Every multi-departmental business needs to have a front office or reception to attend the guests or visitors. Front Office Department is the face and voice of a business that is responsible to make the first impression. For businesses like hotel and hospitality, the front office department is the one that directly interacts with customers when they first arrive at the establishment. From managing transactions to receiving guests and handling their requests – Front Office plays a crucial role in elevating customer experience.
In large hotels, Front Office department functions through many sub-departments with each one having specialized roles and responsibilities. Whereas, a reception area is sufficient in small hotels to handle all the front office job. A hotel management course from the best management colleges in India will enable you to understand the roles and responsibilities of front office in detail. Here, we give you an overall idea of how front office and its sub-departments operate in a largescale setup.
Front Office Operations
Front Office operations can be divided into two categories – Front-house operations and back-house operations. The front-house operations are visible to the guest whereas back-house operations take place in absence of them. Interacting with guests, addressing their queries and complaints fall under the first category. Determining the type of guest (fresh/repeat), ensuring their preferences, preparing bills fall under second category where direct involvement of guests is not required.
Front Office Departments
There are some top hotel management colleges in Eastern India that make it mandatory for their students to undergo industrial training in star hotels. The training helps them to develop deep understanding of such operational areas.
This unit is responsible for handling booking requests, blocking rooms as per the requests made by individual guests or agencies and maintaining a proper record of the same. Reservation department also makes an effort to sell rooms by maintaining a good relationship with travel agents, airline crew or businesses.
This unit is responsible for receiving guests upon their arrival in a warm and friendly manner and make them feel comfortable from the very moment. The receptionist needs to complete all the formalities of registering them properly and allocate rooms.
This unit is an extended part of front office. Throughout the arrival and departure process, bell boys are responsible for providing personalized guest services such as – luggage handling, paging and message handling, collection of room keys at departures and doing other miscellaneous jobs.
In big hotels, this is a separate unit for handling information. Concierge is a French word that refers to hospitality. Often the guest requires longer interaction such as planning a route or more information about the city, events, and functions. In such cases, concierge department comes to the rescue.
This unit is mainly responsible for handling guest payments, maintaining guest folio, preparing bills at checkout time, keeping an update of cash and credit transactions, organizing foreign currency exchange etc.
This unit is responsible for arranging pick-up and drop facilities for guests, provide them vehicles upon request, creating travel plans and arranging for guides if needed.