TOPIC: PLANNING & EVALUATING FRONT OFFICE OPERATIONS
According to New oxford Intermediate Learner’s dictionary forecast means: To say (with the information) what will probably happen in future.
Forecasting is the prediction of future happenings, based on the precise analysis of the data available rather then the guess work.
FORECASTING ROOM AVAILABILITY
The most important short term planning performed by the front office manager is forecasting the number of rooms available for sale to walk-ins (room position) on a future date.
Room availability forecast are used to help:
• Manage the reservation process
• To guide Front office staff in effective room management
Room availability forecast can also be used as occupancy forecast as the numbers of rooms in hotel are fixed ;as are number of room available for sale .The number of room expected to be occupied can get us an occupancy percentage on a given date.
BENEFITS OF FORECASTING:
1) Helps to project future volume of business and the revenue that would be generated
2) Provide necessary data to the reservation manager to practice yield management.
3) Volume of reservation will help the Front Office Manager and the management of the hotel to plan the following things:
a) Staff requirement in each department(House keeping /Kitchen esp.) for the smooth functioning of the hotel
b) Minimum inventory of item required
c) Allocation of resources to serve the guest in the best possible way
d) Maintenance and replacement requirement of furniture, fixtures and ultimately the property, as wear and tear depends on the number of people using it.
e) Special arrangements to be made for VIP’s and CIP’s and groups.
4) Reservation manger will be able to take selective overbooking, based on the reservation forecast.
5) Based on the forecast on lean days or period, sales department may take necessary actions the business.
6) Helps reservation manager not to take reservations on the sold out dates.
A forecast is as reliable as the information on which it is based. Forecast can serve as a guide in determining operating cost and thus every effort should be made to ensure forecasting accuracy.
Forecasting is a difficult skill to develop. This skill is acquired through mangers qualification, experience, abilities, effective record keeping and accurate counting methods.
INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR ROOM AVAILABILITY FORECASTING:
• Knowledge of the hotel and its surrounding areas.
• Profile of the target market to which the hotel is catering.
• A good judgment of what could happen in the future.
• Occupancy data for the past several months and for the same period of the previous years.
• Reservation trends and history of reservation lead time(time between date of arrival and booking)
• Events scheduled in the area during the forecasted period.
• Profile of specific groups booked for the forecasted date.
• Number of non-guaranteed and guaranteed reservation and an estimated number of no shows.
• The numbers of rooms already reserved and the cut off date for the blocked room held for the forecasted date.
• Impact of city wide or multi hotel group and their potential affect.
• Future plans for renovation or additions of room in the property.
• Knowledge of competitor’s plan with respect to activities which can reduce/increase there room supply.
• Cancellation statistics.
• Wash out percentage (Travel agents normally book extra rooms then actual size of group top meet last time demands, and then cancels the same if fail to sell).
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