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Hotel management front office operations questions - Book Report/Review Example

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The three important functions of the check-out and account settlement process are: (1) resolving outstanding guest account balances; (2) updating room status information, and (3) creating a guest history record. These functions are important to the hotel’s accounting…
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Chapter 9 The three important functions of the check-out and account settlement process are resolving outstanding guest account balances; (2)updating room status information, and (3) creating a guest history record. These functions are important to the hotel’s accounting because it helps them verify or confirm the payment methods being used; they are important to housekeeping because it notifies them of the need to clean up the room and to prepare it for the next guests; and they are important to marketing functions because it creates the guest history file that provides essential data needed for strategic marketing.
2. The definition of zeroing out is bringing the guest’s account balance to zero by applying the payment method that the guest approved. A guest account that is not settled at check-out is transferred to the city ledger and can result to late charges and other collection problems.
3. The four methods of guest account settlement at check out are cash or debit card, credit card, direct billing, or a combined settlement method. They are different from each other by the processing involved and the time of receipt of payment. Their effects on the guest ledger and city ledger are different, where cash and debit payments are zeroed out and do not affect the guest and city ledgers; credit card settlements transfers credit on the guest’s folio and moves the account balance from the guest ledger to a credit account in the city (or non-guest) ledger; direct billing transfers a guest’s account balance from the guest ledger to the city ledger; and combined settlement method, if fully settled, does not affect the guest and city ledgers.
4. The differences between a debit card settlement and a credit card settlement are that debit card settlement is considered as a cash payment, while credit card settlement is not, and a credit card settlement entails that the amount of the charge must be tracked until payment is actually received from the credit card company.
5. The difficulties that come from late check-outs are delays in room use for the next guests and inconveniences for the guest who has not checked out if the front desk asks them about checking out when they are not interested in doing so. Using late check-out fees can reduce these problems by making guests responsible for the inconveniences caused by late check-outs.
6. A typical check-out express procedure works by the guest filling out an express check-out form. A typical self check-out terminal works by accessing self check-out terminals in the hotel lobby or in-room service. The advantages of a typical express check-out express procedure are that they can increase the speed of processing check-outs and this speed can satisfy customers, while its disadvantages are that they cannot be offered to guests who paid in advance using cash and the hotel cannot bill guests for additional money owed. The advantages of a typical self check-out terminal are reduction in check-out time and minimization of front desk traffic, while its disadvantages are problems with unmatched expenses in the view of clients and in the view of the hotel and technical problems that may happen during check-out that can frustrate customers.
7. Late charges are transactions that require posting to the guest account that do not reach the front office for posting until after the guest has checked out and closed his/her account. The front office can reduce late charges by posting transactional vouchers as soon as the vouchers are received for posting, surveying front office vouchers and folio racks for unposted charges before checking a guest out, and asking departing guests if they have incurred any charge purchases that are not listed in their final folios.
8. The types of guest information that are useful in collecting payment for late charges and unpaid account balances are: the guest’s signature and home and business addresses; e-mail address; and telephone numbers.
9. Some elements of an effective billing and collection process are having a procedure for billing departed guests who have overdue accounts, having a strategic collection schedule, and having a documented procedure in collecting overdue accounts. Tracking uncollectible accounts to the departments responsible can improve internal control by indicating the need for employee retraining or closer supervision.
10. Account aging refers to past due accounts where collection period lasts more than thirty days and it is important because it shows problems in billing and collections. The hotel accounting division is usually responsible for account aging analysis.
11. The uses of guest histories are better understanding of hotel clientele and determining guest trends. The front office can construct a guest history file by collecting expired guest registration information and guest folios.
Chapter 10
1. Two-way communications are necessary between the front desk and housekeeping because it ensures that the latter are informed of room status for housekeeping needs and that housekeeping updates the former regarding the readiness of the rooms for the next guests.
2. The systems that the front desk and housekeeping use to track current room status are automated room-status systems and advanced housekeeping and from desk communications systems.
3. The three kinds of maintenance activities are routine maintenance, preventive maintenance, and scheduled maintenance.
4. The ideal relationship between housekeeping and maintenance is one where they work as a team. The actual situation in some properties is that they have an adversarial relationship because of poor communication and negative perceptions of one another.
5. The areas that housekeeping departments are most responsible for in cleaning in a hotel are guestrooms, corridors, public areas, pool and patio areas, management offices, storage areas, linen and sewing rooms, laundry rooms, and back-of-the-house areas.
6. The additional areas that housekeeping may be responsible for depending on the property’s service level are meeting rooms, dining rooms, banquet rooms, convention exhibit halls, hotel-operated shops, game rooms, and exercise rooms.
7. The purpose of an area inventory list is to ensure that housekeeping addresses all areas that they are responsible for. An ideal way to sequence such list is following the sequence in which room attendants will clean items and in which supervisors will inspect items.
8. A frequency schedule is made as part of the deep cleaning program that should be transferred to a calendar plan and scheduled as special cleaning projects. It is used in conjunction with a property’s deep cleaning program by considering cleaning timetables and staff availability.
9. The difference between a performance standard and a productivity standard is that a performance standard is the required quality level of performance, while a productivity standard is the acceptable quantity of work within a specific timeframe that employees are expected to do and which is based on established performance standards. Read More
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