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Pearson Higher Nationals in Hospitality Management Unit 27: Front of Office Operations Management Assignment.
Submission is a 15-minute individual presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint, with five minutes allocated for questions. The presentation slides and speaker notes should be submitted as one copy. You must effectively use headings, bullet points, and subsections as appropriate. Research should be referenced using the Harvard referencing system. A bibliography should be provided using the Harvard referencing system. The recommended length is 1000 words, although you will not be penalized for exceeding the word count.
Presentation slides should include an introduction, main body, and conclusion and can contain any tables, graphs, or images that you feel will enhance the slides.
Presentation Format Guidance
- Title page – The Module details, student name, and ID number.
- Contents page – All topics with page numbers.
- Introduction – The background, the context, and the aim of the presentation.
- Key Sections – As many as necessary in line with the tasks/Questions required of you.
- Summary and Conclusion – Overall findings of the investigation: the overall picture that has emerged and the implications.
- References – Identification of literature and other sources used and referred to in the text. Ensure all references are quoted at the end of quotations, definitions, and web-sourced materials. Submission of a report without references will not be allowed.
|Unit Learning Outcomes:|
|LO1 Evaluate the role of the Front Office department within various accommodation organisations|
|Assignment Brief and Guidance:|
|Scenario: You are a Front Office executive for a well-known accommodation property [named organisation/an organisation of your choice – your own place of work if appropriate]. You have been approached by the national hospitality professional body to conduct a seminar on the role that the Front Office plays within the accommodation sector. Your presentation should: Provide an overview of the Front Office and the responsibilities within it to meet the overall aims and objectives of individual accommodation properties, including at least three examples from different categories of accommodation provider Analyse the various functions of the Front Office within different types of accommodation properties, including at least three examples from different categories of accommodation provider (size, type, and level of service; target market etc.)|
• Assess the different types of technology available to a Front Office, assessing how the Front
Office can use this technology to enhance the guest experience, including examples from various organisations.
• Evaluate the importance of the Front Office in interdepartmental communication between various departments within the organization and critically evaluate the communication process
Between housekeeping and front office to ensure the guest satisfaction within the organization.
Conclude with valid and justified recommendations on how to improve the role of Front Office operations to achieve maximum guest satisfaction and profit.
|LO 1 Evaluate the role of the Front Office department within various accommodation organisations|
|P1 Analyse the functions of front office operations within a range of different accommodation organisations|
|P2 Assess the ways front office operations use technology to enhance the guests’ experience, within a range of different accommodation organisations|
|P3 Evaluate the importance of interdepartmental communication between the front office and the various departments within a specific accommodation organisation|
|M1 Critically evaluate the communication process between housekeeping and the front office in ensuring guest satisfaction within a specific accommodation organisation|
|D1 Make valid and justified recommendations to improve the role of the front office operations in maximizing profit within a specific accommodation organisation|
In the given context, the Queens’s hotel has been chosen as a leading hotel in Sri Lanka. The front office executive of the Queen’s hotel has been approached by the national hospitality professional body to conduct a seminar on the role that the Front Office plays within the accommodation sector.
Front Office Operations Management is the focus of this task. Different aspects of front office operations management have been addressed in this report. Front office operations management is essential for all types of businesses. Managing front office operations is especially important in the hospitality and tourism industries, as it has a direct effect on the sector as well as the company.
In an organization, the front office makes a first and lasting impact on the client. In this assignment, the Queens’ Hotel Kandy was chosen to complete the remainder of the task and meet all of the assignment’s specifications. One of the most well-known establishments contributing to the Sri Lankan hospitality industry is the Queens’ Hotel Kandy. The various functions of the Queens’ hotel’s front office department will be discussed later.
2 Overview of the Front Office and the responsibilities within it to meet the overall aims and objectives of individual accommodation properties
The front desk is a crucial department in a hotel since it is in direct communication with guests. The front desk at the Queens hotel plays an important role as well. The main role of the Queens hotel’s front office is to serve as the organization’s public face. This can be accomplished mainly by greeting hotel customers and guests. Another important role of the front office is to assist hotel visitors and customers during their visit and stay, including completing their accommodations, meals, and other services, as well as handling accounts and collecting payments from their customers and guests.
