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Purpose of Evaluating Customer Service Policies

Manual on Module II Introduction to Hospitality By Authors Mr Murray Mackenzie School of Hotel & Tourism Management The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Dr Benny Chan Hong Kong Community College The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Consultant Mr Tony Tse School of Hotel & Tourism Management The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Introduction to Hospitality Copyright © The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region All rights reserved.

The copyright of this manual belongs to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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Offenders will be liable to the legal responsibility. Schools need not apply for permission to copy this manual in whole or in part for non-profit making educational or research purposes. All other uses should gain prior permission in writing from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Requests should be directed to the: Education Bureau 3/F, Room 1319, Wu Chung House 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong i Introduction to Hospitality Acknowledgements We would like to express our gratitude to the following organizations for giving us the permission to reprint some of the pictures and /or providing us with information for completing the curriculum support package: The Association of National Tourist Office Representatives in Hong Kong, ANTOR (HK) Centre for Food Safety, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department ii Introduction to Hospitality Introduction

A set of curriculum support package of tourism and hospitality learning and teaching materials is being developed by the Personal, Social and Humanities Education Section of Curriculum Development Institute, Education Bureau for the implementation of the senior secondary Tourism and Hospitality Studies curriculum in schools. The curriculum support package is comprised of eight manuals, and they are developed to broaden students’ knowledge of the eight different units of the Tourism and Hospitality Studies curriculum.

The content of this manual – Introduction to Hospitality, should enhance students’ understanding of the dynamic nature of the tourism and hospitality industry. In addition, the manual includes activities to deepen students’ understanding and help them to apply theories and concepts. Furthermore, students should be able to develop enquiry, problem-solving and decision-making skills through these activities. All comments and suggestions related to this curriculum support package may be sent to: Chief Curriculum Development Officer (PSHE) Personal, Social and Humanities Education Curriculum Development Institute

Education Bureau 13/F, Room 1319, Wu Chung House 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai Hong Kong April 2009 iii Introduction to Hospitality Table of Contents 1 Hospitality Industry ………………………………………………………………………………. 1 1. 1 Introduction to Hospitality Industry ……………………………………………………………….. 1 1. 1. 1 1. 1. 2 The Tangible and Intangible Nature of the Hospitality Industry ……………………. 3 1. 1. 3 2 The Nature of the Hospitality Industry ……………………………………………………… 1

Relationship between the Hospitality Industry and Tourism ………………………… 3 Accommodation Sector…………………………………………………………………………. 6 2. 1 Introduction to the Accommodation Sector…………………………………………………….. 6 2. 1. 1 2. 2 Classification of Accommodation Establishment ……………………………………….. 6 Introduction to the Hotel Operations……………………………………………………………. 12 2. 2. 1 Hotel Ownership …………………………………………………………………………………. 2 2. 2. 2 The Functions and Departments of a Hotel …………………………………………….. 15 2. 2. 3 Introduction to the Rooms Division ………………………………………………………… 17 2. 2. 4 Front Office Operations ……………………………………………………………………….. 17 2. 2. 4. 1 Guest Cycle ………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 2. 2. 4. 2 Front Office Department …………………………………………………………………. 22 2. . 4. 3 Types of Hotel Guest ……………………………………………………………………… 36 2. 2. 4. 4 The Accommodation Product ………………………………………………………….. 37 2. 2. 5 Housekeeping Operations ……………………………………………………………………. 41 2. 2. 5. 1 2. 2. 5. 2 In-room Guest Supplies and Amenities …………………………………………….. 49 2. 2. 5. 3 Room Status Codes……………………………………………………………………….. 50 2. 2. 5. 4

Types of Guest Requests ……………………………………………………………….. 52 2. 2. 5. 5 3 Housekeeping Department ……………………………………………………………… 41 Security Procedures ………………………………………………………………………. 55 Food and Beverage Sector ………………………………………………………………….. 57 3. 1 Introduction to the Food and Beverage Sector……………………………………………… 57 3. 1. 1 Food and Beverage Operations (Hotel)………………………………………………….. 7 3. 1. 2 Classification of Food Service Establishments ………………………………………… 78 iv Introduction to Hospitality 3. 1. 3 3. 2 3. 2. 1 Types of Food and Beverage Services ………………………………………………….. 82 Food and Beverage Service Principles ……………………………………………………….. 86 Basic Knowledge of Menus, Food and Beverage Services and Kitchen Operations…………………………………………………………………………………………. 86 3. 2. 2

Ambience of an Establishment ……………………………………………………………… 98 3. 2. 3 Menu Planning and Design ………………………………………………………………… 110 3. 3 4 Food Safety and Personal Hygiene…………………………………………………………… 117 The Role of Technology in the Hospitality Industry …………………………….. 240 4. 1 The Development of Technology in the Hospitality Industry …………………………. 240 4. 1. 1 The Importance of Employing Up-to-date Information Technology …………… 40 4. 1. 2 The Ways Technological Changes Improve the Operational Efficiency of the Hospitality Industry for Customers, Tourists and Staff ……………………………. 242 4. 1. 3 The Property Management System (PMS) in Hotels………………………………. 243 References ……………………………………………………………………………. 246 v Introduction to Hospitality 1 Hospitality Industry 1. 1 Introduction to Hospitality Industry 1. 1. 1 The Nature of the Hospitality Industry What is the meaning of HOSPITALITY? There have been different definitions of Hospitality.

