The Front Office function of a Hotel is to act as the public face of the hotel, primarily by greeting hotel patrons and checking in guests. It also provides assistance to guests during their stay, completes their accommodation, food and beverage, accounts and receives payment from guests. FRONT OFFICE – is the “nerve center” in the entire hotel operations. All the transaction passes through within this department. The Front Office Department comprise of the Reception, Guest Service Offices, Bell Services, Reservation, Operators, Executive Club, Health and Recreation Center and Business Center.
The purpose of the Front Office Department is to provide guests assistance with luggage, transportation, information concerning the hotel and the city, and any other service arrangements needed during their stay. Employees of the Front Office Department often provide the first and last impression of the hotel to our guests. It is therefore vitally important that employees display a prompt and courteous attitude to all guests and demonstrate the excellence in service.
The Front Office Manager who comes under the direct supervision of the director of rooms and supervises the Front Office Department. Important of Front Office Department to the Hotel Hospitality, warm welcome. Often provide first and last impression. Often have longest contact with guest. Continuity long term service, recognition of repeat guests, remember names, guest histories. Acquaint guest with hotel. Sell hotel food and beverage outlets.
1.0 Question 1
1) Front Office or Front desk (reception) is the first impression for lodging establishment. Explain in detail about the task and responsibility of the following:
Front Office Manager, Assistant Front Office manager
Front Desk Representative Night Auditor
Support your answer by giving a Front Office organization chart adapted from a small Hotel, mid size Hotel and large Hotel.
1.2 THE TASK AND RESPONSIBILITY:
1.2.1 FRONT OFFICE MANAGER
To manage front of the house operations of the hotel ensuring that the highest standard of service and the best possible guest experience is maintained. Be responsible of establishing and maintaining professional relationship with hotel guests and patrons.
Manage operation of the Front desk including Cashier. Besides that, ensure that policies and procedures are complied with the highest standard of service and guest satisfaction. Review room availability status, room blockage and special requests on a daily basis through working closely with Reservations Manager and liase on all groups and FIT movements. Monitor open and close on day status to maximize room revenue and demonstrate the concept of yield management. Ensure that budget and cost effectiveness at the Front Desk is achieved. Other than that, work with Housekeeping and Engineering on daily operations regards to guestroom status. Handle guest complaints and review compliments. Review Front Desk Logbook daily to monitor all activities. Review all VIP room blocking. Supervise and train all Front Desk staff to ensure that the best guest experience is provided. Familiarize with Front Office policies and procedures and special rate & programs. Participate morning briefing, or organize afternoon hand-over briefing daily and disseminate information to Reception team as soon as possible. Greet guests as time permits at lobby and assists Receptionist during busy period. Chair monthly Reception meeting to review performance & discuss existing problems for improvement. Approve duty roster prepared by Chief Receptionist and revise if necessary. Always conduct your job with concern for the environment and its resources. Where practical and possible, REDUCE use of items, RE-USE whenever possible, and RECYCLE those items that can be. Perform all duties, other than the above as requested by the hotel policies and/or his/her direct supervisor.
1.2.2 ASSISTANT FRONT OFFICE MANAGER
Job purpose of Assistant Front Office Manager is to provide guidance and leadership as the Asst. Front Office Manager, ensuring the delivery of consistent quality customer service.
Assist in the day-to-day operation of the hotel front office.
Supervise the operational activities of the hotel front desk within hotel guidelines to provide the highest standard of courteous service while permitting acceptable profit levels. Assign, coordinate, and supervise work activities of Front Desk Agents. Ensure work is completed to include, shift closings, room deposits, refunds and rebates. They also must train and develop Front Desk Agents. Prepare staffing schedules, complete payroll, and monitor labor costs to budget figures. Prepare and conduct Front Desk meetings and resolve issues. Besides that, perform house counts and review daily arrivals, identify potential problems with rooms¿½¿½ activity and take appropriate action. Provide information and direction to staff to achieve 100% occupancy. Review and resolve dispute accounts and Housekeeping discrepancies and prepare a shift briefing to communicate activities, short take training, and any problems and/or special information to the next shift. Perform check-in and out procedures. Lastly, take personal responsibility for correcting customer service problems.
