Front office Department in Hotel– Definition, Role, Importance & Responsibilities

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Front office department in hotel

The front office in a hotel is the central hub for guests, and it is where a majority of their interactions with the hotel will take place. In this blog post, we will delve into the various roles and responsibilities of the front office department, as well as the section of front office. And many more, so let’s gets start!

What is the Front Office?

As I said above the front office department in a hotel is the central hub for guests, and it is where a majority of their interactions with the hotel will take place.

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This department is responsible for managing the reservations, check-ins, and check-outs of guests, as well as handling any issues or requests they may have during their stay. The front office team is often the first point of contact for guests seeking assistance or information, and they must have excellent customer service skills and the ability to communicate effectively with guests and other departments within the hotel.

In larger hotels, the front office department may be divided into sub-teams, each with their own specific responsibilities, and the team may also be responsible for implementing and managing technological systems. The front office department plays a vital role in the overall success of a hotel, as it can significantly contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Role/Function of Front Office

The main function of the front office department is to manage the reservations of guests. This includes taking phone and online bookings, entering them into the hotel’s reservation system, and assigning rooms to guests. The front office team also handles the check-in and check-out process, including verifying guest identification, collecting payment, and issuing keys.

In addition to these core responsibilities, the front office department is often the first point of contact for guests seeking assistance or information. This may include answering questions about the hotel’s amenities and services, providing directions to local attractions, or assisting with any issues that may arise during a guest’s stay. As such, excellent customer service skills are essential for front office staff.

The traditional roles of the front office department, many hotels are now implementing technology to streamline processes and improve the guest experience. This may include the use of automated check-in kiosks or online booking systems. The front office team may also be responsible for managing and maintaining these technological systems.

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Effective communication is also crucial within the other department of hotel. The team must be able to effectively communicate with guests, as well as with other departments within the hotel.

In larger hotels, the front office department may be divided into sub-teams, each with their own specific responsibilities. For example, there may be a team responsible for handling group reservations and events, or a team focused on guest relations and guest satisfaction.

Importance of front office in hotel

The front office plays the very important role in overall success of a hotel. A well-run front office team can make all the difference in the guest experience, and can contribute significantly to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

One of the most important aspects of the front office department is the ability to handle and resolve any issues or complaints of guests may have. This requires a high level of problem-solving skills and the ability to think on your feet. It is also essential for front office staff to remain calm and professional at all times, even in difficult situations.

Overall, the front office department is important because it helps to create a positive experience for guests and ensures the smooth operation of the hotel.

Duties and Responsibilities of front office department in hotel

As we stated It is the first point of contact for guests, and it is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including:

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  • Checking guests in and out of the hotel.
  • Managing guest reservations and maintaining a records of occupancy.
  • Handling guest inquiries and requests.
  • Processing payments and handling financial transactions.
  • Managing the hotel’s room inventory and rate management.
  • Handling guest complaints and issues.
  • Managing the hotel’s telephone and communication systems.
  • Coordinating with other hotel departments to ensure that guests have a smooth and pleasant stay.

In addition to these tasks, the front office department may also be responsible for managing the hotel’s revenue and occupancy levels, as well as ensuring that the hotel is properly staffed and supplied at all times.

The front office department is typically the first point of contact for guests and is responsible for creating a positive impression of the hotel. As such, front office staff should be friendly, helpful, and professional at all times.

Section of Front office in Hotel 

Reception: The reception desk is the first point of contact for guests when they arrive at the hotel. Front office staff at the reception desk are responsible for welcoming guests, checking them in and out, assigning rooms, and providing general information about the hotel and the surrounding area.

Reservations: Reservations section in front office is responsible for taking and managing guest reservations. This includes checking availability, booking rooms, and processing payments.

Cashier: The cashier section is responsible for handling all financial transactions at the hotel, including room payments, restaurant bills, and souvenir purchases.

Concierge: Concierge is a guest services representative who can help guests with a variety of requests, such as booking restaurant reservations, making tour arrangements, and purchasing tickets for events.

Bell desk: The bell desk is responsible for handling guest luggage, delivering messages, and providing other assistance to guests.

