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Chapter 3: Front Office Operations

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Managing Front Office Operations 9th Edition
Chapter 3 - Front Office Operations

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Chapter 3: Front Office Operations

  1. 1. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations 1. Summarize front office operations during the four stages of the guest cycle. 2. Describe front office recordkeeping systems and front office documents. 3. Describe the front desk and its support devices, and describe the services and equipment of a hotel’s telecommunications area. 4. Identify and describe property management systems used by the front office. Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 1 Competencies for Front Office Operations
  2. 2. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Pre-arrival • Arrival • Occupancy • Departure Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 2 The Guest Cycle
  3. 3. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Guests choose their hotels during this stage of the guest cycle • Hotel choice is affected by: type of travel (business or pleasure); previous experiences with the hotel; advertisements and promotions; company travel policy; recommendations from travel agents, friends, or business associates; the hotel’s location and reputation; frequent traveler rewards programs; preconceptions based on the hotel’s name or chain affiliation; ease of making reservations; hotel’s reservations agent or website • When a guest makes a reservation, a reservation record is created, which initiates the guest cycle Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 3 Pre-Arrival
  4. 4. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Includes registration and rooming functions • During this stage of the guest cycle, the guest establishes a business and legal relationship with the hotel • In world-class, upscale, convention, casino, and resort hotels, uniformed staff greet guests at the property’s entrance • The front desk agent should determine the guest’s reservation status before starting the registration process • Guests without reservations (walk-ins) present a sales opportunity Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 4a Arrival Continued
  5. 5. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Arrival Continued from previous slide… • When a guest presents a form of identification and/or a payment card during check-in, that is proof of intent to establish an innkeeper-guest legal relationship • Gathering guest information during registration helps the hotel satisfy guest needs • Front desk agents must be sensitive to accessibility issues when checking in guests with disabilities • Registration is complete when the guest has established a method of payment and departure date; the guest is then issued a room key and allowed to proceed to the room Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 4b
  6. 6. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Occupied • Complimentary • Stayover • On-change • Do not disturb • Sleep-out • Skipper • Sleeper Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 5 Room Status Terms • Vacant and ready • Out-of-order • Lock-out • DNCO • Due out • Check-out • Late check-out
  7. 7. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Single • Double • Triple • Quad • Queen • King • Twin Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 6 Room Types • Double-double • Studio • Mini-suite or junior suite • Suite • Connecting rooms • Adjoining rooms • Adjacent rooms
  8. 8. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • During the occupancy stage of the guest cycle, the front desk is responsible for coordinating services for guests • A major objective during this stage is to serve guests so well that they will want to come back to the hotel • Guest complaints should be resolved as quickly as possible • Security is of concern throughout every stage of the guest cycle but especially during the occupancy stage • Hotel goods and services are purchased by guests during this stage of the guest cycle • Front desk accounting records for guests must be periodically reviewed for accuracy during this stage Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 7 Occupancy
  9. 9. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • The final stage of the guest cycle; guest services and guest accounting aspects are completed during this stage • At check-out, the guest vacates the room, receives an account receipt, returns the room key(s), and leaves the hotel • Once the guest checks out, the front office system automatically updates the guestroom’s availability status and closes the guest’s account Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 8a Departure Continued
  10. 10. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Departure Continued from previous slide… • Guests should be asked during check-out how they enjoyed their stays • During the check-out process, a guest history file is automatically created or added to; this file is a collection of guest history records • Late charges occur if charges are not posted to a guest account until after the guest checks out Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 8b
  11. 11. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Semi-automated front office systems began to be seen in hotels in the early 1970s • Fully automated systems arrived in the 1980s, comprehensive automated systems in the 1990s • In the twenty-first century, automation has become affordable, with portable and wireless applications • Automated systems are now cost-effective for hotels of all sizes Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 9 Front Office Systems
  12. 12. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Reservations software usually interfaces with a central reservations system or other distribution network • Reservations software may automatically generate e-mail confirmations, produce requests for guest deposits, handle pre-registration activities, and establish the credit status of the traveler • Reservations software may also generate an expected arrivals list, occupancy and revenue forecast reports, and other reports Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 10 Front Office Systems—Pre-Arrival Activities
