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INTRODUCTION TO FRONT OFFICE

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UNIT 1

INTRODUCTION TO FRONT OFFICE

OBJECTIVES

General Objective

: To understand the roles and importance of front office, duties and


overview of front office organizational chart.

Specific Objectives : At the end of the unit you will be able to:

describe the roles of front office

list the duties of the front office staff

state the structure of front office organisational chart of a


hotel

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INPUT

1.0

INTRODUCTION TO FRONT OFFICE


Often regarded as the nerve center of the hotel, the front office is where
guests check in and out , payments on accounts are made and messages are
exchanged. Front desk staff should be people-oriented, good at solving
problems and attentive to details. The actions and attitudes displayed toward
guests are a big part of what the hotel is selling.......SERVICE!
SOURCE: AMERICAN HOTEL & MOTEL
ASSOCIATION

1.1

WHAT IS FRONT OFFICE?


Front office is the most important department because it has the most guest
contact. Guest makes their first contact with front office staff when they
arrive at a hotel.

The hotels first impression depends on the services

provided by the front office staff. Therefore the front office staff gives a
significant impact on the hotel image.

The function of the front office

includes reservation, registration, room and rates assignment, room status,


guest services and cashiering. Normally, front office operates 24 hours a day
with three main shifts divided among the staff:
Morning-day shift

7am 3 pm

Day-evening shift

3pm 11 pm

Night shift

11pm 7 am

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In conclusion, front office is the nerve center of the hotel. It coordinates


information between the guest and the hotel. Hence, the staff must be able to
do various activities in order to operate the hotel smoothly.

1.2

ORGANISATIONAL CHART
A hotel is clearly an organization because it has certain goals which need to
be achieved. The main goal is to bring guest to stay in the hotel as this will
make a lot of profit. In order to achieve its goals, plans and coordinations of
activities between departments need to be smooth. What better way to do this
than by using organisational chart.
Organisational chart will give a clearer picture of the relationship between
the different positions within the hotel. It also enables the manager to know
the positions of staff within the hotel and also who is answerable to whom.
Organisational chart also shows where and how each department fits into the
overall organization of a hotel. Each staff has to understand their duties and
responsibilities. By looking at the organisational chart, they can see how they
interlink with each other in their daily activities.
However, hotel organisation structure varies. It depends on the size and style
of operation. Normally hotel organisation structures can be categorized into
small, medium or large.

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General
Manager

Sales
Executive

Sales
Clerk

Front
Office
Manager

Supervisor

Receptionist

Executive
Housekeeper

Chambermaid

F&B
Manager

Captain

Waiter

Finance
Manager

Chef

Account
Clerk

Commis

Cashier

Steward

Figure 1.1 Organisation of a medium-sized hotel

Security
Manager

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GENERAL MANAGER

EXECUTIVE
SECRETARY

SALES &
MARKETING
MANAGER

SALES
MANAGER

SALES
EXECUTIVE

FRONT OFFICE
MANAGER

ASSISTANT
MANAGER

BELL
CAPTAIN

EXECUTIVE
HOUSEKEEPER

PUBLIC
AREA
SUPERVISOR

FOOD & BEVERAGE


MANAGER

MAINTENANCE
MANAGER

PERSONEL
MANAGER

FINANCE
MANAGER

PERSONEL
CLERK

CASHIER

RESTAURANT
MANAGER

SOUS
CHEF

CHARGEMAN

F&B
SUPERVISOR

CHEF
DE
PARTIE

AIR
CONDITIONING
MECHANIC

DEMI
CHEF

ELECTRICIAN

COMMIS

PLUMBER

HOUSEMAID

BELLMAN
FLOOR
SUPERVISOR
SALES
CLERK

FRONT
OFFICE
SUPERVISOR

FRONT
OFFICE
ASSISTANT

CAPTAIN

CHAMBERMAID
BARTENDER

LINEN
SUPERVISOR

WAITER
STEWARD

LINEN MAID
RESERVATION
SUPERVISOR

RESERVATION
CLERK

TELEPHONE
SUPERVISOR

ASSISTANT
TELEPHONE
SUPERVISOR

TELEPHONE
OPERATOR

Figure 1.2
Organisation of a medium-sized hotel
(Source: Crystal Crown Hotel Johor Bahru)

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General Manager

Front Office Manager

Assistant Front Office


Manager

Reservation Manager /
Telephone Manager

Duty Officer / Night


Manager

Assistant Recreation
Manager

Figure
1.3 Organisation structure
of Front Office
in a large hotel
Reservation
Front Office
Assistant Bell
Supervisor

Reservation Clerk /
Telephone Operator

Manager

Front Office
Supervisor

Captain
(Source:

Lifeguard

Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur)

Reservation
Supervisor

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1.3

DUTIES OF FRONT OFFICE PERSONNEL


Hyatt Hotel, Sue
speaking, how may
I direct your call?

Telephone operator

Processing all incoming and outgoing calls

Give morning wake-up call

Taking messages

Operating hotel paging system

Welcome to Shangrila hotel. Are you


checking in sir?

