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HANDOUTS IN FRONT OFFICE ACCOMMMODATION MANAGEMENT Unit 1 Overview of the Hotel Industr The history of lodging can be traced

back to the civilizations of Sumaria and ancient Egypt . Indeed, the need for a place to stay away from home is as old as the first nomadic traveler. Trading between cultures created the need for groups of people to travel often great distances. Along these trade routes, certain stopping points became favored out of necessity. An oasis in the desert or a mountain pass in winter became logical places for trading caravans to rest. Areas where different trading routes intersected also became favored stopping points. eventually evolved into cities. As the history of lodging unfolded, innovations began to emerge. At some point, innkeepers began to incorporate food and beverage service in their operations. This led to a change in the way people traveled. As the evolution of lodging continued, new facilities began to emerge as an option for travelers. The wealthy and landed aristocracy of the world began to view the many spare rooms in their castles and estates as sources of revenue. The best e"amples of this can be traced back to the English and colonial inns of the #$%%s. Each fulfilled the need for housing of travelers by renting spare rooms. The significant difference between the two was that colonial inns offered rooms to anyone who could afford to pay, whereas English inns were most often reserved for the aristocracy. The word hotel is the Anglicized version of the &rench htel garni, which translates into 'large, furnished mansion.( ost full)service hotels have six main functional departments and these are: rooms division, food and beverage, accounting, human resources, engineering, sales and marketing and catering. Each of these departments will exist, in one form or another, regardless of location type or product type. It is when the other organizational criteria are considered that the problem of defining the size and scope of these departments arises. A variety of responsibilities and duties exist within each department. All these departments rely on each other to provide the best product. department is vital to understanding the hotel as a whole. !ithin a hotel, perhaps no area is as vital and in some cases visible as the rooms division. "he rooms division is the #nerve center$ for most of a hotel%s operations. It is, after all, the area most responsible for the main hotel product, the sleeping room. "his is evident in the hotel maxim: #Everything begins with the &ooms 'ivision.$ !ithin the rooms division, lies the front office. The Front Offi!e" Hu# of Hu$%n Rel%tions In physical terms, the front office of a hotel is its focal point, its nerve center, its command post, a crossroads, the con!unction where guests and hotel employees merge, interact, and move on. It is also an information center, a place for recording transactions and for recordkeeping and control. *sychologically, it is a human relations center where a guest meets and interacts with hotel personnel, each interaction evoking feelings that in the final analysis determines whether the guest nderstanding each any of these !unction points

en!oys the hotel e"perience. As a visible symbol of the hotel operation, at the nerve center, is the clerk. +e or she is the sub!ect of praise and focus of hostility when almost anything pleasant or unpleasant happens to a guest. ,pon arrival, guests look forward to respectful and accommodating hotel personnel. ,sing courteous words, repeating the guest-s name, and treating the guest warmly makes guests feel comfortable. Arrival goodies, such as warm cookies and milk, tea, or coffee are only but a few e"amples of hotel complimentary an establishment could offer as a comforting gesture appreciated by guests. .uests appreciate having friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff members whom they feel comfortable addressing. .uests feel comfortable knowing that they can trust the staff with their safety, belongings, messages, and wake)up calls. any guests find it satisfying when the staff approached their stay with a responsive, attentive, and enthusiastic attitude. *ersonalizing hotel service is one of the contributing factors to a guest-s satisfaction and comfort. Or&%ni'%tion%l Ch%rt of the Front Offi!e De(%rt$ent
&ront /ffice anager

&ront 2esk Supervisor

5eservations Supervisor

3ell 0aptain

0hief Telephone E"change

0hief Airport Assistance

2esk 4 Info 0lerk

5eservations 0lerk

2oorman 3ellman

Telephone /perator

0hief 0oncierge 4 .uest 5elations Airport 5ep.

0oncierge 0lerk 3usiness 0tr. 0lerk

E"hibit #. Sample /rganizational 0hart for a 1arge +otel

&ront /ffice Supervisor

Senior 2esk 0lerk

Sales 7 .uest 5el. /fficer

&./. 0ashier

Telephone /perator

2river 4 Airport 5ep.

