HKUSPACE Introduction to Front Office Operations (Directed Study) The Hotel Organisational Structure Hotels employ a vast number of persons with variety of skills. The larger the hotel, the more specialised the tasks. Large hotels have bigger resident populations and provide more services than do many small towns. Hotel organisations follow the pattern of other business institutions. They break up the work force into separate departments, with each department entrusted with a share of the duties and services.
Coordinating the whole, unifying the different specialities and directing their joint efforts is the job of the general manager. To gain an overall understanding of hotel organisation, below is an mid-market hotel organisation chart, the staff is divided into eight basic divisions, as follows: Administration Executive Director / General Manager (Highest ranking authority in the hotel) Rooms Division Front Office |Uniformed service |Housekeeping | | | | | |Reservations Front |Concierge |Housekeeper | |Desk Telephone |Bell Service |Maids | | | |Public Area | Food and Beverage Kitchen Food Service Banquet Operations
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Engineering Repair and Maintenance Accounting Manager Auditor Staffs Sales and Marketing Advertising Sales Human Resources Manager Staff Security Manager Guards 1. Administration Management titles vary from hotel to hotel, the large hotel chains use titles at the corporate level such as: CEO (Chief Executive Officer). General Manager (GM) is the favoured title for individual hotel. This person is responsible for everything that happens in the hotel, for all departments and for general profitability of whole works. 2. Rooms Rooms division are divided into three main areas: . 1Front Office 2. 2Housekeeping 2. 3Uniformed Service (under Front Office section) The front office is responsible for reservations, check in, check out and guest communications. The staffs works three shifts, so that front desk manned 24 hours per day. The housekeeping staffs are responsible for daily room cleaning and linen service. The staff is supervised by an executive housekeeper who coordinates room cleaning, prepares room status reports and supervises the housekeeping staff. The bell service consists of a bell captain who supervises a staff of bell attendant.
The responsibility of the bell staff is to greet guests, transport luggage and provide information about facilities, service and room function. 3. Food and Beverage The hotel food and beverage division generally ranks second to the rooms division in terms of total revenue. This department is headed by Food and Beverage Manager and divided into several subdivisions. Food preparation is the responsibility of the chef. 4. Sales and Marketing Sales and marketing responsibility is to promote the sale of hotel products and services.
Sales and marketing staffs need to coordinate their efforts with front office and other hotel division to effectively assess and communicate guest need. Marketing staff strives to attract guests to the hotel. Marketing staff research the marketplace, competing products, guest needs and expectations and future demand then develops advertising and public relation programme for the hotel based on their findings. Sales staff on the other hand, strives to create revenue through the sale of hotel products to guest and groups. 5. Accounting Hotel’s accounting division monitors the financial activities of the property.
Accounting activities include paying outstanding invoices, distributing unpaid statements,collectingamountowed,processing payroll,accumulating operating data and compiling financial reports. In addition, the accounting staff may be responsible for making bank deposits, securing cash loans and performing other control and processing functions as required by hotel management. In many hotels, the night audit is considered accounting division activities. 6. Engineering The engineering department is divided into two main areas: 6. 1Environment control 6. 2Repair and maintenance
The environment control division is responsible for maintaining heating, lighting and electrical system throughout the hotel. The repair and maintenance staff consists of carpenters, painters, plumbers, and electricians, who maintain the hotel’s facilities. 7. Human Resources The basic functions of the human resources division are employment, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, administration and safety. 8. Security The security division is responsible for maintaining security alarm system and implementing procedures aimed at protecting the personal property of guests and employees.
The Structure of the Front Office The front office is the nerve centre of the hotel and responsible for greeting guests, managing rooms, and handling complaints. Guest forms their first and last impression in the hotel, they are received at the desk and they depart from the desk. It is toward the desk that guests direct complaints and from the desk they expect remedies. The front office staffs is the main contact of the hotel, they handle reservation, greet guests on arrival, register new guest, dispense key, handle incoming and outgoing call, take messages for guests, provide information, handle complaints, handle guest check out procedures. . Various Section in Front Office Department 1. 1Reservation Department Reservation department is responsible for receiving and processing reservation request for future overnight accommodations, the purpose is to meet guest requests and maximise hotel room occupancy & revenue. 1. 2Reception Responsible for receiving and checking in hotel guests; and to sell guestrooms to walk-in guests; register and assign/block guest rooms, also responsible for future room reservation when the reservation department is closed, and to provide information about the hotel, the surrounding community, and any attractions or events of interest to guests. . 3Cashier Responsible for maintaining accurate room status information after the guest departure, guest accounts and monitoring credit limits, and ensure guest account statements are up to date, and complete proper financial settlement. 1. 4Communication The telephone department may also refer to PABX -Private Automatic Branch Exchange. Responsible for answering & distributing calls to the appropriate rooms/extensions. Telephone operators also responsible for wake-up calls and coordinate emergency communications. 1. Uniformed Services 1. 5. 1Bellhop/Bell Assistant – provide baggage and other delivery service between the lobby area and the guestroom. 1. 5. 2Doorman – doorman are stationed at the first and last contact point in a hotel, therefore they provide first and last greeting to all guests upon their arrival and departure. Doorman also provides curbside baggage service; opening of vehicle and entrance door, and traffic control at the hotel porch/entrance. 1. 5. 3Car Jockey – provide parking service for guests’ vehicle. 1. 5. Concierges – assist guests by making restaurant reservations, arranging for transportation, getting tickets for concert/theatre, sporting, or other special events and so on. 2. Front Office Personnel 2. 1Front Office Manager Ensures the smooth operation of the Front Office department, i. e. reservation, reception, telephone operator and cashier. 2. 2Reservation Manager Establishing and maintaining high standards and efficiency of work in the section. Deciding on whether bookings should be accepted or not, closely monitoring all bookings. 2. Reservation Clerk Taking and confirming bookings, which may be, made by telephone, email, fax and mail. All reservations received will be input into the computer system. 2. 4Reception Manager/Duty Manager Ensures quality service is provided to the guest during check-in, stay, check-out and handling complaint. 2. 5Front Office Assistant/Receptionist Dealing with checking-in and checking-out processes, handling guest messages and room key control, and also other guest interactions at the front counter. 2. 6Telephone Operator
Dealing with all incoming and outgoing calls, also handling of guest messages; wake-up calls; forward calls to location or offices in hotel as requested. 2. 7Chief Concierge Ensuring the smooth operation of the Concierge counter, i. e. staff deal with guest’s requests efficiently, provide up to date information about city or country, promotions and events happening in town, and other services likes airline ticketing and sightseeing arrangement. 2. 8Bellman Dealing with guest requests, e. g. sending messages and handling luggage, daily newspaper delivery and distribution. ———————– YHC Oct 2010
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