Receptionist

Greeting guest

Handling special request

Handling check-in and check-out

Providing information for guest

Assigning rooms and dispensing guest room keys

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INTRODUCTION TO FRONT OFFICE

Reservation agent

Mr.Smith, may I
know your
mailing address
and telephone
number?

Handling guaranteed and non-guaranteed reservation

Up sell accommodations

Forecasting

Providing management information to other departments

Cashier

Receiving payment

Balancing guest account

Maintenance of guest account

Administer the safe deposit system

Handling foreign currency

Concierge

Ensuring guest satisfaction

Arranging tours, limousine and entertainment tickets

Maintaining good relationship with hospitality industry

Personal helper for VIP

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Provide latest information of events

Activity 1
TEST YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEFORE YOU CONTINUE WITH THE NEXT
INPUT!
In the WORD MAZE below, find words that are related to front office
( Questions 1.1 1.9 )
R
E
C
E
P
T
I
O
N
C

F
F
R
O
O
M
T
H
A
O

A
M
T
F
H
U
K
S
M
N

S
M
G
T
T
V
H
N
A
C

A
W
D
U
W
I
K
C
N
I

L
H
O
T
E
L
B
H
A
E

E
G
J
R
S
S
X
E
G
R

S
R
J
J
D
N
T
F
E
G

Example: A person who offers latest information of events happening


CONCIERGE

P
L
O
R
E
Y
W
W
R
E

O
P
E
R
A
T
O
R
Y
H

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Fill in the blanks for the organizational chart below


( Questions 1.10 -1.14 )

(1.10)

Front Office
Supervisor

(1.11)

Bell Captain

(1.12)

Reservation Clerk

(1.13)

Telephone
Supervisor

Assistant Telephone Supervisor

(1.14)

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Feedback on Activity 1

R
E
C
E
P
T
I
O
N
C

F
F
R
O
O
M
T
H
A
O

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
1.9

A
M
T
F
H
U
K
S
M
N

S
M
G
T
T
V
H
N
A
C

A
W
D
U
W
I
K
C
N
I

L
H
O
T
E
L
B
H
A
E

E
G
J
R
S
S
X
E
G
R

S
R
J
J
D
N
T
F
E
G

A person who receives payments - CASHIER


A person who stays in the hotel-GUEST
A person who receives phone calls - OPERATOR
A place where guest stays- HOTEL
Hotels main product - ROOM
A person who works in the kitchen -CHEF
A department that handles the advertising and promotions- SALES
Located at the lobby area - RECEPTION
Head of department MANAGER

P
L
O
R
E
Y
W
W
R
E

O
P
E
R
A
T
O
R
Y
H

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1.10 Front Office Manager

Front Office
Supervisor

1.11 Reservation Supervisor

1.12 Front Office Assistant

Reservation Clerk

Bell Captain

1.13 Bellman

Telephone Supervisor

Assistant Telephone Supervisor

1.14 Telephone Operator

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Self- Assessment 1
7
You are approaching success. Try all the questions in this self-assessment section
and check your answers with those given in the Feedback on Self-Assessment 1
given on the next page. If you face any problem, discuss it with your lecturer. Good
luck.
1.

Give a brief definition of front office

2.

When guest check-in


a)
who is the first staff of the front office they meet?
b)
what duties will the first staff of the front office perform?

3.

List the duties of a concierge

4.

Describe how many different shifts and hours the front office staff have to
work

5.

Why is the organisational chart important in a hotel?

6.

Create an organisational chart for front office department in a hotel

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Feedback on Self-Assessment 1

1.

Front office is the most important department because it has the most guest
contact. Guest makes their first contact with front office staff when they
arrive at a hotel. Hotels first impression depends on the services provided
by the front office staff. Therefore the front office staff gives a significant
impact on the hotels image. The function of the front office includes
reservation, registration, room and rates assignment, room status, guest
services and cashiering

2.

a)

Receptionist

b)

3.

4.

Greeting guest
Handling special request
Handling check-in and check-out
Providing information for guest
Assigning rooms and dispensing guest room keys

Ensuring guest satisfaction


Arranging tours, limousine and entertainment tickets
Maintaining good relationship with hospitality industry
Personal helper for VIP
Provide the latest information of things happening around

Morning-day shift:

7am 3 pm

Day-evening shift

3pm 11 pm

Night shift

11pm 7 am

INTRODUCTION TO FRONT OFFICE

5.

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Organisational chart is important in a hotel because it will give a clearer


picture of the relationship between the different positions within the hotel. It
also enables the manager to know the positions of staff within the hotel and
also who is anserable to whom. Organisational chart also shows where and
how each department fits into the overall organisation of a hotel.

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6.
General Manager

Front Office Manager

Assistant Front Office


Manager

Reservation Manager /
Telephone Manager

Reservation
Supervisor

Reservation Clerk /
Telephone Operator

Duty Office / Night


Manager

Front Office
Manager

Front Office
Supervisor

Assistant Recreation
Manager

Assistant Bell
Captain

Reservation
Supervisor

Lifeguard

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