Front Office

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Guest-operated interfaces

Depending on the computerized PMS that a hotel has installed, guests may be able to operate some of the automated devices within the hotel. It allows guests to have more control over the services they get. Examples of this include: in room movie systems and fully automated guest room vending machines. Guests may even be able to review their accounts through the guest room television being connected to the guest accounting system.

Guest history file

Guest history files record customer’s detailed historical stay information. Guest history data base normally contains data such as arrival and departure dates, detailed revenue generated in rooms, food and beverage and extras, comments and special requirements during a stay of customer for each individual stay, and summarized (total number of reservations, total number of stays, total revenue generated) statistics. When new reservations are made, a property management system (PMS) automatically searches the guest history database, determining if the guest has stayed at the property before.

Guest history

To successfully return current guests and strategically market to new guests with similar characteristics, a hotel must maintain and evaluate data on all of its guests. The record of a guest’s stay, called the guest history, becomes part of a file that can be used to determine when a guest might visit in the future; the type of accommodation the guests prefer; dining preferences; use of amenities or recreational facilities; and other, more personal data, including home address and telephone number, spouse’s and childrens’ names, birthday, and so on.

Guest cycle

The guest cycle consists of four stages namely: (1) pre arrival, (2) arrival, (3) occupancy, and (4) departure. Pre arrival is the stage where the guest chooses the hotel and makes the reservation. Important information is gathered at this stage, which allows the next stage to run smoothly. The arrival stage is when the guest actually arrives and registers at the hotel (check in). Here the guest verifies the information gathered previously at the reservation stage, confirms method of payment, signs the registration card, and collects their key.

Guaranteed reservation

A guaranteed reservation is one that is guaranteed by a credit card number, for hotel accommodations. In exchange for the guaranteed reservation, the hotel can charge the credit card certain feeds if the reservation is not kept. When this type of reservation is made by a guest, it requires the hotel room to be held after the normal cancellation time for the property. By guaranteeing the reservation the guest is saying I will definitely be there and please hold the room for me no matter how late I am checking in.

Group reservation

A group reservation is for a block of rooms in a lodging facility. The block of rooms could be for a convention, a meeting, a special event (wedding, party, etc.), a tour group, or various other reasons. A group reservation could be as small as five rooms to several thousands, depending on the size of the lodging facility. By booking rooms in large quantities, the group receives a lower rate. Conventioneers and/or group members are most often provided with reservation postcards by the marketing and sales department of the hotel.

Front office systems

Front office system is part of the Property Management System (PMS) that aims to facilitate the interaction between hotel management and the guest. The system controls property management functions for reservations, front desk, cashier, housekeeping, and night audit management. Typical functions include control of room availability, room allocation, yield management, check in, room status, postings to guest accounts, guest credit audits, advance deposits, guest history, check out, currency exchange, room status, room and tax posting, operational reports and system set up.

Front office organization

The front office sells guestrooms, registers guests, assigns guestrooms, processes future room reservations, coordinates guest services, provides information, maintains accurate room status information, manages all guest accounts and credit limits, produces guest account statements, and completes a financial settlement with each guest upon departure. The front office is the most visible department in a hotel and the front desk typically occupies a prominent place in the hotel’s lobby.

Front office operations

The front office operations have gone through an evolution from manual, to electro mechanical to computer based. Pre 1920s technology in the front office was non-existent and manual operations prevailed. Electro mechanical operations were practiced through the early 1970s and were the foundation for automated systems that began to be installed in the late 1970s.

Front office ledger

The front office ledger is a summary form of information gathered from front office account folios. The guest ledger, which is maintained at the front desk, consists of all of the charges made by guests registered in the hotel. Information contained in this ledger is from the accounts receivable ledger (money owed to the hotel), which comprises the guest ledger (also known as transient ledger, front office ledger, or rooms ledger) and the city ledger (also known as non-guest ledger). The guest ledger contains account information on guests who are registered at the hotel.