In general, the front desk is regarded as the nerve center of a hotel’s operations, and this is also true for the Queens’ hotel. This department’s key roles include Reservations, Guest Service, Check-in, Check-out, Switchboard operation, Finance & Cashiering, Foreign Currency exchanges, Room Allocation, and Inquiries.
Furthermore, the front office department’s primary goal is to assist hotel guests with various tasks within the hotel, such as luggage, transportation, information, and other service arrangements, while they are staying at the hotel. In this scenario, front-desk employees are the ones who make the first and last impressions on customers. As a result, it is important to maintain a friendly demeanor with guests of the Queens’ hotel or any other hotel.
The front desk is also known as the hotel’s nerve center. It’s a front of the housing department that’s situated around a hospitality property’s foyer and lobby room. This department is
collectively known as “Front Office” because it is situated around the hotel’s foyer area and is open to guests, patrons, and tourists.
If customers have any issues, complaints or want to express gratitude or make a statement, they usually go to the Front Desk because it is the most convenient way to reach and communicate with other departments. As a result, this department serves as the direct representative for tying the work together and reporting the results to other departments.
This department is one of the hotel’s most important operating and revenue-generating areas, accounting for two-thirds of the revenue generated by the selling of guest rooms. It entails delivering valuable services to guests during their entire stay, which includes pre-arrival, arrival, occupancy, and departure[ CITATION set21 \l 1033 ].
3 Different categories of accommodation providers and various functions of the Front Office within different types of accommodation properties
Hotel types and categories are the most common terms used to describe hotels. The role, target market, service level, other facilities, and industry standards all play a part in determining the type of hotel.
|Type of Classification||Examples of Classifications|
|Size (number of rooms)||Under 50 rooms, 50 to 150 rooms, 150 to 299 rooms, 300 to 600 rooms, More than 600 rooms|
|Location||Airport hotel, Casino hotel, City center hotel, Resort hotel|
|Level of service||Economy/limited service, Luxury service, Mid-level service|
|Market and function||Airport hotel, All-inclusive resort, Bed and breakfast, Business hotel, Boutique hotel, Casino, Conference center, Convention center, Extended-stay hotel, Resort hotel, Suite hotel, Timeshare and condominium hotel|
|Ownership and affiliation||Chain with a brand affiliation, Independent|
|Amenities||Accessibility, Airport, Beach, Casino, City center, Childcare, Fitness club, Golf, Pool, Ski, Spa, Tennis, Weddings|
|Type of Classification||Examples of Classifications|
|Industry standards||AAA Diamond Rating, CAA Diamond Rating, Canada Select Star Rating, Canadian Star Quality Accommodation, Green Key Eco Rating, Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice|
Table 1 A summary of hotel types based on size (number of rooms), level of service, and other variables.[ CITATION ope213 \l 1033 ]
3.1 Functions of the front office
Guest Registration: Performs all tasks related to guest registration, such as check-in, room assignment, welcoming, and room cost.
Guest Service: Performs any Guest Services-related tasks.
Guest History and records: Creates and preserves a guest profile, including biography, likes and dislikes, and reviews.
Guest Database: Creates and maintains a massive record of customer information.
Updates Room Status: responsible for updating room statuses such as CI, CO, DNCO, DND, and so on.
Reservation: This section is in charge of registering room reservations from different sources, recording them, filing them, and revising them at the appropriate time to ensure that guests have their rooms when they arrive at the hotel.
Postage and Parcels: This segment is designed to assist guests with mail, telegram, and parcel delivery.
Switchboard operation: This section is designed to assist guests with phone calls both internally and externally, as well as to wake guests up in the morning upon request.
Finance and Foreign Exchange: This section is connected to the Accounting Department and handles invoice payments, as well as providing a foreign currency exchange service.
Inquiry: Guests’ questions and inquiries will be answered in this section. Therefore, this section will need to be aware of all hotel movements.
Bell Desk and Concierge: Assist in all aspects of the Bell Desk and Concierge.[ CITATION set21 \l 1033 ]
4 Different types of technology available to a Front Office, and how the Front Office can use this technology to enhance the guest experience
Technology seems to have an influence on our lives in almost every way imaginable, and many businesses rely heavily on it. The hospitality industry is now integrating new and impressive types of technology into their day-to-day operations, allowing them to save money, streamline services, and have a better experience for their customers. Hotels are embracing technology in ways they never have before, from installing smart televisions in rooms to developing a virtual concierge app. Below are some examples of hotel technology that are revolutionizing the industry.
