HM Class Notes 3

Class Note – 15

FRONT OFFICE ORGANISATION

A) Functional Areas

1) Reservation: While planning business or pleasure trips, people like to ensure that they
will have a safe and comfortable accommodation at their respective destination. This can be
achieved by booking a room of their choice in advance. The reservation section of the front
office department of a hotel is responsible for receiving and processing reservation queries.
Depending upon the level of automation, volume of business, and house custom, the
procedure of processing reservation queries may differ from hotel to hotel in terms of
reservation handling maintenance of reservation record, confirmation, amendments and
cancellation of reservation. The section is headed by a reservation manager, who is assisted
by a reservation supervisor and a team of reservation clerks or assistants.
Function of the Reservation Section:
 Receiving Reservation Request through various means like telephone, fax, e-mail,
website, sales representative or central reservation department.
 Processing reservation request received from all means of the hotel property
management system.
 Depending upon the availability of desired room type and projected sales during and
around the requested stay dates, the reservation request may be confirmed,
waitlisted or denied.

 Updating the room availability status after each reservation transaction, i.e, after
each confirmation, amendment and cancelation.
 Maintaining and updating reservation records to reflect accurate information about
room status.
 Preparing reservation reports for the management.
2) Reception: The section of front office receives and welcomes guests on their arrival in
the hotel. It is headed by a supervisor and comprises a team of receptionists and front desk
assistant. The personnel of this section procure all the necessary information about the
guest to complete the registration process. After finishing the registration formalities, a room
is assigned to the guest, and a bell boy carries the luggage and escorts the guest to her
room. The entire process is carried out professionally in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Function of Reception.
 Receiving and welcoming guest.
 Complete the registration formalities.
 Assigning the room.
 Sending arrival notification slips to the concerned departments.
3) Information Desk: The information desk provides information to the guest. It is manned
by an information assistant. In small hotel, the same function may be performed by the
receptionist. The need of a separate information desk is felt in large hotels where the traffic if
guest is higher. The information desk may be located next to the reception.
Function of Information Desk
 Maintaining resident guest rack.
 Handling guest room keys.
 Coordinate guest mails, telegrams, faxes, couriers, parcels, etc.
 Providing information to guest regarding hotel facilities and services, city information,
etc.
 Handling guest messages.
 Paging guests.
4) Cash & Bills: The cash and bills section record all the monetary transaction of guest.It
maintains guest folio and prepares the guest bills to be selected by the guest at the time of
departures. The section is headed by a cashier.
Function of Cash and Bills Section:
 Opening and maintaining of guest folio.
 Posting room charge in guest folio.

 Recording all credit charges in guest folio.
 Maintaining a record of the cash received from guest.
 Preparing bills at the time of checkout.
 Receiving cash/traveller cheques/ credit cards for account settlement.
 Organizing foreign currency exchange for the settlement of a guest account.
5) Travel Desk: The travel desk takes care of travel arrangements of guest, like air-ticketing,
railway reservation, sightseeing tours, airport or railway station pick up or drop etc. The hotel
may operate the travel desk or it may be outsourced to an external travel agency.
Function of Travel Desk:
 Arranging pick-up and drop services for guest at the time of their arrival and
departure.
 Providing vehicles on request to guest to guest at pre-determined rates.
 Making travel arrangements like railway reservation/ cancellation/ amendments, or
purchasing air-tickets for guest.
 Organising half-day or full day sightseeing tours in and around the city.
 Arranging for guides who can communicate in the guest’s language.
6) Communication Section: The communication section maintains the communication
network of the hotel, which is generally quite complex. The hotel may have its own private
branch exchange, along with post and telegraph lines. Earlier all outgoing calls were routed
through telephone operator. This was done to ensure proper accounting of outgoing calls.
Switchboard operators were required to place wake-up calls, monitor automated systems,
and coordinates emergency communication. Recent technological advancement in
telecommunication has revolutionized the way hotels operation is run. Now guest are able to
make outgoing calls without routing them through the operator. There is a computerise call
accounting system that charges the outgoing calls to the guest’s account. Wake up calls
may also be registered on the system, which dials the guest’s extension at the pre-registered
time and plays a pre-recorded message when answered. So hotels can now manage with
lesser number telephone operators per shift. The telephone operator, who answers incoming
calls, protect the guest’s privacy and contribute to the hotel’s security programme by not
revealing guest room number to any unauthorized persons. Many hotels also provide guest
paging services over the public address system. This system generally operates through the
communication section.
Function of Communication Desk:
 Answering incoming calls
 Directing calls to guest rooms through the switchboards/PABX system
 Providing information to guest services processing guest wakeup call s
 Answering inquiries about the hotel facilities and events
 Protecting guests’ privacy