2esk 4 Info 0lerk

Sales 7 5svtns. 0lerk

3usiness 0tr. Attendant

E"hibit 6. Sample /rganization for a Small +otel

)%si! Fun!tions of Front Offi!e *ersonnel Front Offi!e M%n%&er + Su(ervisor Enhance guest services by constantly developing services to meet guest needs. 5esponsible for a large portion of the most visible aspects of a hotel-s day)to)day operations. 2irects day)to)day activities of the front desk, the bellstand, and the concierge staff Front Des, Su(ervisor or Senior Des, Cler, /versees front desk operations particularly the handling of registration of guests. S%les + Reserv%tions Su(ervisor 2irects and supervises operations pertaining to room sales and reservations. Reserv%tions Cler, Attends to room sales and reservations Des, Cler, 0hecking guests in and out of the hotel. Attends to the registration of guests. anages the in 4 out flow of guests on a daily basis. Door(erson + Door$%n .reet arriving guests and help them from their vehicles to the lobby. )ell C%(t%in Supervises the bellstaff. )ellst%ff + )ell$%n 3asic responsibility is to help guests into and out of their rooms 5uns errand for the front desk. Front Des, C%shiers Attends to the settlement of guest-s bills.

Air(ort + Tr%ns(ort Re(resent%tive Transports guest to and from the airport and other transportation terminals Sells hotel services to prospective patrons at the airport 4 terminal. Chief Con!ier&e + Con!ier&e M%n%&er 3asic responsibility is to manage concierge staff in assisting guests with any 4 all re8uests. Con!ier&e + Guest Rel%tions Cler, Attends to any re8uest for guest assistance especially for 9I*s. Chief Tele(hone E-!h%n&e + *). Su(ervisor anage the operation of the hotel switchboard and the staff. Tele(hone O(er%tor + *). O(er%tors anages all incoming and outgoing calls in the telephone e"change section. )usiness Center Cler, Attends to all service re8uests and other transactions at the business center.


Arrival 5egistration ;room assignment 4 payment<

; ore .uest 0harges< 0heck)out 0onfirmation

.uest incurs charges

9erification =ight Audit

5ooming the .uest 4 *ost .uest 0harges

E"hibit :. The .uest 0ycle The guest cycle shows a simplified se8uence of events that takes place from the moment a guest calls to make a reservation until he or she checks out.

5eceiving 4 processing and documenting guest-s reservation

5eservations 0lerk

?elcoming 4 greeting the guest, opening the door of his vehicle, unloading the luggage Attending to guest registration

2oorman 4 3ellman

2esk 0lerk

Settlement of guest-s bill

&ront /ffice 0ashier

Escorting guest to his room, carrying his luggage, e"plaining room facilities


,pdating room status, preparing guest folio

2esk 0lerk

Attending to all service re8uest of guests, e"tending various forms of assistance ;wakeup calls, delivery of messages, etc.< ,pdating guest account, preparing billing statement, settlement of balance

2esk 0lerk


Assisting guest for check out


3ill settlement, giving clearance for check out

&ront /ffice 0ashier

3idding goodbye, thanking guest for patronage

All staff

E"hibit >. Se8uence of &ront /ffice Service

Unit / H%ndlin& Reserv%tions The area of reservations section is the most well)known hotel department to the general public. ost people understand its purpose. If someone wants a room in the hotel, they know they need to contact reservations. ost people do not know how the reservation section really works. &rom a guest-s point of view, the most important outcome of the reservations process is having a guestroom ready and waiting when the guest arrives. This guestroom should not be !ust any room, but the room
that best meets the needs the guest expressed during the reservations process. At the same time, the hotel manager and owner have different ob(ectives for the reservation process. "hey would like the reservation process to provide the highest occupancy and room revenue possible. Although selling rooms is a very important role for the reservations section, deciding what rooms should be sold and the price to sell them is (ust as important. otherwise sold. "he reservations section is in charge of receiving and processing reservations for room accommodation. arrangements. It also !ithout proper planning and control, rooms may be vacant that could be

serves as a center for communications, handling in)uiries on hotel facilities and services as well as room rates and other

T (es of Reserv%tions 1. Re&ul%r

* +on,guaranteed reservation - refers to an agreement that a hotel makes to hold a room until cut,off date and time. If the guest does not arrive by that time, the room may be sold to other guests.

2. Confir$ed reserv%tion

- applies when the terms of reservations have been verified. .oth the hotel and the

reserving party agree on the dates, rates and billing arrangement, room type and other arrangements. "his type of reservation is confirmed to the guest verbally or in writing through email, e,mail, or fax.

