CHAPTER 3: FRONT OFFICE DEPARTMENT

Very Important Question Answer 

1.  Define the Tariff

Tariff is the price of service such as import tariff, hotel tariff, air tariff, etc. It is also related to government tax. Hotels and airlines prefer to use the word tariff as they are selling service.

All organizations either profit organization or non-profit organization must be able to sale their offer. Sale is the delivery of organization’s offer to the receiver. The value fixed for exchange is price or tariff.

 

2. Define the Front office

Front Office is one of the most important sections of a tourist hotel. This unit is responsible for the sale of hotel rooms. It does the reservation, receives and registers the guests, assigns the rooms and acts as a continuous source of information to the guests during their stay at the hotel and finally collects the dues for the services provided. Most of the visitor’s impression is the first encounter of the hotel staff. The front office is the first and last point of contact of every guest. So the department is termed as “image building”. It functions as the “nerve center”. The department also develops and maintains up-to-date database of guest information, guest services and ensures guest satisfaction.

 

3. Define the Skippers

Skipper is the guest who departs without paying hotel bill. It is the intentional action of a guest. It is the duty of the Front Office to avoid the chance of guest turning out to be a skipper. He must maintain close cooperation with housekeeping, bell boys and with doorman. The heck starts from arrival of the guest. Many skippers arrive with “Scanty Baggage”. It is a false baggage or empty baggage so that they can leave the bag and run away without clearing hotel bill.

Some of the preventive measures are to receive some amount in advance or to get imprint of guests’ credit card and signature, check the permanent address and passport. Ask the suspicious guest to use safe deposit box to lock their valuables, so that they cannot leave the hotel without clearing the bill.

4.  Explain the Basis of charging room rates

Hotels are the business organizations. They provide accommodation and catering service. They determine the price of their services they provide. The prices depend upon their class of service and standard of service. Basis of charging room rates

In different country and in different hotels rooms are charged on different basis:

  • 12 noon basis: Under this system hotel room is charged on 12 noon as a check-out time. Late check-in or early check-out is ignored.
  • 24 hours basis: Under this system room occupancy time starts from the time of check-in
  • Night basis: This system is used in local hotel where travelers stay for night only.
  • Hour basis: In this system room rate is calculated on hour basis. They do not count night.

Types of Hotel Rates

  1. Published Rate also known as Printed Rates. The published rates are printed in its brochure and made public to everyone. It is open and applicable to everyone. The rate does not impose any terms and conditions. The rate is also known as rack rate.
  2. Special rates are the agreed rate between the hotel and travel agency or agents. The special rates are confidential. It is not exposed to everyone. In this rate hotel impose different terms and conditions. To get the special rate, travel agencies or agents and hotel does special agreement. The special rate depends upon the sales volume, goodwill and relation. Hotels publish special rates are by different names. Such as crab rate, seasonal rate, crewmember rate. The rates are also published on the basis of nationality.

 

5.Explain the Types of rooms and its description

 Generally a room is understood as a place closed by walls, roof, windows and doors for protection. A room is a source of income for management. However a room is a comfort, place to relax, pleasure, safe to stay, clean and hygienic for a guest. A hotel provides different types of room. Their size and facility depends upon the class of hotel service and tariff. The rooms are known by different names such as:

  1. Single room: A room made for one person which contains one single bed. Double room: A room to be occupied by two persons, which contains one double bed
  2. Twin room: A room for two persons, which contains two single beds.
  3. Triple room: A room for three people. The room contains 3 single beds.
  4. Dormitory: A big room with many single beds to occupy by many individuals.
  5. Studio Room: A room with bed and extra studio bed that is a sofa cum bed.
  6. Interconnecting Room: Rooms connected internally for family use.
  7. Adjoining Rooms: Rooms connected to each other but no internal connection. Adjacent Room: Rooms which are opposite to each other in the same floor.
  8. Cabana: A room connected with swimming pool.
  9. Penthouse: A room on the terrace or on rooftop to enjoy sky
  10. Lanai: A room with balcony or veranda
  11. Suits: A set of room with setting area with other ancillary facilities. They are different types such as Duplex suit, Presidential suits, Royal suite, etc.

Above are the general names assigned to the types of rooms. The rooms are classified by the service and facilities it includes such as luxury, standard. They provide different types of bed in the room such as King size, Queen Size, etc.


6. Enlist check-in and check-out procedures of a guest in a large hotel.

A general process of check-in process is given below:

1st Step: The very first step is to greet and receive the guest by doorman, He receives and buzz the bell to inform the bellboys at the bell desk.

 2nd Step: By receiving the buzz he rush to help the guest with their luggage. He greets the guest and makes them to feel comfortable as if they have arrived to their home. Collects the baggage, count them and lead guest to the reception.

3rd Step: Guest contact at the counter and completes the registration process, information desk provides necessary information, welcome process is completed. Then room key and Errand card is handed to bellboys.