Broadly speaking, Hospitality is the act of kindness in welcoming and looking after the basic needs of guests or strangers, mainly in relation to food, drink and accommodation. A contemporary explanation of Hospitality refers to the relationship process between a guest and a host. When we talk about the “Hospitality Industry”, we are referring to the companies or organisations which provide food and/or drink and/or accommodation to people who are away from home. However, this definition of the “Hospitality Industry” only satisfies most situations. Can you think of any circumstances where the phrase “away from home” would not be accurate?

Resort hotel 1 Introduction to Hospitality ACTIVITY 1 In groups, consider the hospitality industry in Hong Kong. Discuss the different sectors in the hospitality industry. (Hint: A sector of hospitality industry can be profit-making or non-profit-making. ) You may also give the names of some companies in the hospitality industry. One example has been given in the table below. Work on the table to see which group in your class comes up with the most appropriate examples. Hospitality industry in Hong Kong Sector Products/services provided Example Name of company/ organisation Food and Beverage

Food and drink Fast food McDonald’s ACTIVITY 2 Look at the table that your group has just completed and compare the answers with other groups. Have you been to any of the above companies or organisations? What services did you receive from them? Were you satisfied with the way you were treated by the company or its staff? Did they understand what services you wanted? Did they provide what you wanted quickly and accurately? Was the staff member friendly or rude? Based on the discussion above, suggest five qualities or traits that a successful staff member in the hospitality industry should possess.

Do you or your group members possess any of these qualities or traits? 2 Introduction to Hospitality 1. 1. 2 The Tangible and Intangible Nature of the Hospitality Industry In Activity 1, we learned about different types of products and services provided by the hospitality industry. The physical products of hospitality, e. g. food and drink in a restaurant or the actual hotel room, are products that are sold at a price to the guests or customers (e. g. the price a guest paid for renting a hotel room, or the price a customer paid for buying a meal in a restaurant). These are often regarded as the TANGIBLE aspects of hospitality.

However, our experience of the hospitality industry does not only rely on the tangibles. Think about your experience of being a customer in a restaurant or a guest in a hotel. What else, apart from the food in restaurants and the facilities in hotel rooms, do you think can make your hospitality experience more enjoyable and satisfied? A successful hospitality business does not only count on its products and services, but also how they are delivered. The qualities of staff and the way they deliver the service are often more important than the tangible products in making a hospitality experience satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

We call these the INTANGIBLE aspects of hospitality. Can you think of any INTANGIBLE aspects of the hospitality industry? 1. 1. 3 Relationship between the Hospitality Industry and Tourism As we have seen, the hospitality industry includes hotels and restaurants, as well as many other types of organisations or institutions that offer food, drink, shelter and other related services. These products and services are offered not only to people away from home, but also to local guests. A manager in the hospitality industry, therefore, must keep in mind the following three objectives: 1. Making the guests feel welcome personally . Making things work for the guests 3. Making sure that the operation will continue to provide service and meet its budget Apart from local guests, can you think of any other guests who may need services and products provided by the hospitality industry? 3 Introduction to Hospitality ACTIVITY 3 Now work in pairs and follow the instructions below: Tourist A – You are an 18-year-old student from Beijing. You visit Hong Kong for the first time with your cousin who is also from Beijing this summer. As you are a student, you travel on a budget and are planning to come to Hong Kong round trip by train.

You plan to stay in Hong Kong for 5 days/4 nights. Tourist B – You are a businessman from Sweden. Your company is a car manufacturer. You come to Hong Kong for an international automobile exhibition. You will fly to Hong Kong and stay for two nights before you fly to Singapore for another business meeting. You will stay in Singapore for two nights before going home. In two minutes, write down as many as possible of the products and services you would require from the different sectors of the tourism industry for your trip. Compare your answers with those of your partner.

Do you have different or similar answers? How many of the points you jotted down are similar to those of your partner? Fill in the following table: A young student (Tourist A) A business traveller (Tourist B) In Activity 3 we learned there are different kinds of tourists. Regardless of what type of tourist they are, they all need shelter and food and drink – the basic hospitality services – at ALL points of the tourism cycle, not just at the destination. This is why hospitality can be referred to as one of the principal dimensions in tourism, along with transportation, specialist shops and leisure activities.

