Front Office Interaction with Other Departments in the Hotel The front ofﬁce staffs interacts with all departments of the hotel, including marketing and sales, housekeeping, food and beverage, banquet, controller, maintenance, security, and human resources. These departments view the front ofﬁce as a communication liaison in providing guest services. Each of the departments has a unique communication link with the front office staff.
Food and Beverage Department Communication between the food and beverage department and the front ofﬁce is also essential. Some of this communication is conveyed by relaying messages and providing accurate information on transfers, which are forms used to communicate a charge to a guest’s account. Communication activities also include reporting predicted house counts, an estimate of the number of guests expected to register based on previous occupancy activities, and processing requests for paid-outs, forms used to indicate the amounts of monies paid out of the cashier’s drawer on behalf of a guest or an employee of the hotel. These vital services help an overworked food and beverage manager, restaurant manager, or banquet captain meet the demands of the public. Incoming messages for the food and beverage manager and executive chef from vendors and other industry representatives are important to the business operation of the food and beverage department. If the switchboard operator is given instructions on screening callers (such as times when the executive chef cannot be disturbed because of a busy workload or staff meetings, or vendors in whom the chef is not interested), the important messages will receive top priority. In a hotel that has point-of-sale terminals, computerized cash registers that interface with a property management system, information on guest charges is automatically posted to a guest’s folio, his or her record of charges and payments. When a hotel does not have point-of-sale terminals that interface with PMS point-of-sale terminals, the desk clerk is responsible for posting accurate charges on the guest folio and relies on transfer slips. Also, the night auditor’s job is made easier if the transfer slip is accurately prepared and posted. The front ofﬁce manager should work with the food and beverage director in developing standard operating procedures and methods to complete the transfer of charges. The supervisors in the food and beverage department rely on the predicted house count prepared by the front ofﬁce manager to schedule employees and predict sales. For ex- ample, the restaurant supervisor working the breakfast shift will want to know how many guests will be in the hotel so he or she can determine how many servers to schedule for breakfast service. Timely and accurate preparation of this communication tool assists in staffing control and sales predictions. Authorized members of the food and beverage department will occasionally ask the front ofﬁce for cash, in the form of a paid-out, to purchase last-minute items for a banquet, the lounge, or the restaurant or to take advantage of other unplanned opportunities to promote hospitality. Specific guidelines concerning cash limits, turnaround time, prior approval, authorized signatures, and purchase receipts are developed by the general manager and front ofﬁce manager. These guidelines help to maintain control of paid-outs.
The banquet department, which often combines the functions of a marketing and sales department and a food and beverage department, requires the front office to relay information to guests about scheduled events and bill payment. The front desk staff may also provide labour to prepare the daily announcement board, an inside listing of the daily activities of the hotel (time, group, and room assignment), and marquee, the curb side message board, which includes the logo of the hotel and space for a...
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