4th Step: Bellboy lead the guest to their room

5th Step: Bellboy opens the guest room, place the guest baggage at right places and brief about the light, AC, TV, music, internal locking and other facilities available in the room.

6th Step: Offer any other services as as per guest request.

 7th Step: Bellboy reports back to the reception and bell desk.

General procedure of check-out is given below:

1st Step: The bellboy receives the call from the room. He note down the room no. inform the cashier to prepare the bill, receives the Departure Errand Card and proceed to the room.

2nd Step: Knock the guest room and only enter the room. Look around the room for any guest articles that should not be forget to pack. Help guest to pack their luggage. At the same time check the damage, lost, misplace of hotel property. Switch off the light systems. Collect the room key and depart from room letting the guest lead the way.

3rd Step: Please the luggage at the bell desk and help the guest to clear the bill. Fill up the Errand Card and key to the reception.

4th Step: After guest clearing the bill bellboy takes the baggage out to the porch, count and load into the transport. Doorman will help for farewell and wish for a happy journey back. 5th Step: Report back to the bell desk.

Hotel is a service business so all the activities must be performed very nicely so that guest feels comfortable and will visit again.

7. Explain the Check in procedures

The hotel check-in process starts from guest arrival at the hotel. The job includes welcome ad receive, registration, room assign and placing the baggage in their room. The job is completed by doorman, bellboys, receptionist, information and lobby manager. A general process of check in process is given below:

1st Step: The very first step is to greet and receive the guest by doorman. He receives and buzz the bell to inform the bellboys at the bell desk.

2nd Step: By receiving the buzz he rush to help the guest with their luggage. He greets the guest and makes them to feel comfortable as if they have arrived to their home. Collects the baggage, count them and lead guest to the reception.

3rd Step: Guest contact at the counter and completes the registration process, information desk provides necessary information, welcome process is completed. Then room key and Errand card is handed bellboys.

4th Step: Bellboy lead the guest to their room

5th Step: Bellboy opens the guest room, place the guest baggage at right the places and brief about the light, AC, TV, music, internal locking and other facilities available in the room.

6th Step: Offer any other services as per guest request.

7th Step: Bellboy reports back to the reception and bell desk.

8. Explain the Check-out procedures.

The check out is one of the important job of a hotel business. It covers up all the shortfalls and motivate guest to re-visit again. The job check out involves leaving the room, bringing down the luggage, clearing the bill, loading of the baggage in the vehicle and final see off. The job is completed by bellboy, room service, housekeeping, cashier, lobby manager and doorman.

General procedure of check-out is given below:

1st Step: The bellboy receives the call from the room. He note down the room no. inform the cashier to prepare the bill, receives the Departure Errand Card and proceed to the room.

2nd Step: Knock the guest room and only enter the room. Look around the room for any guest articles that should not be forget to pack. Help guest to pack their luggage. At the same time check the damage, lost, misplace of hotel property. Switch off the light systems. Collect the room key and depart from room letting the guest lead the way.

3rd Step: Please the luggage at the bell desk and help the guest to clear the bill. Fill up the Errand Card and key to the reception.

 4th Step: After guest clearing the bill bellboy takes the baggage out to the porch, count and load into the transport. Doorman will help for farewell and wish for a happy journey back.

5th Step: Report back to the bell desk.

Hotel is a service business so all the activities must be performed very nicely so that guest feels comfortable and will visit again.

9. Explain the Sundry Services.

Information desk provides the service of Sundry Services. The unit with the help of bell boys, provides small but very important services to the guests, which is known as sundry services it includes Handling mail/ messages.

The information table in cooperation with bell boys is responsible to handle all mails. All mails must be given high importance and should be dispatched to the concerned receiver. The mails are of two types: House Mail and Guest Mail.

All guest mail must be given top priority and should be immediately dispatched to his room. In case the guest is not available at a point of time and message comes in by person or by telephone, the particular information table will receive the message. Many hotels use printed “Message Slip” to write down the message. The message is taken down in duplicate. The original is placed in the appropriate key rack and duplicate is slipped under the door of the guest room. Modern hotels may have a message light system connected to a message light flash in the room.

If message is very important but guest could not be identified, bellboy would then write the name of the guest or his room number on a board. The board has a long handle and bells to attract the attention. The bell boy then moves ringing the bells to call attention. The concerned guest would then contact the bell boy and receive the message. The system where hotel staff cannot identify a guest and the guest identifies himself is known as “Paging”

Sometimes a guest staying in the hotel may want to leave a message for a visitor who may come in person or may call. Those messages are recorded on a message slip of a different colour.

In case the guest has left the hotel for a next destination, the mail is then immediately forwarded to the next address as indicated in the Guest Registration Card.