Unlike tourism, hospitality, however, serves both tourist and non-tourist needs. To enhance your understanding of the relationship between the hospitality and tourism industry, complete Activity 4. 4 Introduction to Hospitality ACTIVITY 4 The following diagram shows the relationship between the hospitality and tourism industry. Can you think of more services with examples to add to the diagram? Hospitality Industry Tourism Industry Hospitality Institutional/ Welfare Catering e. g. Hospital Catering Commercial Accommodation Services e. g. Hotels, Guest Houses

Transportation services e. g. Car Rental, Airlines In Activity 4 we learned the hospitality industry is a part of a wider group of economic activities called tourism. In addition, not all hospitality businesses are profit-making business. In this Unit, we have learned that there are two main business sectors in the hospitality industry: ? Accommodation – To provide accommodation (and usually food and drink) to people who for whatever reason are away from home ? Food and beverage – To provide food and beverage to local, commuting, transient customers and tourists

These two sectors will be covered in more detail in Units 2 and 3 respectively. 5 Introduction to Hospitality 2 Accommodation Sector 2. 1 Introduction to the Accommodation Sector 2. 1. 1 Classification of Accommodation Establishment Guestroom There is no generic rule for classifying accommodation establishments globally. One method is to divide accommodation into two main groups: ? ? Non-commercial Commercial Accommodation Non-commercial Commercial Hotels Private e. g. Private Home Non-profit e. g. Shelter Institutional e. g. University Figure 1: Accommodation structure 6 Introduction to Hospitality

The Hotel Proprietors Ordinance Chapter 158 provides a clear definition of a hotel: Hotel means an establishment held out by the proprietor as offering sleeping accommodation to any person presenting himself who appears able and willing to pay a reasonable sum for the services and facilities provided and who is in a fit state to be received. As Hotel is the predominant type of commercial accommodation in Hong Kong, we, therefore, will discuss in depth about how hotels can be classified. Hotels can be classified by: ? Location: e. g. city centre hotels, suburban hotels, airport hotels and highway hotels/motels ? Function: e. g. ommercial hotels and convention hotels ? Market segment: e. g. resorts, health spas, timeshares/vacation ownership and casino hotels ? Distinctiveness of property: e. g. all-suite hotels, boutique hotels, extended-stay hotels, historic conversions and bed and breakfast inns ? Price and staff/room ratio ? Size: e. g. under 150 rooms, 151-300 rooms, 301-600 rooms, more than 600 rooms ? Rating (grading) : e. g. one-star to five-star or one-diamond to five-diamond In 2008, the Mobil Travel Guide used its own rating system to give awards to some hotels in Hong Kong, Macau and Beijing. Below is an excerpt from the following web link: ttp://stars. mobilinternationalratings. com/stars “Mobil Travel Guide, now in its 51st year as one of the oldest and most respected inspection and ratings system in the world, is pleased to announce its 2009 Four- and Five-Star Winners. Representing a landmark in the company’s history, 2009 is the first year that international cities have been rated and received Star Awards, and the winners from Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau are included. In November, Hong Kong and Macau were awarded with the most Mobil Five-Star rated hotels and spas for a given city in the history of the company. ” 7 Introduction to Hospitality

ACTIVITY 5 With the aid of the above web link, list the five-star hotels and spas in Hong Kong as awarded by the Mobil Travel Guide in November 2008. ACTIVITY 6 The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has developed its own hotel classification system. Look up the information from the PartnerNet website (http://partnernet. hktb. com/pnweb/jsp/comm/index. jsp) and answer the following questions: a) How does HKTB define the hotels in Hong Kong? b) Does HKTB make public the listing of hotels by category? The following chart shows various types of accommodation used by travellers and their respective characteristics:

Name(s) City centre hotels Characteristics These hotels are located within the heart of a city. The type may vary greatly from business, suites, residential, economy, mid-scale to luxury. Local example: ____________________ Suburban hotels Suburban hotels tend to be smaller properties which usually provide full-service, and locate in suburban area. Local example: ____________________ These hotels are designed especially to accommodate air travellers. They offer a mix of facilities and amenities. The majority offer guests transportation to and from the airport.

Local example: ____________________ Airport hotels They are designed for overnight stays for car travellers, often with very Highway hotels/Motels basic facilities. The rooms usually have direct access to an open parking lot. They are often smaller than most hotels. They are located on the outskirts of towns and cities. Local example: ____________________ Convention hotels These hotels can have 2000 rooms or more. In addition to accommodation, they provide extensive meeting and function space for holding conventions. There are banquet areas within and around the hotel complex.