1.2.3 FRONT DESK REPRESENTATIVE
Job purpose of Front Desk Agent is to perform all desk related functions including but not limited to checking guests in and out, making room reservations, giving recommendations, and providing directions
Provide quotes for room rates and up-sell the guest when possible and assist in coordinating the Front Desk and the Housekeeping Department. Verify that the correct charges and credits are posted to the corresponding guest folio and collect payment for charges on the guest folio. Besides that, ensure all cash and cash equivalents are accounted for and balanced at the beginning and end of each work shift. Responds to guest inquiries. Provide administrative, reception and program support to management and staff .Manage phone activity including providing general knowledge to callers. Manage walk-in traffic. Sign in guests as needed. Smile and greet customers in a welcoming manner. Lastly, they also must register and assign rooms to guest and resolve guest complaints within scope of authority; otherwise refer the matter to the management.
1.2.4 NIGHT AUDITOR
Responsible for reconciling hotel paperwork, posting to guest accounts, closing the day, greeting all guests in a pleasant, courteous and enthusiastic manner while registering guest information and settling guest accounts for the Hotel.
Audit hotel paperwork to ensure the day has balanced Posts room charges and taxes to guest accounts. Then they must, verify all account postings and balances. Verifies all hotel paperwork is correct and balanced. Runs preliminary reports. Processes no shows and close of day. Stocks the front desk with daily supplies. Besides that, register arriving guests while implementing TRC service standards. Settle guest accounts with the ability to make good business decisions regarding discounts. Must be knowledgeable in making reservations. Greet guests and provide door service and bell/valet service when needed. Ability to operate multi-line phone. Provide guests with information on local attractions. Resolves or refers to Management all guest concerns, complaints or suggestions in a continuous effort to provide superior guest service. Remains current on room rates, room availability and emergency procedures. Remains current on groups and property events.
Direct workflow of Guest Service Attendants regarding guest luggage and amenity needs. Furthermore, ensures management is aware of guest special requests or needs. Ensures guests¿½¿½ profiles are properly noted in the Micros Property Management System for action by the appropriate hotel department prior to check-in. Maintain appearance standards as outlined in departmental and TRC policies. Provide information and explain Players Club benefits, property amenities & marketing programs to our guests. Provide courteous service to our guests and be cordial to all Team Members. Lastly Communicate effectively both orally and in writing and. Maintain a good attendance record.
Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
Receive payment by cash, check, credit cards, vouchers, or automatic debits.. Compile and maintain non-monetary reports and records.. Monitor checkout stations to ensure that they have adequate cash available and that they are staffed appropriately. Post charges against guests¿½¿½ or patients¿½¿½ accounts. Offer customers carry-out service at the completion of transactions. Answer customers¿½¿½ questions, and provide information on procedures or policies. Cash checks for customers. Weigh items sold by weight in order to determine prices bag, box, wrap, or gift-wrap merchandise, and prepare packages for shipment.
Sort, count, and wrap currency and coins. Process merchandise returns and exchanges. Pay company bills by cash, vouchers, or checks and request information or assistance using paging systems. Stock shelves, and mark prices on shelves and items. Calculate total payments received during a time period, and reconcile this with total sales. Compute and record totals of transactions. Sell tickets and other items to customers. Keep periodic balance sheets of amounts and numbers of transactions. Issue receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers lastly, count money in cash drawers at the beginning of shifts to ensure that amounts are correct and that there is adequate change.
A reservation agent serves an important role in providing information to customers by use of telephone and other communication media. Reservation agents can be employed by various agencies involved in reserving travel places for travelers. The information that agencies provide relates to fare details, tours, schedules, meals, and other important issues that affect clients. Reservation agents can book places for the client through online transactions. As such, they must be well equipped with computer skills. Reservation agents can contact clients through telephone conversation and back them up with a variety of reservation software on computers. The agents work on schedules that vary greatly with shifts that ensure that the agency¿½¿½s offices are open 24 hours a day.