 Coordinating emergency communication.
7) Uniformed Service: The uniformed services in the hotel include the bell desk team and
the concierge.
Bell Desk: The bell desk is located very close to the main entrance of the hotel. This section
is headed by a bell captain, who leads a team of bell boy (also called bell hopes) and page
boys. They handle the guest luggage from the guest vehicle to the lobby and to guest room
at the time of arrival and from their rooms to the guest vehicle at the time of arrival and from
their rooms to the guest vehicle at the time of departure. They escorts guest to their rooms
and familiarize them with hotel facilities, safety features, as well as in room facilities.
The bell desk person is the last front desk employee who comes in contact with guest at the
time of their departure.
Function of Bell desk
 Handling guest luggage at the time of arrival and departure
 Escorting guest to their rooms on arrival.
 Familiarizing guest about safety features and in-room facilities.
 Providing information to guest about hotel facilities and services when asked.
 Locating a guest in a specified area of the hotel.
 Posting guest mails.
 Making sundry purchases like postage stamps, medicines, etc for the guest.
 Keeping guest luggage in the left luggage room if requested by the guest.
 Checking if in-room amenities are in their original condition at the time of departure of
guest.
Concierge: A concierge is a hotel employee who provides information and personalized
services to guest like dinner reservation, tour and travel arrangements and obtaining tickets
for special events in the city, etc. A concierge is often expected to achieve the impossible;
dealing with any request a guest may have, relying on an extensive list of personal contacts
with various local merchants and services providers.
Functions of Concierge.
 Making reservation for dining in famous restaurant.
 Obtaining tickets for theatres, musicals, sporting events, etc.
 Arranging for transportation by limousine, car, coaches, buses, airplanes, or trains.
 Providing information on cultural and social events like photo exhibition, art shows,
and local places of tourist interest.
8) Functions of Business centre

 A small reference library is there.
 A room with computer and internet facilities.
 Photo copying facility.
 Typing and printing facility.
 FAX is done.
B) FRONT OFFICE HIERARCHY new.docx (Ctrl+ Mouse click)
C) Duties and Responsibilities
1) General Manager
 He (or she) oversees the efficient and profitable running of the hotel or lodging
property.
 Hiring and management of the hotel management team
 Management of the: Hotel staff; Finance and budgets; Marketing and sales
 Renovations, maintenance and projects
 Issues or emergencies relating to guests, hotel staff or the hotel property
 Public relations and dealing with the media as well as a myriad of other duties.
 Providing leadership to the management team.
2) Front Office Manager *
 Reviewing the final draft of the night audit.
 A daily review of the financial accounting procedures at the front desk and other
guest service areas.
 operating and monitoring the reservation system.
 Developing and operating an effective communication system with front office staff
and other department directors; supervising daily registrations and checkouts.
 Overseeing and developing employees.
 Establishing in-house sales programs at the front desk.
 Preparing budgets and cost-control systems.
 Forecasting room sales; and maintaining business relationships with regular
corporate and community leaders.
 The front office manager works with an assistant front office manager, a night
auditor, a reservations manager, and a bell captain to tend to the details of running
an efficient department.
 The front offices a pivotal point in communication among in-house sales, delivery of
service to the guest, and financial operations.
 It requires an individual who can manage the many details of guest needs, employee
supervision, interdepartmental communication, and transmittal of financial
information.
 The front office manager must train personnel in the technical aspects of the
Property Management system (PMS), a hotel computer system that networks the
software and hardware used in reservation and registration databases, point-of-sale
systems,
3) Assistant Front Office Manager:

 Assist front office manager in supervising and co-ordinating the day to day
operation of the front office staff and resolves internal problems.
 Coordinate with sales department for present and future convention and
group bookings.
 Corresponds with future guest and blocks suites and special request for large
convention.
 Deals with problem arising from guest complains and reservation and room
assignment activities.
 Interview and hires applicants.
 Assume responsibilities of front office manager upon his absence.
4) Lobby Manager:
 Schedules the duty roster and determines justification for complain, and
ensures that the front office has good relation with all departments.
 Co-ordinate with various departments for effective guest handling.
 Handle the guest complains and ensures that the front office has good
relation with all departments.
 Co-ordinates with front office to facilitate rooming and departure of guest and
front office cash (to allow credit)
 Co-ordinates between the travel counter, airline regarding arrival & departure
of flight.
 Takes constant rounds at night of all operating areas to ensure smooth
functioning.
5) Reservation Manager:
 Supervise and answer inquiries of reservation agents
 Arrange schedules of reservation agents
 Maintain close liaison with secretaries of major companies that do business
with the hotel
 Is responsible for accurate and effective handling of reservation tally sheet.
 Advice and informs front office manager of significant increases or decrease
of reservation tally which could affect hotel’s open or close status.
 Keep a record of all reservation and makes a monthly room nights reports, in
addition prepares half year report of all their respective production.
6) Reservation Assistant:
 Courteously and promptly handle all reservation on phones, by mail, telex
cable and computers.
 Update the reservation register/records in order to have updated inventory of
room’s availability.
 Carry out amendments and cancellation intelligently and accurately.
 Keep availability status chart updated.
 Display reservation position on FLASH BOARD.

 Check on reservation stationery and keep a satisfactory bar stock of the
same.
7) Front Office Assistant: **  Register guest and assign rooms. Accommodates special request whenever possible.  Assist in preregistration and blocking of rooms for reservation.  Understand the room status and room status tracking.  Knows room location, types of rooms available, and room rates.  Uses suggestive selling ,techniques to sell rooms and to promote other services of the hotel  Coordinates room status updates with the housekeeping departments by notifying housekeeping of all check outs ,late checkouts early check-ins ,special request and day use rooms.  Posses a working knowledge of the reservation department. Take some day reservation and future reservation when necessary, knows cancellation procedures.  Process guest checkouts  Post and files all charges to guest master and city ledgers accounts  Follows procedures for issuing and closing safe deposits boxes used by guest.  Use proper telephone etiquette.  Uses proper mail, packages and message handling procedure.  Reads and initials the pass-on log and bulletin board daily to be aware of daily activities and meeting taking places in the hotels.

8) Night Auditor:**
 Post room charges and takes to guest accounts.
 Process guest charges vouchers and credit card vouchers.
 Transfer charges and deposits to master accounts.
 Verifies all accounts posting and balances.
 Monitor the current status of coupons, discounts and other promotional
program.
and other front office statistics.
 Tracks room revenue, occupancy percentage, and other front office statistics.
9) Concierge: *
 Develops a strong knowledge of the hotels facilities and services and of the
surrounding community.
 Provides guest with direction to attraction or facilities in or outside the
attraction or facilities in or outside the property
 Makes guest reservation for air other forms of transportation when requested.
 Provides guest with information about attraction facilities, services and
activities in or outside the property.

 Makes guest reservation for the theatre and other forms of entertainments
when requested.
 Organise special function as directed by management.
 Arrange secretarial and other office services
 Handles guest complains and solve problem to the degree possible.
10) Business Centre Associate:
 Operation of all office equipment for guest.
 Providing secretarial services such as typing, photocopying
 Maintenance and upkeep of all office equipment.
 Set up of meeting rooms for meeting
 Co-ordinating with banquets for providing snacks, tea and coffee.
 Maintaining the regular record of the usage of fax, email,/internet facilities.
11) Senior Bell Captain:
 The senior bell captain is a supervisory job and is responsible to lobby
manager.
 Allocate the duties of his staff and quite often relives the bell captain.
 He ensures the bell captains and other staff members are working properly.
 Gets instruction from the management and gets them implemented in his
department
 He also works as a link man between the management and the bell desk
staff.
 Listen to the problems of his staff and try to solve them.
12) Bell Captain:*
 He takes briefing of his staff and passes on special instructions to them.
 Checks their uniform and personal hygiene.
 He controls the movements of his staff and nobody is allowed to go away from
the place of his assignment without the permission of the bell captain.
 Assign errands to bell boys.
 All fresh arrivals with scanty baggage are informed to him by bell boys. He,
after making the entry in his log book and arrival register, informs the lobby
manager and the reception about scanty baggage.
 Postage stock is checked and maintained at the bell desk and is sold to the
guest on behalf of the hotel on no profits no loss basis.
 Maintains the stock of paging boards and use them as and when guest are
paged.
 Observe for any doubtful mover in the hotel and informs about the same to
lobby manager.
 Luggage left room is controlled by him and a proper luggage register is
maintained

