Front Desk Management

Check-In

Check-in for Walk in & Reservation guest:
Hotels have no obligation to accommodate guests who arrive without a reservation when no rooms are available. If a walk-in guest cannot be accommodated, front desk guests can assist the guest by providing directions to nearby hotels. The front desk guest might also offer to contact another hotel for the guest. Most of the time, guests who cannot be accommodated at the hotel would prefer to stay at a similar property. Front desk guests should keep a list with phone numbers of the comparable properties in the area. Hotels can benefit through mutual guest referrals in this way.

Group check-ins Group arrival procedures must be handled with care as they involve a volume of guests checking in at the same time. At the time of the arrival, the following procedures need to be taken:

  •  Confirm the rooming list with the leader. Get him or her to get the group members to confirm the information already filled in registration cards by the staff and to sign them.
  •  Collect all registration cards and confirm that they have all been signed. Hand over the key tray with pre assigned envelopes with keys to the group leader who will distribute the keys to each group member.
  •  Authorize the bell boys to move the guest baggage into their respective rooms by signing a common errand card for the group.

Family check-in
  •  Adjoining rooms for family for family like experience.
  •  Children below 6 years of age sharing with parents would be complimentary on room only basis.
  •  Airport or railway station transfer.
  •  Transportation by appropriate vehicles as per itineraries and package (Car not at disposal).
  •  Daily breakfast & dinner Ala Cart or buffet at hotel.
  •  02 Bottles of packaged drinking water per day.
Company OTA(Online Travel Agency) check-in:
OTAs are online companies who's websites allow consumers to book various travel related services directly via Internet.
Walk In:When guest arrives without prior reservation.

Early Check in Charge: More often than you think, guests do arrive at the hotel before the hotel’s check-in time. Guests can request to check-in early instead of waiting in the hotel’s lobby. To simplify the early check-in process and charges related to it, we have a pre-configured early check-in charge. In addition, you can always modify the charge as per your hotel’s policy or even add the charge manually during check-in process.

Day Use Check in Charges: Day-use service will enable you to cater services to corporate & Walk-in guests who are looking for a place to freshen up before a meeting or transit passengers who wants to rest before taking off to their destination. Here the guests book to stay during the day without staying overnight and check-out within the same day. The one of a kind feature will allow you to manually charge the guests as per the requested stay period.

Securing the room key: The guest should hand over the room keys at the front office before checking out of the hotel.

Automatic allocation of rooms to guests on check-in for maximum yield and optimal usage of Room Inventory.

Negotiated room rate (with appropriate authority) for regular guests.

Print guest check-in card (option to do so in bulk in advance) for ease of guest.

Automatic allocation of breakfasts/meals and other add-on services for inclusive rates.

Check out

Enquiring about additional recent charges: The front office guest should check or enquire about additional recent charges before settling the guest account before check out.

Posting outstanding charges: After enquiring about the charges, the FOE should post all outstanding balances to the guest folio. It is very important task of check out because once the account is settled down no amount can be added to guest folio.

Verifying account information: The front office Executive should check or verify guest account information properly before settling the guest account as zero, because any amendment or cancellation cannot be performed once the guest account is settled by the Executive during check out.

Checking for mail, messages and faxes: After presentation of guest folio the front desk Executive should check for any guest messages, faxes or mails. They should be handed over to the guest before check out.

Presenting the guest folio: The front office Executive should present the guest folio to the guest after all verification and checking is completed by the assistant. The various methods in which the guest can settle the bills (methods of settlement) are:

A cash payment in full during check out will bring a guest account balance to zero. The FO Executive should mark the folio as paid. According to front office policy sometimes may require the guest to present a credit card at check-in to gain charge privileges. Debit card settlement is considered as cash payment because the funds are directly deducted from the guest account.
Even though credit card settlement brings a guest account to zero, the amount of the charge must be tracked until payment is actually received from the credit card company. Therefore credit card settlement creates a transfer credit on the guest folio and moves the account balance from guest ledger to city ledger.
At check out Like credit card settlement, direct billing transfer a guest account balance from guest ledger to city ledger. It is the hotel‘s responsibilities to collect the direct billing.
A guest may choose to use more than one method to bring the account balance to zero. The guest may make partial cash payment and charge the remainder of the account balance to a credit card. The front office Executive should be very careful with this kind of method of settlement.
 

