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Front Office Interaction with Other Departments in the Hotel

The front office staff interacts with all departments of the hotel, including marketing and sales, housekeeping, food and beverage, banquet, controller, maintenance, security, and human resources. These departments view the front office as a communication liaison in providing guest services. Each of the departments has a unique communication link with the front office staff.                                       
Marketing and Sales Department                                   
The marketing and sales department relies on the front office to provide data on guest histories, details concerning each guest’s visit. Some of the information gathered is based on zip code, frequency of visits, corporate affiliation, special needs, and reservations for sleeping rooms. It is also the front office’s job to make a good first impression on the public, to relay messages, and to meet the requests of guests who are using the hotel for meetings, seminars, and banquets.                                       
The guest history is a valuable resource for marketing and sales, which uses the guest registration information to target marketing campaigns, develop promotions, prepare mailing labels, and select appropriate advertising media. The front office staff must make every effort to keep this database current and accurate.                                      
The process of completing the booking of a special function (such as a wedding reception, convention, or seminar) depends on the availability of sleeping rooms for guests. The marketing and sales executives may have to check the lists of available rooms three, six, or even twelve months in the future to be sure the hotel can accommodate the expected number of guests. A database of available rooms is maintained in the property management system by the front office.                                   
The first guest contact with the marketing and sales department is usually through the hotel’s switchboard. A competent switchboard operator who is friendly and knowledge- able about hotel operations and personnel will make a good first impression, conveying to the prospective client that this hotel is competent. When the guest finally arrives for the function, the first contact with the hotel is usually through the front office staff. The front office manager who makes the effort to determine which banquet supervisor is in charge and communicates that information to the desk clerk on duty demonstrates to the public that this hotel is dedicated to providing hospitality.                                  
Messages for the marketing and sales department must be relayed completely, accurately, and quickly. The switchboard operator is a vital link in the communication between the prospective client and a salesperson in the marketing and sales department. The front office manager should instruct all new personnel in the front office about the staff in the marketing and sales department and what each person’s job entails (this applies to all departments in the hotel, not just marketing and sales). Front office employees should know how to pronounce the names of all marketing and sales employees. To help front office staff become familiar with all these people, managers should show new employees pictures of the department directors and supervisors. Requests for service at meetings, seminars, banquets, and the like are often made at the front office. The banquet manager, a person who is responsible for fulfilling the details of service for a banquet or special event, or sales associate, a person who books the guest’s requirements for banquets and other special events, might be busy with another function. If a guest needs an extension cord or an electrical outlet malfunctions, the front desk staff must be ready to meet the guest’s needs. The front office manager should establish standard operating procedures for the front office employees to contact maintenance, house- keeping, marketing and sales, or the food and beverage department to meet other common requests. Knowing how to find a small tool kit, adapters, adhesive materials, extra table covers, or window cleaner will help the guest and will save the time involved in tracking down the salesperson in charge.                                       
Housekeeping Department                                  
Housekeeping and the front office communicate with each other about housekeeping room status, the report on the availability of the rooms for immediate guest occupancy. Housekeeping room status can be described in the following communication terms:                     
•    Available Clean, or Ready—room is ready to be occupied •    Occupied—guest or guests are already occupying a room •    Stayover—guest will not be checking out of a room on the current day •    Dirty or On-Change—guest has checked out of the room, but the housekeeping staff has not released the room for occupancy •    Out-of-Order—room is not available for occupancy because of a mechanical malfunction                                   
Housekeeping and the front office also communicate on the details of potential house count (a report of the number of guests registered in the hotel), security concerns, and requests for amenities (personal toiletry items such as shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, and electrical equipment). These issues are of immediate concern to the guest as well as to supervisors in the hotel.                                
Reporting of room status is handled on a face-to-face basis in a hotel that does not use a property management system (PMS). The bihourly or hourly visits of the house- keeper to the front desk clerk are a familiar scene in such a hotel. The official reporting of room status at the end of the day is accomplished with a housekeeper’s room report—a report prepared by the housekeeper that lists the guest room occupancy status as vacant, occupied, or out-of-order. Sometimes even regular reporting of room status is not adequate, as guests may be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to occupy a room. On these occasions, the front desk clerk will have to telephone the floor supervisor to determine when the servicing of a room will be completed.                            
The housekeeper relies on the room sales projections—a weekly report prepared and distributed by the front office manager that indicates the number of departures, arrivals, walk-ins, stayovers, and no-shows—to schedule employees. Timely distribution of the room sales projections assists the executive housekeeper in planning employee personal leaves and vacation days.                                 
The front desk also relies on housekeeping personnel to report any unusual circumstances that may indicate a violation of security for the guests. For example, if a maid or houseman notices obviously non-registered guests on a floor, a fire exit that has been propped open, or sounds of a domestic disturbance in a guest room, he or she must report these potential security violations to the front office. The front office staff, in turn, will relay the problem to the proper in-house or civil authority. The front office manager may want to direct the front desk clerks and switchboard operators to call floor supervisors on a regular basis to check activity on the guest floors.                                
Guest requests for additional or special amenities and guest room supplies may be initiated at the front desk. The prompt relay of requests for extra blankets, towels, soap, and shampoo to housekeeping is essential. This is hospitality at its best. 