13) Bell Boy/Page Boy/ Luggage Boy*
 Report to bell captain

 Handle the guest arrival
 Take the baggage from the car in the porch/gate to the room at the time of
arrival.
 Escorts the guest to the room on arrival.
 Place the baggage in the room, on the luggage rack.
 Explain the operation and control of lights, switches, air conditioning etc. to
the guest and switch them on.
 Handle departure of the guest (through the use of departure errand
 Under instruction from bell captain bring the baggage down from the room on
departure.
 Check the room to ensure that the guest has left no article in the room by
mistake.
 Ensure collection of keys from guest at the time of check out and obtain
clearance from information section.
 Check for mail, message for departure guest and if available, collect and give
mail or message to departing guest.
 Handle Babbage of the guest when they are shifting to another room.
 Distribute newspaper to guest room and selected offices.
 Keep lobby area clean and clear to ensure smooth traffic flow.
14) Airport Representative:
 Facilitation f guest at the airport.
 Assisting in the check in, coordinating with airlines staff in case of lost
/mishandled baggage.
 Confirmation of flight timings, recheck in of guest.
 Act as sale representative for the hotel at the airport
 Update airline schedules.
15) Guest Relation Executive: *
 Blocking rooms and suites: After checking the reservation and reference of
room ones she has checked the availability.
 Placing amenities: After GRE has checked the VIP status; she selects the
type of amenity and then sends the amenity voucher to the concerned
departments.
 Checking the room: Ones the room has been cleared by housekeeping and
room service has placed the amenities the GRE checks the room to ensure
that it is perfect in all aspects.
 Welcoming the guest by addressing the name.
 Escorting the guest to the reception and assist them in taking as much
information from the guest as possible on arrival.
 Escorts the guest to the room and explain the features of the room.

 After few minutes of rooming the guest, the GRE gives the guest a welcome
call to get a brief feedback about accommodation.
16) Telephone Operator : *
 Answer incoming calls.
 Directs calls to guest room , staff or departments through the switchboard or
PBX system
 Place outgoing calls.
 Receives t6elephone charges from the telephone company and forward
charges to the front desk for posting.
 Takes and distribute message for guest.
 Answer question about hotel events and activities.
 Provide information about guest services to guest.
 Understand PBX switchboards operation.
 Logs all wakeup call request and performs wakeup call services.
 Provide paging services for hotel guest and employees.
 Knows what action to take when an emergency call is required or received.
D) Personality traits:
If front office is the back bone of the hotel than Receptionist is the brain of the hotel. For a
guest and the hotel, Receptionist is the link. Receptionist comes in contact with all the guest
of the hotel .He meets people, greets them, makes them comfortable, and helps them in all
possible ways. It is very difficult to draw a line for the receptionist’s duties. A guest may ask
him for the cricket score , shopping, tourist interest places, address of known or unknown
people, railway, air, bus etc. booking distance between different places ,weather reports, etc.
The receptionist has to make sure that the guest feels at home and that is why, hotel is
called a home away from home. For this a receptionist should posses’ certain qualities. The
following are the personality traits:

  1. Pleasant Personality : Good manners and a smile are natural assets.
  2. Eagerness : Eagerness to help
  3. Respect : Respect all, young, old, rich, less rich
  4. Sense of responsibility : He should feel responsible and take responsibility
  5. Orderly Mind : Essential for methodical and accurate work
  6. Neatness : Indicates pride in self and job
  7. Accuracy : Accuracy is perfection
  8. Loyalty : Should be loyal to both management and colleagues
  9. Intelligence : Intelligent enough to take decision
  10. Tact : Tactful to handle situation
  11. yearning to be a good receptionist.

Some other qualities of front office employees.

1) A warm personality and smart appearance.
2) A keen interest in people, and polite and courteous nature.
3) Poise under pressure, keeping his cool and problem solver
4) A desire to be helpful, but also romantic and tactful.
5) The ability to listen ,hard working and punctual
6) A willingness to reflect management policy should be able to take quick decision.
7) The ability to get along with co-workers, and pleasant approach and a good motivator
and coordinator.
8) A desire to be liked, with good public relation qualities.
9) The ability to help another employee without resenting it or showing irritation
10) Should be confident, analytical, intelligent and a good salesman.
11) Good memory
12) Knowledge of language Numerical ability.
13) Image builder.