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In addition to these core sections, some hotels may also have the following front office sections these are the –

Business center: The business center provides guests with access to computers, printers, and other business-related services.

Travel desk: The travel desk can help guests with travel arrangements, such as booking flights, trains, and rental cars.

Guest relations: The guest relations department is responsible for resolving any guest complaints or concerns.

Organization Chart Of Front Office Department in Hotel

Front office department Organization chart
Organization Chart

Duties and Responsibilities of Front Office Staff

Front office Manager

The front office manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the hotel’s front desk and other guest service areas. This typically includes managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and handling any issues or complaints that arise.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Direct and coordinate the activities of the front office department.
  • Perform the function of a link between the management and front office employees.
  • Plan the present and future need of resources to carry out the functions of the department.
  • Responsible for hiring, training, supervision and disciplining all front desk, reservation, and guest services staff members in order to maintain the desired standards of service.
  • Maintain and develop applicable standard operational procedures and ensure that they are followed.
  •  Prepare the budget for the front office department.
  • Motivate the front office employees to work in a team to attain the organizational objectives.
  •  Evaluate the job performance of each front office employee.
  • Schedule tasks of front office employees and re-arrange work schedule if an employee is on leave.
  •  Ascertain the training needs of the employees of the department, and arrange for trainings, refresher trainings, and cross trainings.
  • Ensure the proper image of the organization is being maintained by all team members with respect to grooming and uniform standards.
  • Prepare all necessary forecasts, work closely with reservations, front office and sales to maximize occupancy, rate, and revenue. Keep all departments notified of any fluctuations in business levels, special guests, groups, etc.
  •  Review all reports generated by all the sections of the department.
  •  Hold regular meetings with staff members in order to keep them properly informed and trained.
  •  Maintain a good communication with other departments to ensure maximum cooperation, productivity, and guest satisfaction.
  •  Develop relationships with guests and clients by providing maximum personalised guest service.
  •  Resolve guest problems quickly, efficiently, and courteously.
  •  Arrange for private telephone line and other special services for guest.
  •  Conduct property checks.
  •  Be responsible for the cleanliness of the office area.
  •  Attend regular department heads meetings and contribute ideas with regard to hotel operations in general.
  • Manage online inventories.
  •  Keep updated with the new trends and ideas in the hospitality industry.
  • Assist staff with any concerns they have regarding housing, payroll, investment and any other policy.
  •  Respond promptly and take a supervisory role in any hotel emergency or safety situation, and convey the required emergency procedures to the rooms division.

Reservation Assistant

A Reservation Assistant is a member of the hotel or hospitality staff who is responsible for assisting guests with making reservations for hotel rooms, event spaces, and other amenities. They typically work at the hotel’s front desk or in a reservations call center.

Duties and Responsibilities

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  • Receive and process the reservation requests of future guests.
  • Maintain reservation records by completing reservation forms, sending reservation confirmation or amendment letters, and updating the status of rooms after processing each reservation request ie, confirmation, amendment, and cancellation).
  • To process reservations from the sales offices, other departments of the hotel, trvel agents, tour operators, and corporate booking agents.
  • Communicate the reservation information to the reception.
  • Prepare the expected arrival list and the expected departure list every day.
  • Fill the registration cards of guests that are expected to arrive each day (using the information available from reservation forms and guest history cards), and to send this information to front desk.
  • Prepare a guest folder and to keep the mails and messages of guests with reservation documents.
  • Promote goodwill by being courteous, friendly, and helpful to guests, managers, and fellow employees.

Receptionist

A Receptionist is a person who is typically the first point of contact for guest in hotel, when they arrive at a hotel. Their primary responsibility is to greet and assist visitors, answer phones, and perform administrative tasks.

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Duties and responsibilities

  • Greet guests on their arrival.
  •  Politely confirm the details of guests with confirmed reservation.
  • Complete the registration formalities of guests with confirmed reservation.
  •  Check the availability of rooms in case of walk in guests.
  •  Assign rooms and call the bell boy to escort guests to their rooms.
  •  Use up-selling techniques to sell higher category rooms and also to promote other services of the hotel.
  •  Coordinate room status updates with the housekeeping department.
  • Notify housekeeping of all check outs, late check outs, early check ins, and special requests.
  • Process guests’ check out requests.
  • Post all the credit charges to the guest folios.
  • Process requests for safe deposit boxes according to the house policy.
  • Process reservation requests of guests if directed by the reservation section.

