a good example of hospitality? ›

Some examples of individual hospitality include inviting someone in your home for a drink or a meal, making sure your visitors are comfortable, giving gifts, expressing regard, and offering help or guidance. And when hospitality is monetized, it's called the hospitality industry.

What are 3 benefits of the hospitality industry? ›

Some of the main advantages of working in the hospitality sector are:
  • It can help you improve your communication skills. ...
  • It can make traveling easier and more affordable. ...
  • It can enable you to advance quicker in your career. ...
  • It can open up many networking opportunities. ...
  • It can help you become more proactive.
Oct 18, 2021

What are the 3 trends in hospitality industry? ›

Below you find 10 hospitality trends based on the way customers behave, new ways of providing hospitality services, or general moves towards adopting new hospitality technology.
  • Chatbots. ...
  • Virtual Reality Tours. ...
  • Mobile Check-In Service. ...
  • Local Experience.
Dec 12, 2022

What is the meaning of the hospitality industry name 3 examples? ›

The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, food and drink service, event planning, theme parks, travel and tourism. It includes hotels, tourism agencies, restaurants and bars.

What are the 5 different types of plans in the hospitality industry? ›

Five Different Sectors of the Hospitality Industry. While the hospitality industry covers several different services, it can generally be defined through five different sectors. These sectors include food and beverages, lodging, recreation, travel and tourism, and meetings and events.

How can I make my hotel Smart? ›

How to Transform Your Hotel Into a Smart Hotel
  1. Embrace Automated Room Controls. ...
  2. Make Use of Voice Recognition. ...
  3. Connect Smart Hubs to Booking Processes. ...
  4. Facilitate Greater Personalisation. ...
  5. Remotely Monitor Device Performance.
May 14, 2022

Why is smart hotel important? ›

A Smart Hotel provides information on occupancy, room service request, comfort temperature, etc. to ensure a pleasant stay. It is possible to control and monitor in real time the consumption of utilities such as electricity, water and other supplies.

What are the benefits of smart hotel? ›

5 Benefits of Smart Hotel Rooms
  • Greater Personalisation. One of the main benefits of a smart hotel room is the ability to offer guests a greater level of personalisation. ...
  • Improved Sustainability. ...
  • Enhanced Customer Experience. ...
  • Remote Room Controls. ...
  • Faster and More Reliable Repairs.
May 14, 2022

What are three ways to improve the hospitality industry? ›

3 ways to improve efficiency in your hospitality business
  • Communication. If you're offering any kind of table service, it's crucial to maintain efficient communication from customer to server to kitchen/ bar and back again. ...
  • Payments. ...
  • The Know-how.

How can hospitality industry grow faster? ›

5 Career Tips to Get Ahead in Hospitality Management
  1. Find your niche specialization and master it. ...
  2. A simple change of scenery could transform your life. ...
  3. Teach yourself social media skills. ...
  4. Your college bartending experience won't get you a job. ...
  5. Consider enrolling in further study.

Why is improvement important in hospitality industry? ›

Any business must continuously improve their product's or process quality – and the hospitality industry is no different. The only difference is it requires improvements in service quality. It would be best if they emphasize better quality services, they are likely to build a loyal customer base.

What are 3 good personal goals? ›

27 More Examples of Personal Goals
  • Find a career that you love.
  • Find a life partner.
  • Become an expert or leader in your field.
  • Go for a walk every day.
  • Become a better listener.
  • Buy your first home.
  • Save X number of dollars for retirement.
  • Give back to your community in ways that matter to you.


1. Setting Goals – For Hotels, Resorts, Inns & Bed & Breakfasts | Ep. #197
(Keystone Hospitality Property Development)
2. Hotel Managers Setting Objectives
(Stephen Sawyers)
3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years? - Ideal Sample Answer
(Linda Raynier)
4. CytexOne Hospitality - Welcome to a Smart Hotel - Example #2
5. Tips for Hotel Managers Setting and Achieving Goals
(Stephen Sawyers)
6. Why Airbnb Fails to Disrupt the Hotel Industry
(Modern MBA)
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