3. Gu%r%nteed reserv%tion

- an agreement that the hotel makes to hold a room for a guest until the guest

arrival and check,out time. In return, the guest or his sponsor /third party0 assures payment for the room by credit card, company account or pre,payment. nless the reservation is properly cancelled, the guest is billed for the room and taxed according to hotel policies and procedures.

*ro!essin& Reserv%tions &or an efficient operation, the reservations clerk shall maintain a complete and up)to)date reservation filing system to include the following@ 1. Individu%l Reserv%tions Card - a preprinted form that guests would fill out to make reservations.
would supply the name, arrival * departure dates, and any special re)uests. "he guest

2. Confir$%tion Noti!e For$

- this serves as written evidence of agreement or contract and works to the

advantage of both parties. "he hotel has the option to send a notice of confirmation to the guest or to the booking party either orally or in writing or through fax.

3. Reserv%tion Ch%rt 4. Reserv%tion Sli(

- this chart indicates the actual number of rooms reserved for any future date to as far as

one or more months or a year in advance. "his is done to avoid double and overbooking. - this slip indicates the names of guests expected to arrive and the arrival date. A duplicate

copy of the reservation slip is filed alphabetically by last name of guests and by month. "his will serve as trace file for all reservations received.

5. Reserv%tion r%!, - all reservation slips are placed in this rack. 6. H%n&in& Folder
- this is where all the records of all corresponding letters pertaining to guest reservations are kept. 1uch records are filed according to date of arrival.

Sour!es of Reserv%tions 1. 1etters 2. Email or internet access 3. &a" 4. Telephone 5. 2irect 4 in person 6. 0omputer terminals a. 0all centers b. .lobal 2istribution System ;.2S< 7. 0entral 3ooking /ffices

)%si! *ro!edures in T%,in& Reserv%tions 1. .reet the client and offer assistance. 2. /nce the re8uest for reservations is received, find out from the in8uiring party the dates and the type of room re8uired. Then check if there is available room corresponding to the room type preferred. 5efer to the reservations chart or room status rack where reservation slips are clipped. 3. Inform the guest if a room is available. If the re8uested room type is not available, offer alternative room depending on what is vacant. Tell him that he could be transferred to his preferred room when it is ready for occupancy. >.
2nce room availability is confirmed, get details to include the information outlined below.


+ame*s of incoming guests

b. =umber of persons arriving c. Arrival date and time d. Transportation details ; i.e. flight number, name of airline, place of origin, etc.< e. 2eparture date f. =umber of nights the guest is e"pected to stay g. 5oom number, room type, and type of bed re8uired h. 5oom rate i. 3illing arrangement j. 5emarks k. =ame of the person making the reservation l. =ame of the clerk accepting the reservation m. 2ate and time of acceptance of reservation

5. &rom the reservation form 4 card, the reservations data are transferred to a reservation slip which is prepared in duplicate. 6. *rint the reservation slip and make sure the information is complete. The original copy of the slip goes to the reservation rack and the other one is filed. 7. The reservation card is forwarded to the supervisor for him to chart and block the reservations in the reservation chart. Then the reservation card is filed according to date of arrival and in alphabetical order. The daily arrival list is likewise prepared or updated making reference to the information written in the reservations card.

Settlin& Hotel A!!ounts 1. *%- %!!ount 0(erson%l %!!ount1 - this refers to an account which the guest will pay his bills directly to the

2. Co$(%n %!!ount 0!or(or%te %!!ount1

- this is indicated when bills will be charged to the company.

"his payment arrangement is acceptable only if the guarantee is in writing and the company has good credit standing with the hotel. "he portion of the bills to be shouldered should also be indicated /i.e. all bills, room only, room and meals only, etc.0

Hotel XYZ

Control No.

Room Reservation Form Guest Name: ____________________________________ No. of Pax: _____Tel. No.:__________
(Last) (First) (M.I.)