Most of them provide an in-house laundry, a business centre, airport shuttle service, and 24-hour room service. They are often in close proximity to convention centres and other convention hotels. Local example: ____________________ 8 Introduction to Hospitality Commercial They are located in downtown areas. They tend to be smaller than convention hotels. Meeting and function space are smaller, and there hotels are fewer banquet areas. Local example: ____________________ Resort hotels These hotels are located in picturesque, sometimes remote settings. Guests travel long distance to resorts. Usually, they tend to stay longer.

Resorts typically provide a comprehensive array of recreational amenities, as well as a variety of food & beverage outlets ranging from informal to fine-dining restaurants. Local example: ____________________ Spa hotels They are located in resort-type settings or as part of city spa hotels. They provide accommodations, spa treatments, programs and cuisine. Programs offered vary widely. They may include relaxation/stress management, fitness, weight management, grief/life change and pilates/yoga. Spas have professional staff that often include dieticians, therapists, masseurs, exercise physiologists, and in some cases, physicians.

Local example: ____________________ Timeshares/ This is a type of shared ownership where a buyer purchases the right to use the property for a portion of each year. In many cases, when the Vacation timeshare is purchased, the buyer receives a deed. This indicates that ownership the buyer can use the property each year at the time specified for the number of years based on the deed and the purchase can be handed down to the buyer’s heirs. Local example: ____________________ Casino hotels They have gambling operations which are the major revenue centres. They also provide live entertainment.

A wide variety of luxury amenities, hotel services including fine and casual dining and shopping centres are typically available on site. Local example: ____________________ All-suite hotels The guest rooms in these hotels are larger than normal hotel rooms, with separate areas for working, sleeping and relaxing. A living area or parlour is typically separated from the bedroom, and some properties offer a kitchen set-up in the rooms. The amenities and services can vary widely. They can be found in various locations such as urban, suburban, or residential. Local example: ____________________ 9 Introduction to Hospitality Boutique otels Boutique hotels differentiate themselves from traditional hotels and motels by providing personalized accommodation and services/facilities. They are sometimes known as “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels”. The price varies greatly. They are very different in their “look and feel” from traditional lodging properties. They are more intimate, and, perhaps, more luxurious, and stand out as an individual. The amenities vary greatly depending on what the hotel’s environment and theme chosen. For example, a boutique hotel may not offer Wi-Fi Internet, air conditioning, or cable/pay TV if it is focus on comfort and solitude.

Local example: ____________________ Extendedstay hotels/ Serviced Apartments These properties cater to guests who stay for an extended period. They usually offer full kitchen facilities, shopping services, business services and limited housekeeping services. Local example: ____________________ Historic conversion hotels These properties have historic significance. They have been converted into lodging establishments with retention of their historic character. Local example: ____________________ They are usually family-owned. They are private homes whose owner Bed and ives on or near the premises and rents out rooms to overnight guests. breakfast inns (B) The paid accommodation typically includes breakfast. A popular term is “B (i. e. bed and breakfast provided). The host often provides guests with assistance regarding directions, and information regarding the local area including sightseeing suggestions. It is usually located in rural areas and villages. Local example: ____________________ Guest houses Guest houses are similar to bed and breakfast inns. They range from low-budget rooms to luxury apartments. They tend to be like small hotels in bigger cities.

Though the facilities are limited, most rooms are air-conditioned with en-suite shower and toilet. Local example: ____________________ Hostels They are very cheap accommodation. The sleeping arrangements are usually in dormitory style and there may also be self-catering facilities on site. Local example: ____________________ They are bedrooms on a ship or train for passengers. Local example: ____________________ Villas/Chalet They are self-catering accommodation in a private bungalow, usually rented to prestigious or renowned guests. In many cases, it refers to a s (usually small cottage with an overhanging roof in a seaside resort, e. . beach found in houses. skiing and Local example: ____________________ beach resorts) Cabins 10 Introduction to Hospitality ACTIVITY 7 Based on the characteristics of various types of accommodation listed above, browse the website and fill in a local example. In Activity 7 we learned that a hotel may fall under more than one classification. For example, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is a luxury city centre and spa hotel. In addition, different types of hotel will offer different kinds of products and services for their guests and will be run differently to meet their guests’ needs.

A luxury hotel may provide more personalised services and facilities that may not appear in a limited-service hotel. Examples include high-speed broadband Internet access, LCD televisions, DVD/CD home entertainment sound systems, 24-hour butler service and in-room dining, and 24-hour concierge and business services. 11 Introduction to Hospitality 2. 2 Introduction to the Hotel Operations Hotel swimming pool Hotel fitness centre 2. 2. 1 Hotel Ownership Another way to classify hotels is by their ownership, which can be: ? Private An independent hotel owned by a person/partnership/private company e. . Shamrock Hotel ? Local group Several hotels owned by a local company e. g. Harbour Grand Hong Kong, The Kowloon Hotel, Harbour Plaza Hong Kong, Harbour Plaza Metropolis, Harbour Plaza North Point and Harbour Plaza Resort City are all owned by Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts ? International group A hotel which is part of an international chain of hotels e. g. JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong is part of the Marriott International, Inc. 12 Introduction to Hospitality Hotel management Hotels can be operated in one of the following ways: ? Independently owned and operated