Information Assistant

In a hotel, an Information Assistant is a member of the staff who is responsible for providing information and assistance to guests. They may work at the front desk or in a dedicated information center within the hotel.

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Provide desired information to guests.
  • Update the guest rack after every arrival and departure.
  • Maintain information rack.
  •  Handle guest mails and messages.
  • Coordinate guest room maintenance work with the engineering and maintenance Departments.
  •  Assist in guest paging.

Cashier

The Front Office Cashier in a hotel is responsible for handling financial transactions related to guest services, such as room charges, restaurant bills, and retail purchases. They may work at the front desk, in a restaurant or retail shop within the hotel, or in a dedicated cashier’s office.

Duties and Responsibilities

  •  Prepare bills and present the same for settlement at the time of guest departure.
  • Update guests credit transactions on a daily basis.
  •  Maintain guests’ weekly bills.
  •  Obtain the house bank (a fixed amount which comprises currency and coins of different denomination to carry out the day’s work and keep at balanced).
  • Transfer guest balances to other accounts, as required.
  • Handle paid out vouchers of guests.
  • Settle guest accounts by accepting cash, credit card, traveller’s cheque, etc.
  • Check the authenticity of the currency received.
  • Exchange foreign currency according to daily exchange rate, accordance with the rules and regulation of Reserve Bank of India.
  •  Balance the cash and close the shift.

Telephone Operator

Telephone Operator in a hotel is responsible for managing incoming and outgoing calls on the hotel’s switchboard. They may work at the front desk or in a dedicated telephone operator’s office within the hotel.

Duties and Responsibilities

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  • Answer all incoming calls.
  •  Direct incoming calls to the desired extension, which are routed through private branch exchange.
  • Prepare bills of guests’ outgoing calls and send them to the front desk to be posted in the guest folio.
  • Provide paging services for guests and employees.
  •  Log all wake up calls on the system.
  • Answer questions about the hotel’s services and products. Understand and follow the emergency procedure installed in the property.

Bell Boy

Bellboy, also known as a Bellman, is a member of the hotel staff who is responsible for assisting guests with their luggage and providing other services as needed. They typically work in the lobby or at the entrance of the hotel.

  • Handle the guest luggage, i.e., transport the guest Luggage from lobby to the room at the time of check in, and from the room to the vehicle at the time of departure.
  • Put luggage tag at the time of the arrival of a guest.
  • Escort guests to their rooms and familiarize them with the use of in-house telephone directory, weather control, and functions of all other equipment installed in the room.
  •  When collecting luggage at the time of check out, take the room to ensure that everything is intact.
  •  Keep the records of the left luggage rooms.
  •  Inform about the scanty baggage guest at the time of check-in.
  • Perform sundry guest services like posting of guest mails, making purchases from outside the hotel premises like flowers, etc.
  •  Help in locating guests in a specified area within the hotel premises.
  •  Deliver mail, packages, and messages to guests in their rooms.

Door Attendant

Duties and Responsibilities

  •  Open the doors of guests’ vehicles arrival in the hotel portico.
  • Help bell boys in lifting luggage.
  •  Open the hotel’s entrance door for guests.
  •  Coordinate with parking attendants for parking guests vehicles in the hotel’s parking are.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the front office is one of the most important departments in a hotel. It is responsible for everything from guest reservations to check-in and check-out. The front office staff is also responsible for providing guests with information and assistance, and for ensuring that guests have a positive experience during their stay.

The front office department plays a vital role in the success of a hotel. By providing excellent customer service and ensuring that guests have a positive experience, the front office can help to increase guest satisfaction and repeat business.

Here are some tips for ensuring that your front office department is successful –

  • Hire well-trained and experienced staff.
  • Provide your staff with the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • Create a positive and supportive work environment.
  • Encourage your staff to go above and beyond for guests.
  • Recognize and reward your staff for their hard work.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your front office department is a valuable asset to your hotel.

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