Giving answers to enquiries by clients and advising them accordingly regarding bookings and reservations. Assisting customers who encounter problems in obtaining booking or operating self service equipment and walking around with clients and ensuring that they secure whatever services they are in need of. Ensuring that clients have access to various services without a hitch. Getting information about areas of interest in order to target more clients in particular seasons. Lastly making arrangements for clients¿½¿½ travel programs. Helping clients to fill in reservation forms.
1.2.7 TELEPHONE OPERATOR
Telephone operator job is to answer telephone calls, greeting callers with a positive, clear voice, answering general questions about the hotel and transferring callers to other departments.
This individual will create relationships with the guests that lead to Renaissance and property loyalty. This individual serves as the main point of contact for all guest requests and needs.
The individual is responsible for answering calls, recording the guest requests and then pursuing the issue to a resolution and then, .the individual must exhibit courteous hospitality at all times and fully own each guest issue. When in communication with the guest, the individual must be proactive in every area, including offering additional services. Lastly, most importantly, the individual must coordinate the response to the guest issue and then follow-up with the guest to ensure satisfaction with the result.
As conclusion, this assignment to know different organizational structures in hotels, update and develop procedures necessary to practice in all aspects of fire, health and safety in the hotel workplace, providing effective leadership in the role of receptionist, inform and instruct trainee receptionist in a positive attitude to the responsibilities and duties of front office, an overview of job opportunities and progression, interpret job descriptions and process applications.
2.0 QUESTION 2
2) Front office staffs must have certain skills to attract guests during the first impression. Write about Front Office staff skill in guest relations.
The Front Office Department comprise of the Reception, Guest Service Offices, Bell Services, Reservation, Operators, Executive Club, Health and Recreation Center and Business Center. The purpose of the Front Office Department is to provide guests assistance with luggage, transportation, information concerning the hotel and the city, and any other service arrangements needed during their stay. Employees of the Front Office Department often provide the first and last impression of the hotel to our guests. It is therefore vitally important that employees display a prompt and courteous attitude to all guests and demonstrate the excellence in service.
2.2 FRONT OFFICE STAFF SKILL:
Firstly, the front office staff should have a good personality, well dressed and neat. Individuals who well dress suggest power and status; therefore, the first impression is only part of creating a positive relationship between the hotel and the customers. According to Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons (1998 & 1994) presented that the front office staff must present an impeccable outward appearance to customers.
Secondly, the staff should be competent. They should know basic product knowledge, type of rooms and hotel facilities in the hotel. As Binham; Lampola; & Murray (1982: 17) suggested that front office staff should know many types of rooms and explain each type of rooms which are single rooms, double rooms, twin rooms, suites, connecting rooms and adjoining rooms.
Thirdly, the guests may have different accents in English and some words are difficult for front office staff to understand due to the different countries, particularly, for the reservations or the operators who deal with customers by phone. White and Beckley (1988) mentioned that front office staff should use alphabetic system which is similar to the system that used by travel agents and airlines. Tanpipat (1994) suggested an alphabet to be used, for example, M for Mike, N for Nancy, P for Peter. Moreover, White and Beckley (1988: 51) pointed out that when telephone operators answer the telephone, they should identify themselves, announce the name of the hotel, with the addition of ¿½¿½Good morning¿½¿½ or ¿½¿½Good evening¿½¿½ with the appropriate intonation. The additional words, ¿½¿½May I help you?¿½¿½ will give the impression of willingness to serve, which is all important in hotel.
In conclusion, front office staff should make their guests happy and satisfied. As keys to the guest satisfaction driver, the front office staffs are critical to the continued success of the hotel. They offer constant guest interaction, with the most diverse operating exposure in the hotel. The important thing, the front office staff will also reflect the image of the hotel to the customers and they have a keen sense to anticipate the guests, needs and exceed their expectations.