Night Audit

  • Complete outstanding posting: One of the primary functions of the hotel night audit is to ensure that all transactions affecting guest and non-guest accounts are posted to appropriate folios before the end of the day. It is important to accurately post and account for all transactions on the day they occurred. Charges posted to the guest folio with the wrong dates will confuse guest. Generally guest will challenge such charges during checkout. This can cause delay for the guest and for the staff since the charges will have to be researched for an explanation.
  • Reconcile room status discrepancies: Room status discrepancies must be resolved in a timely manner since they can cause confusion in the front office. Errors in room status can lead to loss of room revenue. The front office must maintain current and accurate room status information to effectively determine the number and types of room available for sale. For example, if a guest checks out but the front desk guest fails to properly complete the checkout procedure the guest room may appear occupied when it is actually vacant. This could prevent the room from being rented until the error is discovered.
  • Balance all departments: The night auditor balances all revenue center departments using source documents. The hotel night auditor seeks to balance all front office accounts against departmental transactional information. Vouchers received at the front desk and other documents are totaled and compared to the revenue center summaries. Even fully automated hotels generally maintain source document because they can help resolve discrepancies should they arise.
  • Verify room rates: The night auditor may need to complete room revenue and account report. This report provides a means for analyzing room revenue since it shows the rack rate for each room and actual at which the room was sold. If the room rack and the actual rate do not match the night auditor should consider the following factors:
  •  If the room is occupied by a member of a group or a corporate guest, is it a discounted rate is offered?
  •  If the room is complementary, is the appropriate supporting back up for the rate (for example, a complementary room authorization form)?
  •  If there is only one guest in a room and the actual rate is approximately half the rack rate, is the guest part of the shared reservation? If he or she is, did a second guest registration?

Checking for safe deposit box or in room safe keys:

Another important responsibility at check out for the front desk Executive is to check guest valuables or any belongings lying in the safe deposit box. If any articles are found it should be handed over to the guest. Front desk Executive should also secure in room safe keys from the guest.

Updating room status:

After completion of check out procedure of the guest, the front office staff should update the room status from occupied to vacant status on the system. This will help the HK department for cleaning the room as soon as possible.

Inquiring about the guest stay and experience:

After check out of the guest, the front office staff should call or sent a mail to the guest regarding his or her stay in the hotel. This procedure is followed to ensure the guest will return to the same hotel for future stay.

Requesting the guest to complete a guest satisfaction survey:

Front office staff should request the guest to complete a guest satisfaction survey.

Updating the guest history file:

After all procedure is completed the front office assistant should create or update guest history card for future use or for future stay.

Reinstate checked-out rooms (before Night Audit)

Automatic posting of room charges overnight before night audit procedure

Extending stays for guests.

Folio Transfer:

You got a group of people staying at your hotel and they like to club together some of the room charges to one folio and rest to another folio. You just select the room of the single guest and club all the charges to the folio, that’s it. Rest of charges is processed the same way and another folio is generated instantly. Furthermore, the system will automatically send it to the guest’s email and you can even print a hard copy on the spot if guest requests.

Split Folio:

One of the most recurring operational requests from guests is splitting the bill. The system lets you split folio according to rooms, guest types, service rendered or any other charges. Let’s say, you have a group coming to the hotel for a weekend, where the stay has been sponsored by the company and rest will be covered by the guests as personal expense. Here, all you have to do is split the folio by group, one folio for the company for the stay and other folio will be billed to the guests.

Reservation

Reservation Procedure:
  • Accept the reservation as requested if rooms are available.
  • Suggest alternative room types, dates and/or rates.
  • Suggest an alternative hotel.
  • Telephonic hotel reservation procedure:
  •   Greet the caller. A warm greeting always sets the proper tone for the conversation.
  •   Identify the caller’s needs. It is important to ask the caller about arrival and departure dates, the number of guests, room preference, group or corporate affiliation and other information that helps define the caller’s needs.
  •   Provide an overview of the hotel’s features and benefits based on the caller’s needs.
  •   Make a room recommendation, and adjust it according to the caller’s response.
  •   Close the sale. Ask for the reservation; do not wait for the caller to make a decision.
  •   Gather the reservation information. Record all the reservation information necessary, following the hotel’s procedures. This process usually involves repeating the guest’s name, arrival date, departure date, room type and rate, and special requests to the caller to confirm the information. This is also the best time to secure the reservation guarantee and provide a reservation confirmation number.
  •  Thank the caller. Closing a call as warmly as opening it leaves callers with a sense of confidence that they have selected the right hotel.

