Front Office Operation

Front Office Operations Adam Fikis Week #6 Reservations * Definition: An agreement reached between a supplier and a traveler or travel agent or a clerical or electronic process whereby a seat, a room, a berth or other accommodation is withdrawn from sale and set aside for the use of a specific person, often on payment of a deposit. Reservations Outcomes * Guest Perspective * Having a guestroom ready and waiting when they arrive * Should not be just any room, but the room that best meets the guest needs expressed during the reservations process. * Hotel Perspective The reservations process should provide the highest occupancy and the room revenue possible. Reservation and Sales * Before Automation: * Agents focused on room availability information. * Not able to identify room type. * Agents would note special request on the reservation. * Certain bedding type, smoking, non-smoking, scenic view * Front desk fulfill such request at the time of check-in. * At the same time agents were responsible for maximizing occupancy & revenue * Incentives were provided to sell higher priced rooms during check-in. After Automation: * Agents can review room and rate information for specific dates * Request for specific room types, location, and special features can be immediately acknowledged and quickly confirmed as a part of the reservations process. * Agent create an image of the hotel to the callers * Reservations agents are not order takers and are trained in sales techniques. * Reservation now is viewed as part of sales department. Role of the Sales Department in Reservations * Primary Source of Reservations Group Sales Managers or Representatives create group reservations * Corporations, trade associations or SMERF(Sports, Military, Educational, Religious, Fraternal) * Actual reservations may go the reservations department by phone, fax, website etc. * Sales office originated the sale * Sales Department also generate sales from other markets * Transient, Corporate, Leisure etc. * A major function of the Sales department is to familiarise local businesses and travel agencies about the benefits and features of the property. * Depending on the type of hotel Sales Managers maybe assigned to work with travel agencies, Internet websites, and other reservations distribution outlets * Distribution channels should be familiar with the hotel’s characteristics and surrounding areas * To create a positive impression of the property and the travel destination * Sales Managers are often provided with financial or other incentives for meeting or exceeding their sales goals. * Sales objectives and incentives (including promotions) are now related to revenue rather than room sales as previously done in the past.
Types of Reservations * Guaranteed Reservations: (A guaranteed reservation assures the guest that the hotel will hold a room until a specific time of the day following the guest’s scheduled arrival date. ) * Prepayment * A room reservation in which guests, prior to their arrival, provide payment for their rooms. Sometimes referred to as an “advanced deposit” reservation. * Credit Cards * Reservations are secured by a credit card number. In exchange for your card number, the hotel promises to have a room for you no matter when you show up on the day. Advance Deposits * Requires that the guest pays the hotel a specified amount prior to arrival, usually large enough to cover 1 night’s room and taxes. * Travel Agent * Travelers pay the agency in advance for transportation and room charges; and the agency in turn guarantees the reservation. * Corporate * A corporation entering into an agreement with an hotel, which states that they will accept financial responsibility for any no-shows travelers the corporation is sponsoring. * Voucher / Miscellaneous Charge Order (MCO) * Guest prepays an amount to the agency.
The agency forwards the Voucher/MCO to the hotel as proof of payment and guarantee that the prepaid amount will be sent to the property when the voucher is returned to the travel agency. * Non-Guaranteed * Hotel agrees to hold a room for the guest until a stated reservations cancellation hour * Usually 4:00 p. m. or 6:00 p. m. * Does not guarantee the property will receive payment for no-show * The room is released back into the generally inventory if guest does not arrive by stated time. Reservation Inquiry / Sources Property Direct * Telephone * Mail * Traditional / Electronic * Property Web Site * Property to Property * Faxes * TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) * Through a central reservation system * Affiliate System * A hotel reservations system in which all participating properties are contractually related * Non-Affiliate System * Subscription system designed to connect independent and non-chain properties * Usually assumes responsibility for advertising * Only accepts certain quality or limited number of hotels in an rea to keep price of their service high * Examples – Hazelton Toronto & Chateau Bonne Entente (Leading Hotels of the World) * Preferred Hotels & Resorts (Soho Metropolitan -Toronto) * Distinguished Hotels & Resorts (Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant) * Cluster Reservations Office * Chains that have several properties in a geographic area may opt to establish a single reservations or cluster office * Similar to hotel chain reservations system, but serves only a specific location instead of the entire company. All reservation enquiries are channeled through cluster office * Room rates and availability can be coordinated * Cross selling of other cluster properties * Global Distribution Systems (GDS) * Support the distribution of airline tickets, car rentals, hotel inventories with service providers, suppliers & intermediaries. * SABRE, GALILEO, WORLDSPAN, AMADEUS * Inter-sell Agencies * A reservations systems contracted to handle bookings for more than one product line. It is like a “One Stop Shop” or “One call does it all”. Handles booking for * Airline companies * Car agencies & lodging properties * Internet Distribution Systems (IDS) * A process by which Hospitality, Travel & Tourism companies offer on-line reservations services via the internet. Group Reservations & Terms * Usually involve(s) a variety of contacts: * In some instances (guests, meeting planners, CVB(Convention & Visitors Bureau), travel agents, tour operator, hotel sales staff etc. ) * Block: An agreed number of rooms is set aside If sufficient rooms are available * A Group Block must be monitored by reservation manager * Special identification code / Reservations Card * Given to prospective guests to reserve rooms within the group’s assigned block * Rooms reserved for specific guests are referred to as booked * If the group take away rooms from transient(non-group) Res. Manager must advise G. Manager. This is called NON-GROUP DISPLACEMENT. * Wash Down – reducing Block based on the group’s history * Cut-off date A pre-determined date when the hotel stops accepting reservations for the group * Group Resume * Summary of group activities, billing instructions, arrival / departure patterns * Key attendees and recreational / entertainment activities * Usually stored at the front desk * Group Contract: * states the number of rooms and quoted rate * states arrival, departure, and special consideration – such as complimentary room Reservation Records Identify guests and their occupancy needs before their arrival * Allows the hotel to personalize / customize guest services * Guest name (group name if applicable) * Guest’s home or billing address, telephone and email details * Guest’s company name and address, if any * Number of people and children * Room rate & type * Arrival date and time * Expected departure date * Method of guarantee (if any) * Corporate / Travel Agency Account Information * Special requests (Cribs, Smoking / Non-Smoking rooms, children, disabled etc. Reservation Confirmation / Cancellation * When the hotel acknowledges and verifies a guest room request and personal information by phone, fax, (e)mailing a letter of confirmation. They generally include the following: * Name & address of guest * Date and arrival time * Room type and rate * Length of stay * Number of person(s) in party * Reservations classification (guarantee/non-guarantee) * Reservations cancellation / confirmation number * Special requests, if any

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