Address: _______________________________________ Name of Compan : ________________ __________________________________________ Address: _____________________________ Arri!al: ___________ Time: ______ "eparture: ___________Time:______ No. of Ni#$ts: _______ Fli#$t "etails: _________________________________ Car P%up: ________ Car "%off: _________ &oom T pe: __________ No. of &ms: ____ 'ed T pe: ______ &oom &ate: _____ &m. No.: _____ 'illin# arran#ement: PA % CA &emar(s: ___________________________________________ 'oo(ed ) : ________________________ Tel. No.: _______________ A**epted ) : _________________________ "ate % Time: ____________ &e#ular ( ) Confirmed ( ) E"hibit A. Sample room reservation form Guaranteed ( ) &emar(s: ___________________________________________________ S(e!i%l )illin& S(e!i%l #illin& means that all or a portion of guest charges are to be billed or charged to a particular person or firm. The amount to be billed may be all his charges or !ust room charges. ?hen a reservation is being made and the charges are to be billed to a person or firm with an existing credit account in the hotel, the caller must be told to send a letter of %uthori'%tion before the arrival of the guest. This authorization letter simply states that the guest has been authorized to book under the said account ;company or individual<. It must also specify what charges are covered by guaranteeB whether all charges ;i.e. laundry, telephone, restaurant, etc.< or only a segment like rooms only with the rest of the charges billed personally to the guest. If a reservation is a guaranteed reservation from an individual, group or company without an existing credit line, the reserving party shall be asked to pay a pre)payment or deposit, usually one

day ;if the booking is for two nights< or full amount if one day use. Some allow a A%C deposit of all estimated room charges. 1ikewise, the company, individual or group that makes the guarantee shall put in writing in the form of a letter to the hotel that they will answer for all charges or some charges ;the letter must mention what is guaranteed and what is not covered<. Reserv%tions durin& Full House The reservations clerk must make sure that the availability board reflects the day-s date under either 2on re3uest4 ;all reservation in8uiries shall be channeled through the supervisor. +e will decide which reservations to confirm and which to put on the waitlist. =ormally, regular accounts are given priority during this period< or 2!lose out4 ;no more room for reservations<. All reservations for the day are not confirmed e"cept for top accounts for which permission to confirm will be asked from the 5eservations anager. ,nconfirmed reservations are waitlisted and placed in the waitlist folder anager counterchecks all reservations with no flight information and according to date. The 2uty

calls up the concerned companies. +e reminds them of the D o-clock policy. The 5 o6!lo!, (oli! means that the guest with reservation is e"pected to arrive not later than Dpm of the arrival date. If he does not show up within this cut)off time, the hotel has the right to give way to other guests using the room reserved for him. +owever, some hotels consider late arrivals if they are informed ahead of time. ?hen the room is prepaid as in the case of guaranteed bookings, the D o-clock policy does not apply. Roo$ St%tisti!s /ne of the functions of the 5eservations /ffice is to prepare room statistics of the hotel and other competitive hotels for purposes of gauging the soundness of operations and to serve as a basis for future management decisions relating to marketing thrust. An assigned reservations clerk or a guest relations officer maybe assigned to keep track of information available in &ront /ffice reports and forms and translates this information into statistics, also know as productivity figures. For$s of St%tisti!s #. Total room nights E average room nights F 5oom nights 6. 5oom rates 5evenue :. Total rooms soldGG " #%% F /ccupancy *ercentage Total rooms available Total 5evenueG F Average room rate ;*4I< Total 5ooms sold

>. Total rooms H ;out)of)order rooms E house use< F Total rooms available A.

D. Total =o. of guests F 2ouble /ccupancy *ercentage Total rooms sold Tr%inin& in the Reserv%tions Se!tion The reservations department is often viewed as an e"tension of the sales department. Each call is a sales opportunity. =ot long ago, reservation agents were viewed as nothing more than operators or order takers. Those days are long gone. The amount of transient revenue that is

produced in reservations is un8uestionable.

?hen hiring for reservations, a sales or customer A good phone voice is also

service background is preferred. *eople can be taught software systems, bit it is much harder to teach someone to be enthusiastic, friendly, and eager to please. can be very valuable. In any sales capacity, knowledge of the product is essential. 3ecause reservations agents sell the hotel, knowledge of the facility is paramount. The ability to describe all aspects of the guest e"perience is needed. The agent is often the first hotel employee a guest comes in contact with. This first contact must begin the process of satisfying the guest. This time honored adage applies@ 'Jou can only make one first impression.( important for a reservations agent. *roper grammar usage is vital. In some markets, bilingual agents