Hospitality Management (PBL)

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Current Industry Trends; Customer Expectations; Environmental and Global Issues; Financial Management and Budgeting; Human Resources; Legal Issues; Marketing Concepts; Operations and Management Functions

Case: An interactive role play situation that may include financial management, operations, human resources, customer expectations, legal, environmental issues, etc.

Skills: Hospitality is an important aspect of business and society. This area includes involvement in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry.


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)

Performance Guidelines—Final Round

  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance/Demonstration

Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five preliminary sections for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance/demonstration.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted after the name change deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines

  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • Computer Animation
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Global Analysis & Decision Making
    • Network Design
    • Social Media Challenge
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.
  • All competitors in accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events may bring and use financial calculators.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary and final performances/demonstrations are not open to conference attendees.
  • Recording performances/demonstrations is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges; however, the badge may be removed when presenting.
  • All attendees are requested to remain quiet while in competitive event areas.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials
    Video #1

Rating Sheet

Format Guide

Website Resources
Current Industry Trends
1. Discuss how technology has changed and continues to change the hospitality industry.
2. Describe the impact of technology on the reservation business/process.
3. Describe the latest trends and technologies affecting business travelers.
4. Describe how advances in technology allow the hospitality industry to keep up-to-date customer records.
5. Describe the latest trends regarding the leisure traveler.
6. Discuss industry trends as they relate to career opportunities and the overall future of the industry.
7. Identify current events that will have an impact on the hospitality/tourism industry.
8. Summarize the challenges of the airlines in regards to unions, security, flight delays, and the addition of low cost airlines.
9. Report on the impact that major sports events have on the local economy.
10. Discuss the trends in hotel security operations.
Customer Expectations
1. Describe in-room hotel amenities and explain why they are important to guests.
2. Describe property wide hotel amenities and explain why they are important to guests.
3. Apply strategies for determining and adjusting prices to maximize on return and meet customer’s perceptions of value.
4. Develop and deliver effective customer relation skills in order to provide good customer service.
5. Explain typical rating systems used in the lodging business.
6. Conduct research to determine customer needs and wants in the hospitality industry.
7. Analyze the characteristics, motivations, and behaviors of hospitality consumers.
8. Summarize techniques to build customer relationships.
9. Establish effective selling philosophies in order to develop customer loyalty and profitability.
10. Describe incentives and rewards for long-term repeat individuals/groups in the hospitality industry.
11. Describe the value of customer feedback in the hospitality industry as it relates to improvement to product and service.
12. Describe the concept of total quality and its relationship to customer service.
13. Define the roles of appearance and impressions in customer relations.
14. Demonstrate proper telephone and e-mail etiquette for customer service.
15. Summarize techniques and strategies for handling difficult customers
16. Compare how the business traveler is different from the leisure traveler emphasizing expense accounts, length of stay in a hotel, and the amount of travel time..
17. Discuss the selection process and the role the business traveler plays with hotels, conventions, and the local economy.
18. Analyze the importance of long-term hospitality relationships with other major industries and individuals.
Environmental and Global Issues
1. Identify factors that encourage influence global tourism.
2. Explain special considerations for international travelers.
3. Describe the importance of global travel.
4. Apply ethical conduct in dealing with international business transactions.
5. Define ecotourism.
6. Identify the reasons for ecotourism including the impact of the environment, the financial benefits, and the cultural awareness.
7. Describe environmentally sound practices regarding guests in the hospitality industry.
8. Describe environmentally sound practices for hospitality industry properties.
9. Exhibit ethical and legal social behaviors when using information and technology in the hospitality industry and discuss the consequences of misuse.
Financial Management and Budgeting
1. Describe the type of liability insurance needed in the hospitality industry.
2. Identify reasons for liability insurance and disclaimers in the hospitality industry.
