Front Office

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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.


This refers to guests who stay in the hotel beyond the date of departure that they had originally indicated. Overstays need to be carefully monitored by the front desk as the rooms may be pre blocked for other expected guests. A way of trying to avoid this problem is by verifying at check in when the actual departure date of the guest is. In the modern hotel it is not uncommon for the guest to initial the departure date on the registration paperwork to confirm the number of nights for which the lodging is required.


This refers to a situation where the hotel has accepted more reservations than the rooms available. Hotels practice overbooking to overcome the changeable number of arrivals that may occur on any given day due to no shows, cancellations and understays. One of the front desk goals is to achieve as high an occupancy rate as possible and practicing overbooking is a way to try to achieve this. Care has to be taken, however, to make sure that you do not end up having to turn away (‘walk’) a guest as this creates poor guest relations and is not good for repeat business.

On change status

At checkout along with settling the guest account, the front desk agent must change the status of the guest room from occupied to on change, or a room from which the guest has checked out but is not ready for the next arrival or is not ready for cleaning, and notify the housekeeping department of the departure. With an integrated property management system, departure notification may be forwarded to housekeeping automatically. Because the room is not available until housekeeping is finished with it, the on change status is typically for a short time as possible.

Occupancy percentage

Occupancy percentage historically revealed the success of a hotel’s staff in attracting guests to a hotel. The traditional view of measuring the effectiveness of the general manager, marketing staff and front office staff was used to answer such questions as how many rooms were sold due to the director of sales efforts in creating attractive and enticing direct mail, radio and television ads, billboard displays, or newspapers and magazine display adds. The occupancy percentage for a hotel property is computed daily.

No show

This refers to people who have made a reservation with the hotel but fail to show up on the day of arrival or have not cancelled the reservation. No shows create a problem for the hotel in that it makes it difficult for them to maximize their occupancy. It represents a loss of revenue for the hotel. However, guests who have guaranteed their reservation (either by paying a deposit or giving credit card information) and failed to show up on the day of arrival will be charged for the first night of the reservation.

Les clefs d’or

Les Clefs d’Or (pronounced lay clay door), liter ally, means keys of gold in French. The crossed gold keys are the international symbol of the organization. The keys displayed on a concierge’s uniform lapels assure travelers that they are dealing with a seasoned professional, one who is dedicated to serve the guests’ every need. Glob ally there is membership in 40 countries and 3000 members.

Late arrival

Any guest arriving after a designated hour of the day, typically 6:00 pm or 18:00 hs, is considered a late arrival. At that time a guest who did not guarantee his/her reservation may have it canceled. A number of situations or circumstances can delay a guest’s scheduled arrival. Guests frequently do not have the chance to change a non guaranteed reservation to a guar anteed reservation by the time they realize they will arrive past the hotel’s reservation cancellation hour.

Housing process

Housing for meetings’ attendees can be handled in four different ways. One way is for attendees to arrange their own room accommodations, which does not allow attendees or the organization to take advantage of group rates or other concessions. A second way is when the organization arranges for group rates with the hotel, and attendees respond directly to the hotel with a reservation request which can be using a card, a form, the telephone, a fax, or the Internet.

House limit

A house limit is a credit control mechanism used by the front desk when monitoring guest account folios. At check in when guests present an accept able credit card they are given charge privileges. This means that guests have the ability to charge to their rooms. The front desk will set a limit to which the guest can charge to their account and this limit is known as the house limit. The front desk must regularly check guest accounts that have been given these charge privileges to ensure that the house limit is not exceeded.