  13. 13. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Guest information collected during the reservation process is automatically transferred as a reservation record to the property management system’s front office software • Front desk agents may give guests a registration card for their verification and signature • Online payment authorization terminals enable front desk agents to receive timely payment card approval for guests • Since registration data is stored electronically, it can be retrieved whenever necessary • Some properties offer self check-in/check-out terminals • Some hotel companies allow guests to pre-register via the Internet using a computer, PDA, or smart phone Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 11 Front Office Systems—Arrival Activities
  14. 14. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Guests occupying the hotel may interact with the front office and property management systems via point-of-sale terminals in revenue outlets • Employees may use data workstations, smart identification tags, handheld units, pagers, and other automated devices to serve guests during their stays Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 12 Front Office Systems—Occupancy Activities
  15. 15. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • During the departure stage of the guest cycle, electronic or printed folios are presented to guests at or near check-out time • The front office system may automatically post guest transactions to back office accounts, depending on the guest’s method of settlement • For third-party billing, the system can produce a bill to be sent to the guest’s sponsor or credit-granting agency • Once the guest’s account is settled, departed-guest information may be used to create or add to an electronic record in the hotel’s guest history file Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 13 Front Office Systems—Departure Activities
  16. 16. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Pre-Arrival Documents • Reservation files • Reservation confirmations Arrival Documents • Registration records • Credit verification/authorization Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 14a Front Office Documents Continued
  17. 17. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Front Office Documents Continued from previous slide… Occupancy Documents • Guest folios • Vouchers (charge, allowance, transfer, paid-out) Departure documents • Guest folios • Payment card vouchers, cash vouchers, transfer vouchers • Guest history files Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 14b
  18. 18. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Most front office functions are performed at the front desk • Guests register, request information and services, relate complaints, settle accounts, and check out at the front desk • Most front desks are prominently located in the hotel lobby • Front desk design should provide front desk agents with easy access to the equipment, forms, and supplies necessary to efficiently serve guests • There are straight-line, circular, and semicircular front desk designs Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 15a The Front Desk Continued
  19. 19. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations The Front Desk Continued from previous slide… • Some hotels have experimented with a no-front-desk lobby arrangement • At least a portion of the front desk must be accessible to guests with disabilities • In some hotels, the front desk features items for purchase that guests may need while traveling • Support devices at the front desk may include computers, point-of- sale terminals, electronic payment readers, and security monitors Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 15b
  20. 20. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Local • Direct-dial long-distance • Pre-payment card • Collect • Third-party • Person-to-person Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 16 Types of Telephone Calls • Billed-to-room • International • Toll-free • 900 or premium-price • Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
  21. 21. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Telephone switchboards (PBX systems, PABX systems) • Call accounting systems • Guestroom phones • Pay phones • Pagers/cell phones • Automatic call dispensing systems • Telephone/room status systems • Internet access • Call detection equipment Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 17 Telecommunications Equipment
  22. 22. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Private branch exchange (PBX) • Private automated branch exchange (PABX) • This equipment routes inbound calls to the hotel telephone operator’s console; the operator then connects these calls to the correct extensions or station lines • Telephone switchboards allow the hotel to have a large number of telephones share a limited number of telephone lines • Outbound calls are usually placed without the hotel operator’s help (although they often go through the same equipment) • Some PBX/PABX systems can handle data as well as voice transmissions • Some hotels have implemented voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), which bypasses the hotel’s PBX/PABX equipment Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 18 Telephone Switchboards
  23. 23. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Enable hotel-based technology to place, price, and post telephone calls to electronic guest folios without assistance from phone company personnel or front desk staff • A call accounting system (CAS) is a set of software programs that initiates the routing, rating, and recording of calls emanating from guestroom and/or administrative office telephones • A CAS interfaces with a hotel’s property management system to electronically post telephone charges to guest folios or print charge slips for front desk staff to post • Some CASs have a least-cost-routing component that routes a dialed call to the type of telephone line that can carry the call at the lowest cost to the hotel • Prior to folio posting, a CAS may add a surcharge or other property-imposed fee to the telephone company’s call pricing Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 19 Call Accounting Systems
  24. 24. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Guestroom phones are increasing in sophistication and capabilities • Some guestroom phones allow guests to connect a personal computer or other portable device to the phone via an input jack or port • Some guestroom phones are two-line phones; one line for connecting a computer, the other for voice communication • Other guestroom phone features may include the following: conference calling, caller ID, speed dialing, hold buttons, call-waiting, hands-free speakers, voice messaging, and a message-waiting alert • Some sophisticated guestroom phones combine voice, data, e-mail, fax, and other technologies • Some guestroom phones are cordless Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 20 Guestroom Phones