Cancellation of Reservation

  •   Cancellation of reservation through website from which the reservation is made.
  •   Cancellation from the front desk of hotel.
  •   Hotels cancellation policy, I am entitled to a 100% refund, as I made my cancellation within 30 days preceding the reservation. I am requesting a cancellation at least nearly 60 days in advance so there should be no problems getting this reservation cancelled and a refund of my initial deposit.

Reservation confirmations by email or fax:

  •   Telephone calls can reach the client faster than by correspondence and hence a higher chance of securing the business is possible as clients might approach other hotels/resorts at the same time.
  •   Letter/fax is only recommended for written confirmation, not as a communication device.
  •   Nowadays, email correspondence is very common and most enquiries come through this channel. Proper writing etiquette is essential and emails shall be handled in a timely manner (within 3-4 hrs.) and forwarded to the concerned person(s) immediately.
  •   Emails shall only be used for confirmation if forms/confirmations/agreement forms etc. are sent as attachments and converted in a read-only format (i.e.: .pdf files). Otherwise, fax must be used.

Group reservations Management (multiple rooms under one name/bill).

    a) Conference Reservation & Management
  •  Manage and show the availability
  •  Provision of refreshments for meetings/receptions.
  •  Room availability for the participants of conference.
  •  Meeting/reception room bookings. Numbers of participants, seating and table configurations like U Shape, Cluster & Theatre Style.
  •  Provide conference hall with essential such as Projector/screen/PC/sound systems.

b) Banquet Management
  •  Provide variety requirements for clients of various sizes of Banquet hall.
  •  Fulfill the food variety according the occasion and requirement.
  •  Best decorations service in Banquet Hall as per requirement of the clients.
  •  Parking area for vehicles.
  •  Negotiated food rates for the guests.
  •  Special guest requests including for a specific room, adjoining rooms, same floor rooms

Guest Database Repository Management

  • Guest Profile: Name, address, email address, fax number, phone number, credit card(s), company, member/number, preferences, free format notes
  • Company Profile:
  •  Company name, Established date, Physical address and location, Website URL, Email Address.
  •  Description of the business including the mission and/or vision.
  •  Production Description, Expansion and Growth, Public Relations, its clients Portfolio.
  • Travel Agencies Profile
  • a) Quality services: Customer satisfaction can only be achieved by quality and time to time services.
  • b) Tour packages: Variety of packages for season tours of family, Group and Company.
  • Arrival date and time.
  • Expected departure date and time
  • Hotel Reservation type (status – guaranteed, non guaranteed etc)
  • Special requirements form their previous choice.

Hotel Channel Manager:

  • Being in the hotel business, you are aware of the fact that managing the process of rates and inventory updates on distribution channels, maintaining rate parity, running promotions etc can be a nerve cracking process. No matter if you think the mighty OTAs are friends or foes, there is no denying that these travel sites bring an immense amount of business and they are here to stay!
  • To help you out, all-in-one solution , provides a cutting edge channel management system that makes it easier than ever to manage your hotel inventory across all connected distribution channels. The seamless connectivity between the hotel channel manager and OTA saves time and ensures a quick ROI. Expedia, Axisrooms, Booking.com, MakeMyTrip, Desiya,Yatra, Agoda .
    •   What is booking Engine ?
      A booking engine is a piece of software that allows guests to book reservations on your website and directly send them to your property management system. Booking engines, like ours, are installed directly on your website. Allow guests to confirm and pay their reservation.
    •   How does my front desk connect to the online travel agencies?
      My front desk connects to online travel agencies via channel managers like my allocator and several others. A channel manager allows you to allocate your inventory on all your distribution channels like Axis Rooms.
    •   Guest can only book rooms by its category and not specific rooms.
    •   Guest can view rooms, pricing and room availability.
    •   A Guest will receive a confirmation email from channel manager.
  • Legal Implications:

    The reservation agreement between the hotel and the guest begins at the time of guest contact. This agreement may be oral or written. Confirming a reservation to a prospective guest in language that states that the guest will be accommodated on a particular date may constitute a contract binding the hotel to provide accommodations on that date. If the confirmation is in response to a reservation request from the prospective guest, it may bind both the hotel and the guest to full fill the Hotel reservation.