Front Office

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Walking the guest

When a guest arrives at a lodging facility with a guaranteed reservation and there are no rooms available. The guest must be sent to a similar lodging facility at the expense of the facility that did not honor the reservation. The guest should be given free transportation to the facility and one free long distance phone call to notify someone of the change in where they will be staying. If the guest had a reservation for more than one night, every effort should be made to move the person back to the property the next day.


A person who arrives at a lodging facility without a reservation. According to Stutts (2001) a walk in is an excellent opportunity to increase sales and occupancy. Therefore, treat the walk in guest just as warmly as a guest who has a reservation. First ask the guest the length of his/her stay to ascertain that a room is available for the requested days. If space is available for the entire length of his/her stay then the available rate should be quoted. The walk in guest is an excel lent opportunity to practice upselling and maximizing potential revenue for the property.


The efforts of reservation agents and front desk agents to convince guests to rent rooms in categories above standard rate accommodations. Hotels typically have several rate categories based on factors such as de´cor, size, location, view, and furnishings. Often the difference in rate between two similar guest rooms can be substantial.


This refers to a guest who leaves the hotel prior to the departure date that he/she had originally indicated. Pleasure travelers may find their tourist attraction less interesting than anticipated. Urgent business may require the corporate client to return to the office sooner than expected. It is also known as early departure or curtailment. Like overstays this situation has to be monitored especially in periods when the hotel is busy. Understays create a situation where the hotel is left trying to sell a room that had previously been reserved and represent a loss of revenue.


Provides a guest with an opportunity to check his/her self out of the hotel from lobby terminals and/or the guest room. A self checkout terminal might be a monitor in the lobby or a guest room television. In either case the terminal or in room system is interfaced with the front office computer. A guest accesses the proper folio and reviews its contents. Guests may be required to enter a credit card number or insure the accuracy of a credit card number. Settlement can be automatically assigned to an acceptable credit card as long as the guest presented a valid card at registration.

Registration card

The front office utilizes a registration card or the computer based equivalent to check in guests. A typical registration card requires the guest to furnish personal data including name, billing address, length of stay, and method of settlement. From the registration card credit can be established or verified during check in as well.


Registration is an activity that usually takes place at the hotel’s reception and upon the guests arrival at the hotel. The registration process, irrespective of the type of the hotel, can be divided into a series of activities. These activities typically include: greeting the guest which may go a long way toward establishing a rapport with the guest in that the guest may judge all other services during a stay by this first encounter; creating a registration record, distributing a key, and finally fulfilling any special requests (such as wake up calls) that the guest might have.


PBX is an abbreviation for private branch exchange. Historically telephone systems in a hotel were manual and required all outgoing calls to be made by a hotel operator. As hotel telephone technology has advanced dial systems have been introduced, in which guests could dial their own calls.