Tablet and Mobile Computers – Although tablets and mobile computers are not new, hotels are increasingly adopting them. Hotel front desk computers could be replaced with more powerful handheld computers, and employees could be given a personal tablet to help them with their work. Cleaning workers, for example, may use a tablet to map out and record which rooms have been cleaned and which still need to be cleaned. In addition, hotels are beginning to provide device and tablet rentals to guests who need to work on the go.
Mobile Applications – Nowadays, the majority of people own smartphones, so hotels must create mobile apps so that they can communicate with their guests through their phones. Mobile apps are being used by hotels to provide a seamless service for guests who want to book rooms, order room service, and connect with hotels in general through their cellphones. Since travelers are likely to use a smartphone or tablet often, hotels are working to develop their mobile applications and incorporate new features.
Wearable Technology – Wearable technology is one of the newest types of technology to emerge, and it has the potential to benefit the hospitality industry. When a customer fly, they can wear a smartwatch that shows them their plane ticket, gate times, and how much time they need to travel to stay on schedule. This technology is also beneficial to hotels. Hotel resorts will also use smart wristbands embedded with a small NFC chip that guests can use as passes to get into restaurants, the spa, and other locations. As a result, a waiter will simply scan your wristband, and your bill will be automatically added when you check out.
Virtual Concierge Services – Virtual concierge services, which are usually provided by an app or on the internet, are another useful technology. Guests can make concierge requests quickly and easily using their computers or phones. This also makes it easier for the concierge team to plan and handle inquiries.
Cloud Services – Another famous hotel technology that is transforming the industry is cloud- based computing as a service. Hotels may use different cloud providers to store all of their data instead of providing physical records, hard drives, and servers on-site. Cloud services support hotels in a number of ways, including guest logs, billing data, and much more, and we are seeing nearly all hotels convert to an entirely cloud-based system.
Smart “Keys” – Physical hotel keys, as we know them, will be phased out in the near future. Hotels are introducing a variety of new technologies to allow “keyless” entry. Some Starwood Hotels, for example, have a new system that allows guests to access their “key” through their smartphone. They simply hold their phone up to the lock’s scanner, and the door unlocks. This system is more advanced than physical keys; you would almost certainly never misplace the key because it is stored in your phone; and it saves money in the long run. Other hotels are investigating the use of facial recognition software to unlock guest rooms.
Social Media – Understanding how to use social media and communicate with followers is a newer concept that is becoming more widely recognized, and it is a vital technology for hotels. If a hotel does not have a Facebook page, for example, it not only seems unprofessional, but it also makes it difficult for visitors to communicate with the property managers. Hotels are now using all forms of social media to reach out to new clients, communicate with existing ones, solicit reviews, and advertise their assets. Instagram and Twitter, it turns out, are more than just time fillers for a company.
High-Tech Equipment for Hotel Lobbies and Meeting Rooms – Hotels are changing their lobbies from an opulent entrance with sofas to a cutting-edge media center. Free Wi-Fi, open laptops, various television sets, power outlets, and other amenities would be available in even the most budget-friendly hotels’ lobby. This development is also having an effect on hotel meeting rooms. Free-to-use projectors, smart television sets, conference phones, and free internet access are being installed in meeting rooms, enabling visitors to hold a business meeting without stress in their hotel, for example.
Personalized Rooms with Smart Appliances – According to current trends, hotel rooms in the future will be completely customizable and fully fitted with smart appliances. Hotel rooms will be able to completely adapt to a guest’s unique needs thanks to technology platforms like Nest. It can, for example, be programmed to run the air conditioning system when you are in the room and then switch itself off when you leave to save money. Lights may be treated in the same way. This technology can also be used for items like ambient lighting, and hotels are already implementing it. Hotels are also installing more smart appliances in rooms, such as smart televisions, intelligent coffee machines, and multi-media hubs, which are replacing the traditional phone and radio.
