The hotel clients (called guests in the hospitality industry parlance) receive a wide variety of services and facilities from the hotel. To carry out all the functions effectively and efficiently, the hotel should have a well-organized structure. Such a structure has the following advantages:
An organization chart is a hierarchical, graphic representation of the structure of an organization—a list of all positions and the relationship between them. It shows where each position fits in the overall organization, as well as where divisions of responsibility and lines of authority lie. It is a visual representation of how a firm intends authority, responsibility, and information to flow within its formal organizational structure. It usually depicts different management functions (accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, production, research and development, etc.) and their subdivisions as boxes, linked with lines along which decision-making power travels downwards and reports upwards. The chart indicates direct reporting relationships as well as indirect relationships, which, though not connected directly, involve a high degree of cooperation and communication.
Major Departments of Hotel
- Front Office: This department performs various functions like reservation, reception, registration, room assignment, and settlement of bills of a resident guest.
- Housekeeping: The housekeeping department is responsible for the cleanliness, maintenance, and aesthetic upkeep of rooms, public areas, back areas, and surroundings in a hotel.
- Food and Beverage Service: This department looks after the service of food and drinks to guests.
- Food and Beverage Production : All the food and beverages that are served to the hotel guest is prepared in kitchen
- Engineering and Maintenance : It look after the maintenance of the all equipment, furniture and fixture installed in hotel
- Accounts: This department maintains all the financial transactions
- Security: The security department of a hotel is responsible for the overall security of the hotel building, in-house guests, visitors, day users, and employees of the hotel, and also their belongings.
- Human Resource: This department is responsible for the acquisition, utilization, training, and development of the human resources of the hotel
- Sales and Marketing : the responsibility of increasing the sales of the hotel’s products and services is the major task of the department
- Purchase: The purchase department is responsible for procuring the inventories of all departments of a hotel.
Front Office Organization
The front office is the contact point between the guest, management, and other departments. It handles guests’ complaints, dispatches housekeeping and engineering requests, prints and files reports, receives and answers phone calls, and sends and receives faxes. Thus, the front office personnel perform the following functions:
- Sell hotel rooms to guests
- Accept advance booking of hotel rooms
- Receive and register guests when they arrive at the hotel and assign them rooms
- Maintain accurate room status information.
- Maintain guest accounts and monitor credit
- Handle guests’ demands and complaints.
- Prepare account statements of guests.
- Settle bills at the time of check-out.
- Coordinate guest services like mails and messages, safety deposit lockers, handling of room keys, making sundry payments on behalf of guests
- Provide information about the hotel’s facilities and services
Sections of Front Office
Reservation: The reservation section of the front office department of a hotel is responsible for receiving and processing reservation queries. Layout of the Reservation Section: The location of the reservation section depends upon the size of hotel and the volume of business of the hotel.
Reception: This section of the front office receives and welcomes guests on their arrival in the hotel. The personnel of this section procure all the necessary information about the guest to complete the registration process. Functions of Reception: The following functions are performed by the reception section of a hotel:
- Receiving and welcoming guests.
- Completing the registration formalities.
- Assigning the room.
- Sending arrival notification slips to the concerned departments.
Information Desk: As the name suggests, the information desk provides information to guests. It is manned by an information assistant. In a small hotel, the same function may be performed by the receptionist. The need of a separate information desk is felt in large hotels where the traffic of guests is higher.Functions of Information Desk : Some of the functions of the information desk are as under:
- Maintaining resident guest rack.
- Handling guest room keys.
- Co-ordinating guest mails, telegrams, faxes, couriers, parcels, etc.
- Providing information to guests regarding hotel facilities and services, city information, etc.
- Handling guests messages.
Cash and Bills:The cash and bills section records all the monetary transactions of guests. It maintains guest folios and prepares the guest bills to be settled by the guest at the time of departure. This section is headed by a cashier.Functions of the Cash and Bills Section :This section performs the following tasks:
- Opening and maintaining of guest folios.
- Posting room charges in guest folios.
- Recording all credit charges in guest folios.
- Maintaining a record of the cash received from guests.
- Preparing bills at the time of check-out.
- Receiving cash/TC/demand draft for account settlement.
- Handling credit/debit/charge cards for the settlement of a guest account.
- Organizing foreign currency exchange for the settlement of a guest account.
Travel Desk:The travel desk takes care of travel arrangements of guests, like air-ticketing, railway reservations, sightseeing tours, airport or railway station pick up or drop, etc. The hotel may operate the travel desk or it may be outsourced to an external travel agency.Functions of Travel Desk :The travel desk performs the following tasks:
- Arranging pick-up and drop services for guests at the time of their arrival and departure.
- Providing vehicles on request to guests at pre-determined rates
- Making travel arrangements like railway reservation/air-tickets
- Organizing half-day or full-day sightseeing
- Arranging for guides who can communicate in the guest’s language
Communication Section:The communication section maintains the communication network of the hotel, which is generally quite complex. The hotel may have its own private branch exchange (PBX), along with post and telegraph lines.Functions of Communication Desk : The duties of the telephone operator include:
- Answering incoming calls.
- Directing calls to guest rooms through the switchboard/EPABX
- Providing information on guest services
- Processing guest wake-up calls
- Answering inquiries about hotel facilities and events
- Protecting guests’ privacy
- Coordinating emergency communication
Uniformed Services : The uniformed services in the hotel include :