10. Write the job description of receptionist.

The reception unit is represented by receptionist. The unit receives, registers and allocates rooms to the guests upon their arrival. The important information about the guests like their name, address, nationality, passport number, purpose of visit, duration of stay, etc are recorded in the registration form. The receptionist also manages the room key. The receptionist also works as nerve system. He receives message for the guest and informs the guests. It maintains close relation with bellboys to handle guest baggage and with housekeeping department for the amenities to be placed in the room, and with the kitchen to order the food, if any. He handles the guest problems and complaints

The receptionist job includes:

  • Promptly & courteously register guest’s information and assign rooms
  • Update the room rack and check continuously Calculate room availability position and advise reservation
  • Complete pre-registration formalities for VIP, invalids, old people, group checking and airline crew
  • Execute government formalities regarding foreign tourist Issue vouchers/coupons for kitchen, health club, sauna, etc.
  • Co-ordinate with housekeeping for clearance to sell rooms Prepare room reports & occupancy statistics
  • Co-ordinate with bellboys to handle guest messages, baggage for check-in and check-out

11. Explain the essential quality attributes of Front Office Staffs.

Tourism being a service industry so the image, quality, personality, efficiency, etc. of the staffs determine the class and quality of a hotel. Among different departments Front Office is the most critical department as it is the first and last point a customer contacts.

This department generates and collects the revenue. They receive guests allocate rooms and other facilities and collect the payment. At the same time they motivate the guest to spend more on various hotel facilities. So the front staff must have the quality of salesmanship.

Front Office is the nerve system. It co-ordinates different departments within the hotel and maintains good relation with external service agencies such as travel agencies, airlines, etc. In this way a front office staff need to be a good coordinator and leader.

A front office staff must be informative and knowledgeable as this is the Reference Point. Every department contracts Front Office to leave or receive information in relation to guest service. In house guest also contact this point to receive and leave information. In the same way visitors, government/ local authorities, agents contracts this point for information.

Front Office plays a vital role of problem solver. Being the center of communication it receives the guest complaints. So the staff should be diplomatic and resourceful to solve the problem at the shortest possible time. They channel the communication in case of emergency, accident, lost and found, death, etc.

The image of front office staffs their manner, dress, communication skill, personal conduct their efficiency determines the class of hotel. So they are known as image builders. The dress, personality, grooming are very important qualities of a front office staff.

 12. List and explain the various types of room plan.

The room plan is also known as Hotel plan. Hotel plan is choice of a customer to have meals in the hotel or not. A customer may wish to stay in the hotel but does not want to have meals in the hotel. Others may want to have accommodation and breakfast only and others want to have all the meals in the hotel. The combination of accommodation with meals is the plan. The combinations are known by different names, they are as follows:

  1. EP: European Plan: In this plan a tourist will enjoy the accommodation only in the hotel. The cost of meals is not included in this plan. The guest will pay extra for meals.
  2. BB: Bed and Breakfast: This plan includes accommodation and breakfast only and other meals are not included. This plan is also known as CP: Continental Plan. In this plan accommodation and continental breakfast is included.
  3. MAP: Modified American Plan: This plan includes accommodation breakfast and either lunch or dinner. It includes only two meals, The guest has a choice to have only one meal – lunch or dinner.
  4. AP: American Plan: This plan includes accommodation and three meals breakfast, lunch and dinner in the hotel. Sometime this plan is also known as Full Board.

 

13. What is registration of guest? Discuss its importance.

Registration is a process to record the guest name, address, nationality, etc. It is the act of recording necessary information related to guests. Purpose of registration:

  1. Guest registration is a government rule, so not to maintain guest record is illegal.
  2. The registration helps government to monitor the movement of people in the country, publish data for future planning, etc.
  3. In case of sick guest, accident, or death of a guest, the hotel could be ableto intimate the guest relative by looking at the registration card.
  4. The registration helps to contact guest after departure also. It helps in case of ‘Skippers’, lost and found, misplace or change and exchange of guest luggage.
  5. It is a legal proof to the guest of his presence in the hotel.
  6. The guest record could be used to update guest history card, which acts as a marketing tool for the organization. Registration is most essential in service business as service in intangible and ownership does not move so a guest needs proof of ownership cable record system. Registration is a record system.

14.  List the information to be provided to the guests about hotel facilities and services.

A big hotel may have information desk if not lobby manager will handle the job of guest information. They provide information about the city, events, and functions. For this purpose they keep in close contact with bell boys. In some hotels travel desk does the function of information unit to assist guests in making travel plan and booking flight ticket. The objective of information is to make them feel secured and increase enthusiasm about the facilities and services provided by the hotel. The general list of information need to be provided to the guest is:

  • Hotel facilities and services
  • Location of facilities, restaurants and other activities.
  • The services included or free of cost. The facilities and services provided by the hotel
  • General government rules.
  • General rules and regulation a guest need to follow, such as tax, tips, foreign currency, etc
  • Any event happening in the city that they can participate
  • Health and security practices they need to be cautious. One thing must keep in mind that information is not to make them serious, and they are not in educational tour that they can remember every point. Information is to support them to enjoy and relax their stay in the hotel.

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