  25. 25. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Some hotels offer a pager or cell phone to guests at check-in • The hotel bills the guest for the number of minutes used on the cell phone Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 21 Pagers and Cell Phones
  26. 26. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Automatic call dispensing systems • Wake-up calls for guests Telephone/room status systems • Prohibit the unauthorized use of phones in vacant guestrooms • Employees can enter data concerning in-room bar usage, guestroom maintenance, and guestroom status Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 22a Other Telecommunications Technology Continued
  27. 27. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Other Telecommunications Technology Continued from previous slide… High-speed Internet access • Hotels may charge for this service on a per-transaction, fixed-fee, or daily-fee basis • Hotels partner with Internet service providers to provide this service to guests Call detection software • Part of the hotel’s call accounting system • Can pinpoint the exact moment a call is connected, improving billing accuracy Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 22b
  28. 28. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Reservation management software • Rooms management software • Guest accounting management software • General management software • Back office interfaces • System interfaces • Sales automation systems Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 23 Property Management Systems
  29. 29. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Enables a hotel to rapidly process room requests and generate timely and accurate room availability, room revenue, and reservation forecasting reports • Connects with global distribution systems (GDSs), Internet distribution systems (IDSs), and central reservation systems (CRSs) • Updates and controls reservations activities • Reformats reservation data into pre-registration files • Generates letters or e-mails confirming reservations for guests • Tracks guest deposits • Generates reservation management reports Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 24 Reservation Management Software
  30. 30. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Maintains current information on the status of guestrooms • Provides information on room rates • Assists in room assignments • Helps front office personnel coordinate guest services • Provides rapid access to room availability data during the reservations process • Automatically adjusts guestroom inventory numbers as the status of guestrooms changes • Some rooms management software also features maintenance and special-request dispatch capabilities Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 25 Rooms Management Software
  31. 31. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Increases the hotel’s control over guest accounts • Significantly modifies the front office audit routine • Maintains guest accounts electronically, thereby eliminating the need for folio cards, folio trays, and account posting machines • Monitors predetermined guest credit limits and generates a report on all guest accounts approaching or exceeding their limits • Provides flexibility through multiple folio formats • Automatically transfers outstanding account balances to a back office accounts receivable file for billing and collection • Automatically posts guest charges at hotel revenue outlets (via point-of- sale terminals) to guest accounts Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 26 Guest Accounting Management Software
  32. 32. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Cannot operate independently of other front office software packages • Generates reports using data collected through reservation management, rooms management, and guest accounting management software • Serves as the internal link between front office and back office system interface applications Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 27 General Management Software
  33. 33. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Integrated front office and back office systems offer hotels a full range of control over a variety of operational areas • Back office application modules include: General ledger accounting software • Accounts receivable software monitors guest accounts, and account billing and collection • Accounts payable software tracks hotel purchases and helps hotels maintain sufficient cash flow Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 28a Back Office Interfaces Continued
  34. 34. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Back Office Interfaces Continued from previous slide… Human resources software • Payroll accounting • Personnel recordkeeping • Labor scheduling Financial reporting software • Chart of accounts • Balance sheets • Income statements • Transaction analysis Inventory control software • Monitors stock levels • Monitors purchase ordering • Monitors stock rotation Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 28b
  35. 35. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations Non-Guest-Operated Interfaces • Point-of-sale system • Call accounting system • Electronic locking system • Energy management system Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 29a System Interfaces Continued
  36. 36. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations System Interfaces Continued from previous slide… Guest-Operated Interfaces • Automated information kiosks in lobby • In-room folio review and check-out • In-room entertainment systems • In-room vending systems • Local information provided via access to websites, virtual shopping malls, e-mail, and other online resources and services • High-speed Internet access Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 29b
  37. 37. Chapter 3: Front Office Operations • Coordinate and manage group reservations and meeting room availability • Help hotel salespeople maximize revenue by tracking the monetary value of group business • Collect data to identify group booking trends • Store group history files • Sales automation systems and property management systems are usually integrated Managing Front Office Operations PowerPoint 30 Sales Automation Systems

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