The Front office department is the major department in a hotel which is situated at the front part of the hotel and is responsible for the sale of hotels rooms through the systematic methods of reservation followed by registration and assigning rooms to the guest. It is the back bone as well as the Nerve Center of a hotel from where all the information and messages are communicated to the different departments or personnel. The front office in a hotel holds prime important in view of the basic nature of a business of a hotel i.e. to sell the rooms. Revenue collected from the sale of rooms contributes to more than 50% of the hotels total sale. Thus, the role of front office is to reserve, receive, register and allocate rooms to the guest and acts as a continuous source of information the guest during their stay at the hotel. Other major functions of this include settlement of guest account, providing guest services, preparation of guest history card, luggage handling, airport pick-up etc. The front office is also responsible for welcoming the guest, greeting the guest and handling the guest complaints.
Function of Front office department
- Deal with room reservation request.
- Prepare guest arrival and departure lists.
- Check-In arriving guests
- Receive guest and help them to complete registration formalities.
- Help in marketing and sales promotion strategies.
- Deal with various inquiries and information of In-house and outside activities.
- Settle account of the departing guests.
- Deal with mail, message and paging of guest.
- Keep relevant guest records.
- Handle guest complaints.
- Handle and control guest room keys.
It is the primary section and regarded as the hub of the front office department in a hotel. It is nerve centre of the front of the house operation. It mainly deals with reservation of accommodation or booking of guest rooms in advance. It is the place where all requests of reservation is received, processed and documented in various forms, charts and ledgers.
The main function of this section is to
- Handle all reservation requests politely.
- Handle all cancellation.
- Process and confirm reservation requests.
- Keep all reservation correspondence complete and systematic.
- Forecast future room reservation status.
- Reception/ Registration.
- It is an important section of the front office department in a hotel which is primarily responsible for the warm reception of the guest and assigning rooms after completing the registration formalities. This is front of the house area usually located near the lobby.
The function of this section
- Warmly receive all arriving guests with utmost courtesy and politeness.
- Complete registration formalities and perform guest check-in.
- Perform pre- registration formalities for groups, VIPs, CIPs, airlines crew.
- Coordinate closely with housekeeping for clearance of departure rooms.
- Issue VIPs amenities voucher with prior approval from the concern.
- Information section
- The information section is vital to front office operation. It is located at the front desk and responsible for handling the guest mails and message. It also handles the individual guest room keys and provides various information to the guests about the hotels products and services, facilities.
- The function of this section
- Maintain the information rack.
- Handle and control the room keys.
- Receive and send mails and messages.
- Handle and record guest mails, messages.
- Provide proper information to the about hotel facilities to the guests.
This is another very essential section of front office department which is usually located at the back area of the front office reception counter within a silent zone. It is designed and equipped with the telephone switchboard that is connected with telephone devices. The main function of this section is to handle outgoing and incoming guest calls, and calls from different departments.
It is handled by the front office cashier, located at the front desk. The main function of this section is to receive payments from the guests and to settle the guest’s accounts. It also maintain the individual guest accounts and responsible for handling various modes of payment. Functions of front office cashier are as follows.
- To secure payment from the guest on arrival.
- To encash foreign exchange as per the rule and regulation of the house.
- To manage safety deposit lockers.
- To settle the guest account upon the check-out.
- To open and post all guest charges and credits appropriate guest folio.
- To disburse petty cash to other cashiers of the departments.
- It is becoming popular and very necessary in the commercial trade of the hotel industries. The main function of business center is to provide the communication facilities. It contains laptops, internet connected with mail, computer, scanner, projector etc. the facility may include secretarial services as well. The arrangement of meeting rooms is also one of the major functions of business center.
- Lobby is an area located inside the entrance of a hotel building with sitting arrangement for guest/visitors to need to wait. Basically, lobby area must be furnished with all the necessary facilities e.g. lobby desk, bell desk, travel desk, GRE desk, and reception desk etc.
- The lobby is the first and very often the last point of contact for guests/visitors in the hotel. Lobby acts as an individual and independent department in a large hotel or may be a part of front office in small hotels.
- It is located at either side or lobby headed by Bell captain and followed by Bell Boys. This desk is responsible for handling the guest luggage and baggage during arrival and departure.
- This desk is responsible for arranging the tour package, tickets etc for the guests as per their request.
- It is a movable information desk especially designed for the special occasions and events.