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(HTM100) 4.Organization of the Front Office Department

(HTM100) 4.Organization of the Front Office Department



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Published by: chiasoonshian on Jul 20, 2009
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Organization of The Front OfficeDepartment
Typical Front Office Organization
 The organization chart in Figure 2.5 depicts a typical organization of staff for a front office manager. Staff includes
desk clerk, cashier,reservations manager, concierge, night auditor, telephoneoperator, bell staff, room key clerk, and elevator operator
. Notall of these positions are found in every lodging establishment. In someoperations, the front desk clerk acts as desk clerk, cashier, telephoneoperator, and reservations clerk, as required by the volume of business. Many large, full-service hotels, in contrast, employ thecomplete staff as listed.Staffing the front desk positions incurs a cost. The front officemanager, in consultation with the general manager, usually prepares apersonnel budget related to salary levels throughout the lodgingestablishment.
Organization Chart of The Front OfficeManager
1. Desk Clerk 
 The responsibilities of the front office staff are quite varied. Theposition of the
desk clerk
can encompass many duties, which typicallyinclude verifying guest reservations, registering guests, assigningrooms, distributing keys, communicating with the housekeeping staff,answering telephones, providing information about and directions tolocal attractions, accepting cash and giving change, and acting asliasion between the lodging establishment and the guest as well as thecommunity.
2. Cashier
 The position of cashier includes processing guest checkouts and guestlegal tender and providing change for guest. This position is found in a
number of lodging establishment, and it helps make the front deskworkload manageable when a full house, a hotel that has its entireguest rooms occupied (sometimes referred to as 100 percentoccupancy) is checking out. Given the possibility that every attendeeof a 400-guest convention could check out whitin a few hour, thisdivision of labor is a well-planned concept. Even with the best plannedsystems—such as express checkout, whereby the guest uses computertechnology ina guest room or a computer in the hotel lobby to checkout;prior approved credit, the use of a credit card to establishcreditworthiness;or bill-to-account, an internal billing process—the linesat the cashier station can be long and seem longer when a guest is in ahurry.
3. Reservations manager
 The reservations manager can be found in many of the larger lodgingestablishment. This person is responsible for taking incoming requestsfor rooms and noting special requests for service. The particulars of this position are endless, aimed at providing the guest with requestedinformation and services as well as accurate confirmation of theseitems. The reservations manager is responsible for keeping an accurateroom inventory by using a reservation module of a propertymanagement system. This person must communicate effectively withthe marketing and sales department. Peak as well as slow periods of sales must be addressed with adequate planning.
4. Night auditor
 The night auditor balances the daily financial transactions. This personmay also serve as desk clerk for the night shift (11:00pm to 7:00am).He or she must have a good grasp of accounting principles and theability to resolve financial discrepancies. This position requiresexperience as a desk clerk and good communications with thecantroller.
5. Telephone Operator
 The telephone operator has a very important job in the lodgingestablishment. This person must be able to locate the registeredguests and management staff at a moment’s notice. He or she alsomust be able to deal with crises up to and including life-threateningemergencies. With the introduction of a call accounting, a computertechnology application that tracks guest phone calls and posts billing
charges to lodging establishment, the telephone operator’s job hasbeen simplified, as the tracking of telephone charges to registeredguests can now be done with ease. This person may also assist thedesk clerk and cashier when necessary.
6. Bell Captain
 The bell captain, with a staff of bellhops and door attendants, is amainstay in the lodging establishment. The bell staff starts where thecomputerized property management system shops. They are thepeople who lift and tote the baggage, familiarize the guest with his orher new surroundings, run errands, deliver supplies, and provide theguest with information on in-house marketing efforts and localattractions. These people also act as the hospitality link between thelodging establishment and the guest. They are an asset to a well-runlodging establishment.
7. Key Clerk 
 The key clerk can be found in very large, full-service hotels that do nothave electronic key systems. This clerk is responsible for issuing keysto registered guests and for related security measures. Often he or shesorts incoming mail for registered guests and the management staff. This position is now obsolete in most hotels.
8. Elevator Operator
 The elevator operator, a person who manually operates the mechanicalcontrols of the elevator, is almost ectinct in the lodging establishment,replaced by self-operated elevators and escalators. Some elevatoroperator now serve as traffic managers, who direct hotel guests toavailable elevator in the lobby. In large, full-service hotels, the trafficmanager can be a welcome sight; the confusion of check-ins andcheckouts can be lessened when she or he is on duty.
9. Concierge
 The concierge provides guests with extensive information onentertainment, sports, amusements, transportation, tours, churchservice, and baby sitting in the area. He or she may know the areaintimately and be able to meet the individual needs of each guest. Thisperson also abtains theater tickets and makes reservations in

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