3. Describe the impact of the economy on the travel industry.
4. Explain the ripple direct and indirect effect of tourism dollars.
5. Explain the economic role played by the hospitality industry in satisfying customer needs and wants in a free enterprise system.
6. Explain the importance of monitoring economic trends in the hospitality industry as it relates to sales strategies for different economic cycles.
7. Select an accounting system using good accounting practices.
8. Collect and interpret financial data to prepare financial statements such as balance sheet, income statement, cash flow projections, and summary of sales and receipts.
9. Explain how the Balance Sheet and P&L Statement are used to manage operations..
10. Analyze Profit and Loss statements, statements of cash flow, and balance sheets.
11. Define fixed costs
12. State examples of how numbers are compared (e.g., budget to actual, this year to last year, and year-to-date to last yearto-date) to explain performance.
13. . Describe cash control policies.
14. Explain the importance of liquidity and profitability.
15. Explain the use of revenue management and forecasting reports.
16. Discuss the use of budgets in business operations.
17. Explain the steps in preparing an operating budget.
18. Explain the relationship between occupancy rate and budget for a hospitality venue.
19. Explain rack rates, business rates, and leisure rates in the hospitality industry.
20. Describe strategies and procedures for determining room rates and prices in the hotel industry.
Human Resources
1. Define human resources.
2. Explain the importance of human resources in protecting the hotel through monitoring hiring, training, and disciplinary processes.
3. Explain how job analysis, performance standards, and job descriptions impact selection, training, and management of employees.
4. Develop an employee recruitment plan designed to identify and hire qualified employees.
5. Discuss ways for screening applicants and selecting the most qualified for employment.
6. Plan, develop, and implement employee orientation and training programs
7. Evaluate the effects of employee absenteeism, errors, or other negative employee behaviors on business productivity.
8. Describe the salary and fringe benefit package that will attract the best employees to the hospitality industry.
9. Develop a plan for evaluation of employee performance and productivity.
10. Develop separation, termination, and transition procedures for processing employee personnel actions.
11. Plan and manage work schedules and personnel to maximize operations.
12. Explain the purpose and benefits of performance reviews.
13. Discuss reasons for employee discipline.
14. Describe the differences between positive and negative discipline.
15. Define the term diversity and explain ways to increase positive cross-cultural interaction.
16. Discuss ways to deal with and prevent sexual harassment.
17. Discuss ways to deal with substance abuse.
18. Describe safe working conditions in the hospitality industry to include OSHA Guidelines.
19. Identify basic principles of organized labor and describe its influence on the hospitality industry.
20. Define equal opportunity on the job and explain the impact of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action on the hospitality industry.
21. Define and discuss wrongful termination and its consequences.
22. Define the at-will employment relationship.
23. Discuss the employee manual and its role in defining the responsibilities and rights of employer and employee.
24. Identify personal characteristics of effective employees within the hospitality industry.
Legal Issues
1. Discuss legal responsibilities in admitting guests and denying admission or service to guests.
2. Define duty of care owed by hospitality operators to guests, including providing a safe premise, serving food and beverages safely and responsibly, hiring and training employees, terminating employees when they pose a danger, warning of unsafe conditions, and safeguarding guest property.
3. Analyze the importance of guest security and anonymity in the hospitality industry.
4. Discuss standards of care for the hospitality industry that focus on preventing lawsuits, preventing accidents, and preventing problems.
5. Discuss the concept of reasonable care as it applies to the hospitality industry.
6. Define the components of an enforceable contract (e.g., legality, offer, consideration, and acceptance).
7. Discuss remedies and consequences of breaching a contract by either the customer or the hospitality enterprise.
8. Describe the role of the following federal agencies in the operation of hospitality enterprises: IRS, OSHA, EPA, FDA, EEOC, ATF, DOL, and DOJ.
9. Describe the role of the following state agencies in the operation of hospitality enterprises: Employment Security Agency, Alcohol Beverage Commission, Treasury Department, Attorney General, Public Health Department, and Department of Transportation.
10. Describe the role of the following local agencies in the operation of hospitality enterprises: Health and Sanitation, Building and Zoning, Courts and Garnishment, Historical Preservation, Fire Department, Law Enforcement, and Tax Collector.
11. Analyze the impact of Federal, State, and Local government regulations on the hospitality industry.
12. Describe accommodations that meet ADA standards.
13. Review the laws that impact employee selection and retention (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Immigration Reform and Control Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act).