Robotic Staff – A hotel with robotic workers isn’t something you’d see in a science fiction film; it’s a real thing. The Henn Na Hotel in Japan is the first hotel in the world to have an
entirely robotic workforce. The robot hotels of the future already exist, from animatronic front desk clerks to tiny drones that carry your bags to your bed. We’ll have to wait and see how getting a robot team works out in the long run, but it’s fair to assume hotels will use more robots and drones in the future, as they do now.[ CITATION mon21 \l 1033 ]
5 The importance of the Front Office in interdepartmental communication between various departments
Good interaction among staff members and guests, as well as between staff members and the management body, fosters mutual confidence and a sense of cooperation. Communication between the front desk and other departments may make or break a guest’s stay at the hotel. The front office is a huge revenue generator since it is responsible for selling hotel accommodations. As a result, communication both in and out of front office department must be lively and upbeat.
5.1 Importance of Front Office Communication
The front office department is in charge of dealing with all other hotel departments as well as the various parts within the department. Front-office employees must collaborate with their peers, superiors, and subordinates in order to complete front-office and back-office tasks successfully. The front office staff communicates with one another to offer the best possible guest services, which include reserving accommodations, registering visitors, maintaining guest accounts, handling guest mail, and providing customized customer services[ CITATION tut21 \l 1033 ].
5.2 Interdepartmental Communication
After a guest inquires about a reservation, the front office communicates with different departments during the guest cycle before the guest departs.
The diagram above depicts the different hotel departments that communicate with the front desk. This diagram places the front office in the middle to show the numerous interdepartmental lines of communication that exist. These lines are based on the directives given to each department to provide hospitality in the form of clean rooms, properly operating equipment, a safe environment, well-prepared food and beverages, efficient table service, professional organization and delivery of service for a scheduled function, and accurate accounting of guest charges, among other things. These broad goals assist department heads in organizing their activities and achieving the ultimate aim of providing competent hospitality. In practice, managing the specifics of personnel, materials, processes, and communication skills is a continuous effort to deliver appropriate products and services[ CITATION wis21 \l 1033 ].
1 The communication process between housekeeping and front office to ensure the guest satisfaction within the organization
In any hotel, no single department will function in isolation. If the establishment is to work smoothly, it must have a willingness to collaborate and organize with the help of effective communication methods. The housekeeping department is only one of the departments in a hotel that works to ensure that guests are satisfied, and each department relies on others for information and/or service in order to complete its work efficiently. Frictions between departments should be kept to a minimum, and close inter-departmental communication should be maintained.
The front office and housekeeping departments are particularly concerned about rooms. It is important for departments to communicate about room status on a regular basis. The front desk must have lists of scheduled arrivals and departures for the day ahead of time, and housekeeping must be notified of actual arrivals and departures when they happen. The front desk is not permitted to allocate guestrooms until the housekeeping department has cleaned, inspected, and released the rooms.
A front office assistant creates a “occupancy report,” also known as the night report, each night. This report shows which rooms were filled that night and which visitors were supposed to check out the next day. Early in the morning, the executive housekeeper obtains and consults this list before scheduling the cleaning of the occupied space. The front desk notifies housekeeping when guests check out. Housekeeping ensures that these rooms receive top priority in terms of servicing, resulting in clean rooms ready for purchase. Both housekeeping and front office must communicate changes in a room’s status to ensure effective rooming of guests. For proper room management, it’s essential to know whether anything is out of order, in need of repair, or something similar.
A room status discrepancy occurs when the definition of a room’s status provided by the housekeeping department varies from the room status details used by the front office to allocate guestrooms. The floor supervisors call the housekeeping desk attendant as unoccupied rooms are cleaned and inspected, and the housekeeping desk attendant tells the front office that rooms are ready. The front desk then changes the status of the space to ‘vacant and ready.’ Informing the front office of the housekeeping status room as soon as possible is a huge help in getting early-arriving guests registered, particularly during peak- season or sold-out periods.
The front office also sends valuable information to the housekeeping department, which needs special attention:
VIPs in the house – This data is critical so that housekeepers can take extra precautions and care while cleaning and supervising VIP rooms.
Group in the house – Since groups prefer to travel together in terms of arrival, departure, sightseeing tours, and meals, the rooming list must be given prior to the group’s arrival. Due to strict time constraints, their room must be prepared together. It’s also crucial to keep track of room changes so that guests’ belongings can be returned. The department will use group rooming lists to coordinate their work and ensure that the group’s rooms are ready on time. This is especially important when room turnover is high and rooms are filled to capacity.