These can be independent hotels, with no affiliation, that are being managed by the owners of the properties. ? Management contract Management contracts are hotel management companies which operate properties owned by other entities. In some cases, the hotel owners may arrange to run their properties through a management contract with a company that specialises in managing hotels. The reason for this is that the owner may not: – Have the necessary expertise – Desire to become involved in the operation of the hotel Benefits for the hotel management company: – Little or no up-front financing or equity involved Manage the property for the contract period such as five, ten or twenty years – Receive a management fee during the contract period ? Franchising Some investors prefer to use the franchising concept in running the hotel. Franchising in the hospitality industry is a concept that: – Allows interested investors to use a company’s (the franchisor) name and business format – Is made up of properties where the franchisees agree to run the hotel in accordance with the strict guidelines set by the franchisor – Allows a company to expand more rapidly by using others’ capital Benefits for the franchisee: Obtain from the franchisor the expertise in doing business such as site selection, planning, pre-opening training, operations manuals, information management, central reservation system, field support, quality control, purchasing, advertising, marketing, new products and concepts – The franchisee has complete control and responsibility over the daily operation of the property In return, the franchisor receives a joining fee and an ongoing fee from the franchisee. 13 Introduction to Hospitality ? Referrals Referral associations, e. g. Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), offer to hotels similar benefits as franchising, but at a lower cost.

Some hotels choose to become a referral property. This means that the property is being operated as an independent hotel in association with a certain chain. These hotels refer guests to one another’s properties and share a centralised reservation system, a common logo, image, or advertising slogan. Hotels pay an initial fee to join a referral association and further fees are based on services required. As the property has already been physically developed, the owner may want assistance only with marketing, advertising, management, or reservation referral.

In addition, guests may find more variation among the referral properties as size and appearance standards are less stringent than those in a franchise agreement. However, every hotel is assessed and checked regularly to ensure that it maintains the highest standards. ACTIVITY 8 State two drawbacks for a franchisee joining a franchise company. ACTIVITY 9 Browse the website and find out two international hotel chains that provide management contract and franchising services to the hotel owners. 14 Introduction to Hospitality 2. 2. 2 The Functions and Departments of a Hotel

The day-to-day operations of a hotel are the key factors determining the success or failure of its service. It is necessary to understand the structure of hotels in order to get an overview of how the organisation fits together. General Manager Resident Manager Rooms Division Engineering Security Human Resources Food & Beverage Sales & Marketing Accounts Figure 2: Major departments of a five-star hotel Regardless of the size of a hotel, the organisational structure will be basically the same. It is usually divided into several distinct departments, each responsible for a particular area of work.

The larger the hotel is and the more facilities it offered, the more specialised the departments become. For example, the front office and housekeeping department are under the control of the director of rooms. The duties of key executives 1. General Manager The main responsibilities of the general manager (GM) include: ? Providing leadership to the management team ? Coordinating the work of all departments ? Participating in the formulation of hotel policies and strategies ? Leading the hotel staff in meeting the financial, environmental and community responsibilities Assuming full responsibilities for the overall performance of the hotel 2. Resident Manager The main responsibilities of the resident manager include: ? Holding a major responsibility in developing and executing plans developed by the owner(s), the general manager and other members of the management team ? Checking on operations, providing feedback and offering assistance when needed ? Completing, reviewing and summarizing statistical reports and sharing them with the general manager ? Assuming responsibilities for the daily operations and management of the hotel 5 Introduction to Hospitality Functions of major hotel departments 1. Engineering The engineering department is responsible for maintaining the physical plant of the hotel such as electricity, plumbing, air conditioning, heating and elevator systems; and for overseeing all mechanical and technical conditions of the hotel. 2. Security Security is an important concern in every hotel. The security department is responsible for implementing procedures which aim at protecting the safety and security of hotel guests, visitors, hotel employees and the hotel itself.

Examples include monitoring surveillance equipments, patrolling the hotel premises and maintaining security alarm systems. 3. Human Resources The human resources (personnel and training) department is responsible for hiring, orientation, training, wages and benefit administration, labour relations, employee relations, and staff development. 4. Food and Beverage The food and beverage (F) department provides food and beverage services to the hotel guests and visitors through a variety of outlets and facilities/services.

Examples include lounge, bar, coffee shop, restaurants, banquet service, room service (also called in-room dining) and cake shop. 5. Sales and Marketing The main functions of the sales and marketing department involve generating new businesses for the hotel, coordinating advertising, as well as sales promotions and public relations activities aiming at enhancing the hotel’s image. 6. Accounts The accounts department is headed by the financial controller who, as a key member of the management team, can guide the hotel to an increasing profitability through better control and asset management.