14. Discuss the importance of employee selection, training, and ongoing management, and education in preventing lawsuits.
15. Apply legal interpretations to employee situations, retention of records, safety and security issues, and financial data.
16. List guidelines that help analyze and evaluate ethical behavior.
17. Discuss the legal issues related to managerial decisions.
18. Discuss employee compensation and the implications of violating minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
19. Discuss the unemployment claims process and the effect of poor policies and procedures on unemployment tax rates.
Marketing Concepts
1. Describe the basic concepts of marketing as they relate to the hospitality industry.
2. Define the seven key marketing functions (Selling, Marketing Information Management, Financing, Pricing, Promotion, Product/Service Management, and Distribution).
3. Explain public relations and publicity and its advantages and disadvantages as they relate to the hospitality industry.
4. Describe market segmentation and meeting the needs of various target markets in the hospitality industry.
5. Determine, maintain, and improve the marketing mix (e.g., product, price, place, and promotion).
6. Describe marketing strategies for the hospitality industry.
7. Explain the difference between marketing and sales.
8. Describe the impact of Internet sales on the hospitality industry.
9. List sales strategies for event marketing, group sales, and leisure/business customers.
10. Apply the steps of the sales process in the hospitality industry.
11. Explain how sales efforts are tied to personal service.
12. Describe effective strategies for servicing hospitality meetings and hotel individual guests.
13. Describe sales strategies for economic downturns.
14. Identify various marketing terms such as positioning, branding, market share, etc
15. Explain the product life cycle of a hospitality-related product.
16. Discuss the role of ethics in hospitality marketing.
17. Interpret specific challenges marketers face when crafting worldwide marketing programs.
18. Explain how convention and visitors bureaus and state tourism agencies can assist hospitality related companies.
19. Describe the importance of a company’s image and identify the many tools that companies use to improve their image including logos, menus, brochures, letterhead, etc.
20. Identify the many types of advertising media that is utilized by companies such as radio, television, billboards, word of mouth, and direct mail.
21. Discover the advantages and disadvantages in utilizing the various forms of advertising.
22. Describe the importance of Web sites in marketing and advertising through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
23. Identify the ways promotions can assist in increasing sales.
24. Discover the importance of merchandizing and give examples of merchandising tools used in the hospitality industry.
25. Define packaging and how it is utilized in the hospitality industry.
Operations and Management Functions
1. Interpret data from financial statements to develop short- and long-term budgetary plans, to determine point of profitability and viability and to analyze cash flow forecast ( e.g., RevPar).
2. Describe basic purchasing procedures commonly used in the hospitality industry.
3. Discuss strategies for increasing occupancy rates.
4. Define occupancy rate and yield management in the hospitality industry.
5. Explain the four basic functions of hospitality management (planning, organizing, implementing, and controlling).
6. Describe the importance of planning and forecasting for the hospitality industry.
7. Analyze the importance of having good hospitality personnel to support meetings, events, and lodging for the customer.
8. Explain the importance of strategic planning and synergy for successful management of hospitality events.
9. Describe the leadership characteristics and human relations skills that help managers influence employees to perform at a higher level.
10. Explain the relationship of business ethics to product/service management.
11. Describe the role of ethics and social responsibility on decision making in the hospitality industry.
12. Describe the operational and management structure for various types of hospitality/tourism facilities.
13. Describe various leadership styles (e.g., autocratic, bureaucratic, democratic, laissez-faire, situational transactional, and transformational).
14. Explain the importance of planning in supervision.
15. Discuss ways supervisors/managers can organize their work to become more effective.
16. Describe techniques for overcoming resistance to change.
17. Discuss current theories and practices of motivating employees.
18. Discuss ways to build a positive work environment.
19. Discuss the need for training in the hospitality industry.
20. Identify steps to prevent and resolve conflict.
21. Discuss how perception, cultural diversity, age, and background impact communication.
22. Discuss the chain of command and accountability
23. List benefits of delegation to a supervisor/manager’s success.
24. Develop an organizational chart with staffing/human resource plans including job descriptions and recruitment techniques.
25. Identify ways to improve employee morale and customer satisfaction.
26. Gather and evaluate marketing information to make hospitality business decisions.


PBL Program of Study
Hospitality Management


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A