Crew in the house – In normal conditions, airline crews are assigned to a specific floor and a specific collection of spaces. However, the arrival of one crew and the departure of another crew from the same airline may often coincide. In such cases, it is important that the assigned rooms be cleaned in a timely manner. Furthermore, due to the irregular scheduling of international flights, these crew rooms can show a “do not disturb – DND” card at times when other guests are usually out, which the housekeeping schedule must account for.
Flowers – In certain cases, management expresses its gratitude to a visitor by placing a flower arrangement in the room as a symbol of the person’s importance. The need for flower
arrangements for specific guests is communicated to housekeeping on a regular basis by front office. Apart from the above correspondence, the front office must rely on housekeeping to provide clean uniforms to its employees.[ CITATION blo11 \l 1033 ]
2 Recommendations on how to improve the role of Front Office operations to achieve maximum guest satisfaction and profit
Front office employees are one of any hotel’s first points of contact, and they play a critical role in ensuring that each guest has a positive experience. There’s always space for change, whether it’s checking people in or out, changing reservations, or answering questions.
Becoming guest experts – Guests feel welcomed when each member of the front desk team is a guest expert. A successful first step is to address visitors by their first names. However, in order to go above and beyond, the team requires easy access to as much guest knowledge as possible, Such as details regarding the previous stay of the guest, food allergies or preferences, purpose of the previous visit and notes about current stay. The ability to store all of this guest information in the Property Management System allows for more personalized service and makes each guest feel more at ease.
Train the staff – Daily training instills healthy habits in front office employees, resulting in better guest interactions and higher guest scores. Below are some recommendations to train the staff:
- Create a Training Manual – Create a front desk operations manual that clearly communicates the front desk employees’ responsibilities and best practices. This should serve as the starting point for both current and potential employees.
- Hire a Trainer – Bring in a customer service specialist or train one employee to take on this role because hotel owners and managers just don’t have time for daily training.
- Provide Software Training – Make the most of your costly operating applications by having your partner or provider train your staff on how to use all of the functions.
Identifying the Signs – Guests’ subtle hints are usually picked up by every member of a great front desk team. If a guest has children, including details on pool hours, cribs/rollaways, snack bars, and other related amenities would likely be appreciated. Much better, the team will provide details on room choices for younger children ahead of time.
Utilize Technology – Providing technology to the front desk can have a significant effect on the guest experience. You can reduce the line of waiting guests and overall front desk traffic congestion by using technology such as a mobile key. Plus, if the team has more time to spend with each guest, each interaction would be stronger and more authentic.
Have Knowledge of the Surrounding Area – The concierge is still alive and well; his or her tasks have simply been applied to those of your front desk staff. Guests also seek advice from someone who is familiar with the city, which typically begins at the front desk. Every member of your team should be capable of making recommendations such as where to eat, where to shop, local hot spots, things to do.
Better still, you can take your concierge services to the next level by providing local attraction coupons and discounts, creating a welcome guide with local favorites, and making local reservations. Everyone enjoys being treated as a VIP.
Respecting guests valuable time – We don’t mean rushing a guest through the check-in process when we talk about time. We’re talking about working quickly to keep the guest’s time as precious as possible. In reality, fast and efficient service has proven to increase customer satisfaction.
Guests arrive at the front desk at random times. To avoid guests waiting impatiently asking when anyone would come to support them, front desk workers should always be within eyeshot of the counter. Quickly respond to requests for towels, pillows, and other items without having to go through the lengthy process of checking out a library book. When it’s time to check out, be friendly but keep the chit-chat to a minimum; most guests just want to get out of there[ CITATION ope212 \l 1033 ].
Front office plays a very significant role in different kinds of organization. In the queen’s hotel, front office also plays an important role as well. Main function of front office function for the queen’s hotel is acting as the public face for the organization. This can be done primarily by means of greeting customers and guests of the hotel. While working here, as the front office executive of the Queen’s hotel, I have been approached by the national hospitality professional body to conduct a seminar on the role that the Front Office plays within the accommodation sector which has also included with an overview of the front office and the responsibilities, various functions of the front office, different types of technology available to a front office, importance of the Front Office in interdepartmental communication, the communication process between housekeeping and front office and recommendations on how to improve the role of front office operations.
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