In addition, this department is responsible for monitoring all of the financial activities of a hotel. Examples include overseeing accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and cost control systems of the hotel; keeping records of assets, liabilities and financial transaction of the hotel; preparing the monthly profit-and-loss statement, coordinating with purchasing department and information technology department, and handling guests’ inquiries about billing. The functions of Rooms Division will be covered in detail in Unit 2. 2. 3. ACTIVITY 10

Browse the website and find a five-star hotel in Hong Kong/Macau that has a video in English and Chinese promoting its services and facilities to the guests. 16 Introduction to Hospitality 2. 2. 3 Introduction to the Rooms Division Rooms Division Front Office Department Housekeeping Department Figure 3: Organisation of the rooms division The main source of income for most hotels comes from the rooms division and the food and beverage department. In general, the rooms division comprises two major departments, the front office and housekeeping, which are involved in the sales or services of rooms to guests.

The director of rooms is responsible to the general manager for the effective leadership and smooth operation of all departments that make up the rooms division. Front desk counter 2. 2. 4 Front Office Operations The front office is the nerve centre or hub of a hotel. It is the department that makes the first and last impression on the guests, and the place that guests approach for information and service throughout their stays. 17 Introduction to Hospitality Front desk clerk The three main functions of the front office are as follows: 1. Selling rooms 2.

Maintaining balanced guest accounts 3. Providing services and information to guests 2. 2. 4. 1Guest Cycle The operation of the front office department is mainly determined by the type and number of guest transactions which take place during the four different phases of the guest cycle as shown in Figure 4 and listed below: ? Pre-arrival The stage where the guest makes room reservation. ? Arrival The point when the guest arrives at the hotel. ? Occupancy The period during which the guest stays in the hotel. ? Departure The point when the guest checks out and leaves the hotel. 8 Introduction to Hospitality Figure 4: The guest cycle Complete Activity 11 to enhance your understanding of the various types of transactions and services which may occur between the guest and the hotel during different phases of the guest cycle. 19 Introduction to Hospitality ACTIVITY 11 Determine at which stage(s) of the guest cycle the following guest transaction or service could occur. a) Fill in the Answer column below with the correct alphabet (A-D) which denotes the four different stages of the guest cycle. A – Pre-arrival B – Arrival C – Occupancy

D – Departure The first one has been done as an example for you. No. Guest Transaction or Service Answer(s) 1. Reservation A 2. Mail and information 3. Transportation 4. Telephone call and message 5. Check-in and registration 6. Flight confirmation 7. Room assignment 8. Safe deposit 9. Issuing of key 10. Baggage handling 11. Maintaining guest account 12. Bill settlement 13. Issuing of breakfast coupon 14. Currency exchange 15. Wake-up call 16. Check-out 17. Booking of theatre ticket 20 Introduction to Hospitality b) When you complete studying this section – 2. 2. Front Office Operations, try this activity again by filling in your answers using the guest cycle provided below. In Activity 11, we have learned that different types of guest transactions and services could occur in the four different phases of the guest cycle which are being handled mainly by the front office department. The following will explain how different sections of the front office department are being organised to handle these guest transactions. 21 Introduction to Hospitality 2. 2. 4. 2 Front Office Department Front Office Manager Assistant Front Office

Manager Assistant Manager Telephone Services Manager Reservations Manager Front Desk Manager Guest Relations Telephone Supervisor Reservations Supervisor Front Desk Supervisor Telephone Operator Reservations Clerk Front Desk Clerk Chief Concierge Baggage Supervisor Baggage Porter Executive Floor Manager Senior Airport Representative Executive Floor/Business Centre Airport Representative Door Attendant Parking Parking Attendant/Driver Attendant Figure 5 Front office organisation chart of a large hotel Figure 5 shows an organizational chart for a front office.

This illustrates the structure and lines of communication which operate within the front office. The front office department is headed by the front office manager (FOM) whose main duty is to enhance guest services by constantly developing services to meet guests’ needs. The FOM performs the following duties: ? Monitoring reservation status ? Looking over market mix and preparing occupancy forecasts ? Determining rate structures and supervising implementation of rate policies ? Reviewing previous night’s occupancy and average room rate ? Reviewing arrivals and departures for the day and the next day ?