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  • Delete Guest (Dec 22 2014 06:30:31, Rate: 3 )

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  • Delete Quote Guest (Apr 28 2012 22:21:23, Rate: 0 )

    Original ByGuestAt2012-04-28 22:19:04Released
    hi, this is A L O K from BOKARO STEEL CITY -----  [email protected]
    i have some more brief lines fo.

    Original ByGuestAt2012-04-28 22:19:04Released
    hi, this is A L O K from BOKARO STEEL CITY -----  [email protected]
    i have some more brief lines fo.

    Original ByGuestAt2012-04-28 22:19:04Released
    hi, this is A L O K from BOKARO STEEL CITY -----  [email protected]
    i have some more brief lines fo.
  • Delete Guest (Apr 28 2012 22:20:11, Rate: 5 )

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  • Delete Quote Guest (Apr 28 2012 22:19:04, Rate: 0 )

    hi, this is A L O K from BOKARO STEEL CITY -----  [email protected]
    i have some more brief lines for it.
    The main two important areas where collaboration is vital between the Housekeeping and Front Office Department are listed below:
    1.        Have always clean rooms for expected arrivals and stayovers
    2.        Satisfy special guest needs as far as amenities and facilities requested in their rooms are concerned

    1. Cleaning and Inspection Process:
    The Room Status for each room determines how much effort, time, labor, and hence scheduled staff is needed by the Housekeeping Department on any shift.
    The Housekeeping Department shall first clean rooms for expected arrivals first, then stayover rooms and eventually vacant rooms! The reason is that rooms for new arrivals takes more time to be cleaned to hotel standards again and that guests might come any time to request their rooms even before the pre-determined beginning of check-in time!
    That’s why; the Housekeeping Department shall be communicated from the reservation department on a daily basis Expected Arrival, Stayover, and Departure Lists to be able to schedule the optimum number of room maids and inspectors for the expected business volume!
    Moreover, bearing in mind the cleaning procedure of guest rooms explained above, there should be a communication between the Front Office Department and Housekeeping Department to be able to communicate the recent room status of each room! This communication is vital because nobody would like to make a guest wait in the lobby because his/her room is not yet clean or due to the fact that the Housekeeping Department did not communicate on real time the status to the Front Office! Lastly, the Housekeeping Department shall ensure that every room maid shall use efficiently most of his valuable time in cleaning not in going back and forth in the corridors!
    Yet, since some hotels might operate under the manual or Semi-automated systems, some delays and hence, problems might occur! To illustrate, let’s consider the guest room cleaning process along with the different operating modes under which a hotel might operate:

    a)        Manual System:
    Under this very system, due to the fact that room maids shall first clean rooms for new arrival, then stayover rooms and at last vacant rooms, these very cleaning personnel have two ways to do it:
    •        Post to cleaning each room, go to the Housekeeping Department, inform them about the status and then come back to clean the next room. This would solve the potential problem that a guest might be waiting for a clean room due to a communication of the housekeeping department not in real tome! However this would decrease the number of rooms cleaned and inspected by room maids and inspectors, which would mean higher housekeeping labor costs!
    •        Post to cleaning certain category of rooms, and/or all rooms, room maids inform the Housekeeping Department, and then inspectors would inspect all rooms, at the same time, inform the department about the recent statuses!! This would increase maids’ and inspectors’ efficiency but would cause guests waiting in the lobby to be escorted to their rooms!

    b) Semi-automated System:
    Under this very system, room maids and inspectors might use either a phone machine situated at the center of each corridor, or pagers and beepers to communicate the recent room status. This proved to be efficient as to minimize labor cost and the time that a guest spends on the lobby waiting to be escorted to his/her room! However, this might create some problems:
    •        Upon the usage of beepers, the Housekeeping Department doesn’t know exactly which room is cleaned or inspected, therefore will spend needless time to be certain which would put more stress on Check-in personnel to convince a waiting guest in the lobby area!
    •        Guests tend to be both not at ease and dissatisfied seeing hotel personnel in their rooms using pagers and might think that something wrong happened in their rooms!

    c) Fully Automated System
    This is the best system, which eliminates nearly all time losses spent by room maids and inspectors, to inform the Housekeeping Department and the time needed to be spent needlessly at the lobby area!
    Under this very system, each room maid and inspector, prior to the fulfillment of his or her duties in the room, can send a coded message from the guest’s room telephone to the Housekeeping Department. Later an electronic message can be send automatically to check-in personnel confirming that the room is cleaned to standards and waiting for the next arrival!
  • Delete Quote Guest (Nov 1 2011 07:50:15, Rate: 0 )

    It is a good explanation of the relatiuonships I cherish that.
  • Delete Guest (Oct 27 2011 08:02:22, Rate: 5 )

    Rate 5 Points
  • Delete Quote Guest (Mar 12 2011 04:07:40, Rate: 0 )

    chuma witness anodawo kutumirwa zvinyorwa zvemhando iyoyi, asi monyora nerurimi rweChishona nekuti haagoni kuverenga chirungu.
    8 points for what you wrote guys.
  • Delete Quote Guest (Mar 12 2011 04:02:09, Rate: 0 )

    this the best explanation of the interaction between front office and other departments as compare to other writers scripts i find o the net. i mwld like you to post me more issues which relates to front office department and other departments on my e.mail which reads [email protected]
    will be greatfull to receive articles of this nature.
    thumbs up,your article deserves to be be a 5 star.
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