Making staffing adjustments needed for arrivals and departures ? Reviewing the VIP list, checking VIP rooms, meeting VIPs and entertaining them 22 Introduction to Hospitality (1) Telephone The telephone department is headed by the telephone services manager. The telephone supervisor and telephone operator process all incoming and outgoing calls through the hotel switchboard. Staff in this department generally possesses good language and communication skills. The members need to: ? Provide general information regarding the hotel or local attractions to guests over the telephone Place international calls, morning calls and wake-up calls as required by guests ? Administer the paging system of the hotel, which provides a communication service between certain hotel staff and management staff who are not always in their offices ? Administer the in-room movie system of the hotel ? Stay familiar with the names of Very Important Persons (VIPs) in the hotel ? Protect guest privacy by not disclosing room number, guest information and reporting suspicious person ? Communicate weather emergency to management, engineering, security and guests ?

Perform the role of communications centre in the event of emergency In order to provide better service, some hotels have introduced the “one-stop service” with all guest requests being carried out through the telephone department. For example, if a guest called in and wanted to place a booking with the coffee shop, the line would be transferred by the telephone operator to the coffee shop in the past. With the “one stop service”, the telephone operator will take the booking for the guest. This can speed up the booking process and leave the guest a better impression. 2) Reservations The reservations manager takes charge of this section and makes decisions on whether room reservations/bookings should be accepted when the hotel is fully booked. That is, to stop taking room reservations or to allow overbooking of rooms. The reservations supervisor will monitor closely all the room reservations taken and report to the reservations manager when abnormal situations happen. For example, there is a larger number of room cancellations than usual. The reservations clerk will: ? Handle reservation request and prepare reservation confirmation slips ?

Request guests to confirm or guarantee their room reservations ? Keep records of the details of each reservation and the number of room reservation taken for each night ? Provide the front desk with details of room reservation due to arrive the next day ? Prepare VIP lists ? Update guest history records Reservations may originate from different sources: ? Direct reservation via telephone, fax, letter, e-mail or Internet ? Reservation network systems such as Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) ? Travel agents ? Tour operators ? Meeting planners ? Walk-in 23 Introduction to Hospitality

When a reservation request is accepted, the details of the room reservation such as guest name(s), staying period, room type and rate, method of payment, guest contact information and special requests will be recorded on a reservation form, as shown in figure 6, and in the computer. It is common practice for hotels to overbook during peak season in order to ensure full occupancy as some guests are likely not to show up. Overbooking refers to a situation when the hotel takes more reservations than the number of its rooms to accommodate. Therefore, reservations clerk will request guests to guarantee their booking during peak season.

For guaranteed reservation, hotel will hold the room for the guest overnight or during the guaranteed period as the guest has prepaid for the room and no refund will be given if the guest does not show up. By contrast, a non-guaranteed reservation means that the hotel will hold the room until a stated cancellation time, normally up to 6 p. m. on the arrival date and then release the room for sale if the guest does not arrive. 24 Introduction to Hospitality RESERVATION FORM ________ ____________________ Title ___________________ Surname First Name __________________ Second Name Arrival Date: Departure Date: Flight/Time:

Flight/Time: No. of Persons: No. of Rooms/Room Type: Room Rate: _____________________________________ Corporate Discount Travel Agent Airline Discount Discount Courtesy Package Discount Transportation Required: Airport to Hotel Hotel to Airport Round Trip Billing Instruction: Guest A/C Room on Company All Expenses on Company Other: __________________ Guaranteed By: Company letter/fax/e-mail Fax Deposit Credit Card No. : ________________________________ Expiry Date: ____________ Company Name: Telephone/Fax no. : Reserved by: E-mail Address: Confirmation: Yes/No Remarks: Approved by: Taken by: Date: Figure 6:

Reservation form 25 Introduction to Hospitality (3) Concierge The concierge comprises of a large group of uniformed staff, including: ? Chief Concierge ? Airport Representative ? Driver ? Parking Attendant ? Door Attendant ? Baggage Porter ? Baggage Supervisor The chief concierge is the overall in charge of this section. He/she normally works at a desk in the main foyer. The following guest services are provided by the concierge: ? Providing information/advice on hotel products/services, entertainment, attractions, sightseeing tours and local restaurants ? Confirming airline passages and purchasing airline tickets Reserving tables at restaurants and tickets to shows ? Arranging the hire of hotel limousine and other transportation service such as a private jet ? Handling guest requests and inquiries, e. g. shopping request and an inquiry concerning the direction to a local bank Airport Representative Duties include: ? Greeting hotel guests at the airport ? Arranging hotel transportation for guests from the airport to the hotel ? Answering inquiries from guests about the different means of transportation available from the airport to the hotel such as airport express train, airport shuttle and bus ?

Taking hotel room bookings ? Assisting departing guests at the airport ? Liaising with airlines for special arrangements such as wheelchair for guests and the handling of guest baggage lost by the airlines Driver Duties include: ? Taking guests to and from the airport ? Acting as personal driver for guest upon request such as taking guest to his office or for sightseeing tour Parking Attendant Duties include: ? Parking cars for guests patronising the hotel ? Assisting the door attendant in ensuring that traffic at the main entrance is smooth 26 Introduction to Hospitality Door Attendant Duties include: Greeting all new arrivals ? Providing door service to guests ? Summoning baggage porter to assist arriving guests ? Calling taxis and providing the hotel address card for guests ? Paying taxi fare on behalf of the hotel guests who do not have local currencies ? Directing traffic and parking of vehicles at the main entrance In general, the door attendant works outside the hotel’s entrance. Hotel entrance Baggage Porter (Bell Attendant) Duties include: ? Handling guest baggage in and out of the hotel ? Escorting check-in guests from the front desk to their rooms and introducing facilities in the room Running errands for the executive office and hotel guests such as going to the post office buying stamps/sending parcels, doing grocery shopping and obtaining visa to China for guests ? Delivering to guest room newspapers, mail, fax, message and parcel, etc ? Handling storage of guest baggage/belongings for late check-out, next arrival or outsiders to pick up Baggage Supervisor (Bell Captain) Duties include: ? Answering telephone calls from guests regarding luggage pick up from room ? Assigning baggage porter to handle the guest baggage ?

Receiving guest article, such as a tailor-made shirt from outsider, and assigning a baggage porter to deliver it to the guest room ? Handling guest requests for postal services such as collecting the postage fee of sending a parcel from the guest 27 Introduction to Hospitality (4) Front Desk (Reception) The front desk is headed by the front desk manager whose main duty is to ensure that the hotel achieves the highest possible level of room occupancy and the maximum revenue. Front Desk Supervisor (Reception Supervisor) Duties include: ? Overseeing the smooth running of the front desk ? Compiling duty roster Greeting important guests (VIPs) ? Assigning rooms to guests ? Dealing with group arrivals ? Handling guest requests such as room change and complaints not being able to be handled by subordinates Front Desk Clerk (Receptionist) Duties include: ? Greeting the guest ? Providing information and promoting hotel facilities and services to guests ? Checking in the guest ? Maintaining guest account ? Checking out the guest ? Administering the safe deposit system of the hotel ? Providing foreign currency exchange service to guest Registration (Check-in) The purposes of registration include the following: Recording the arrival of guest ? Confirming the personal details of guest ? Satisfying legal requirements Stages of registration ? Preparing for guest arrival such as check for arrivals with special requests ? Greeting the guest ? Determining the room rate and assigning room ? Assisting guest to complete the registration form ? Checking guest’s method of payment ? Handing over mail, message, article received before guest arrival and breakfast coupon (if applicable) to guest ? Issuing room key to guest ? Escorting guest to the room and introducing room facilities as required by individual hotel

Figure 7 shows the sample of a completed registration form. During the process of registration, the front desk clerk will request to see the guest’s identity card or passport to check if the guest is an alien, for verification purpose. When all formalities are completed, the front desk clerk will issue the room key to the guest. The baggage porter will then take the guest’s baggage and escort the guest to the guest room. 28 Introduction to Hospitality Guests who arrive at the hotel without having made a reservation are known as walk-ins. It is common practice for hotel staff to obtain from the guest a ubstantial deposit or credit card imprint before checking the guest into the hotel. ACTIVITY 12 Mr Christie, a walk-in guest, will stay in your hotel for one night only and will be fully responsible for all charges incurred. As a front desk clerk, how would you explain to the guest that you have to collect one night room rate (HK$2,000. 00) + 10% service charge + prevailing government room tax (e. g. 3%) + an extra HK$ 1,000. 00 for hotel signing privileges from him as the deposit for check-in? 29 Introduction to Hospitality Registration Form Guest Name: Welcome to Parkside Hotel

Mr. Brent David Ritchie Number : 8200 River Road Date of Birth: 11 Oct 77 Nationality: Canadian Passport No. : Address: Room 1718 JP089556 Richmond BC Canada V6X 3P8 Tel/Fax No. : E-mail Address: [email protected] com Destination: Engineer Arrival Date: 12 Sep 07 Flight/Time: Occupation: Next CX839/20:55 Company Name: Canada Departure 14 Sep 07 Date: CX838/16:35 Flight/Time: Room Type: Deluxe Suite No. of Nights: 2 Room Rate: $2300 (HKD) No. of Guests: 1/0 Room rate is subject to 10% (Adult/Child) Service Charge & 3% Government Tax Payment Method: VISA MASTER CUP AMEX CASH JCB

DINERS OTHERS: ____________________ Guest Signature: Brent D. Ritchie I understand that the guest signature on the registration form is authorized for use of the credit card on the file for payment of my account for this and future stays. I agree that my liability for this bill is not waived, and agree to be held personally liable in the event that the indicated person, company, or other third party billed fails to pay part or all of these charges. Express Check Out Service: I hereby authorize Parkside Hotel to charge my credit card for all expenses pertaining to my stay. *Express

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