Tuesday, March 30, 2010

front office

DIFFERENT RACKS USED IN THE FRONT OFFICE

1. INFORMATION RACK:

An Information rack is composed of two index listings of in-house guests. One by the guests last name and another by assigned room number. An Information rack is commonly used to assist Front Office employees with proper routing of telephone calls, mails, messages and visitors inquiries. The Information rack normally consists of aluminium slots designed to hold guest information slips. These slots can be easily arranged and rearranged to fit the immediate needs of the hotel. Computer systems eliminate the need for an Information rack since guest name and room number data are easily retrievable through computer system.

2. ROOM RACK

This is the most important piece of Front Office equipment in non-automated and semi-automated hotels. The room rack is an array of metal file pockets designed to hold room rack slips that display guest and room status information. The Room rack is normally recessed into the front desk counter , tilted against the desk, or mounted below or behind the desk. When key slots are added to the Room rack, it can serve as combination room and key rack.

The Room rack contains a summary of information about the current status of all rooms in the hotel. A room rack slip or in some hotels, the guest registration card itself can be inserted into the Room rack to display guest information, room number and room rate. At one glance the room rack informs the front office assistant of the occupancy and housekeeping status of all rooms. The room rack may also contain information about room types, features and rates. This information may be used to match available room with guest request during the registration process. Need for room rack is eliminated in a computerised system.

3. MAIL AND KEY RACK

A key rack is an array of numbered compartments used to store guest room keys. To minimise the number of racks in the front desk area, hotels may combine the key rack with either the room rack or the mail and message rack. A combination of these is either a free standing wall unit, an under the counter row of compartments, or a set of drawers. Some front offices use rack as room divider by placing it between the front desk and the telephone operators.
When mail and message compartments of the rack are open from both sides, telephone operators and front office assistants have equal access to rack contents.
If guest room telephones are equipped with ‘message lights’, they can be used to notify guests when they have messages at the desk. In room message lights can be activated with a control switch beside each room’s slot in the mail, message and key rack.


LUGGAGE CONTROL AND BELLBOYS CONTROL

Many guests arrive at the hotel with heavy baggage or several pieces of luggage. Guests receive help from the bell attendants. Bell attendants provide baggage service between the Lobby area and the guest room.

ACTIVITIES AT THE BELL DESK ON ARRIVAL:
1. Bell boy returns to the bell desk with errand card and hands it over to the bell captain.
2. Hotel tags are prepared and fixed by the bell boy in the presence of the guest to identify the luggage and avid confusion or mistakes.
3. Bell boy escorts the guest to the room with the luggage.
4. Places luggage on the luggage stand or as directed by the guest.
5. Returns to the bell desk and punches time of return on the errand card.
The details on the errand card are filled up by the bell captain. He also makes entries of the details into his control sheet on the bell boys return.

The errand card contains details such as the description and the number of pieces of baggage, the time at which the bell boy left the counter, time of return etc.






ROOM SELLING TECHNIQUES

UPSELLING ROOMS

Mark Gordon an experienced F. O. & GM trains his staff in 3 non pressure selling techniques. They are especially effective in inducing guests to accept medium-priced and deluxe rooms instead of minimum - rate accommodations this techniques are.
1. The choice - of - door technique
The FOA gives the guest a choice of rate categories and asks, “which would you prefer”? No presume is applied, the guest does that all by himself. People tend to avoid extremes and are likely to select the middle choice. Thus a guest being offered a room are of Rs.4000, Rs.5000 or Rs.6000 will likely go for the Rs.5000 room even if he had planned on the lowest rate.

2. The Door-in-the-face technique
This approach has to be handled with fact and without presume. It can result in drastic increase of the average rate per occupied room. FOAs start from the top down quoting the highest priced room in the category the guest wishes.

A single room on our club floor, with patio and sitting room at Rs.7,500/-. The guest may accept this or ask for something less expensive, at which the FOA quotes the next date down, say the Deluxe room on the 4th floor with KB and view of the garden at Rs.6800”. By comparison this room still appears of above average quality but considerably less expensive than the previously quoted one. According to the theory of reciprocity, many guests will be convinced that after rejecting the highest rate, accepting the middle rate room is a rational compromise.


3. The Foot-in-the-Door Technique
This technique is based on the notion that people who have already agreed to one proposition will quite easily agree to another one. The reservationist while taking a reservation over the phone or selling a room over the counter can use this by saying, ‘We are holding a std. room in the East wing for you, Mr. Sharma for an extra Rs.500 you have a deluxe room in our lake view wing or for Rs.600 per person you can take advantage of our week end package, which includes the American b’fast in your room plus dinner for two at the Zodiac grill. The guest can simply say “no, thank you” or accept the upsale suggestion.

Upselling is not a game or a way to squeeze extra rupees out of unsuspecting travelers. It should be part of a professional receptionists and guest services representatives repertoire. It should be seen as one more way to

(a) provide better services to the guests by offering choices
(b) Increase rooms revenue for the hotel.

Upselling techniques
1. Know the product

2. Control the encounter
Ask specific questions such as, “we have a quiet double room on our. Silver floor. Is that suitable for you?” Avoid asking e open-ended questions, such as ‘what kind of a room are you looking for?”

3. Sell high, but avoid high-pressure selling techniques

4. Always quote the full rate plus tax

5. Turn a negative aspect of a room or rooming situation into an advantage for the guest eg. A room without a view becomes a quiet room. A room near the elevator or near the busy pool may be noisy but is ‘handy’ and easily accessible if you plan to do much ---

6. Sandwich the price between descriptive phrases, “one of our extra - large rooms at Rs.6,500/- plus tax overlooking the garden” or quote the price of more than one room giving the guest a choice.

“We have double rooms for Rs.6500/- but the ones with the new minibar are Rs.6,800/- “

7. Ask for the sale
Once all the information has been presented to the guest the FOA must gently but resolutely, close the sale. “If that is a suitable choice, may I ask you to sign the registration card”, is an effective way to move negotiations to a close.

8. Listen to guest conversational comments, such as “Oh what a hot day ! I could do with something cool”. They will help to determine their needs better and to sell other services of the hotel. “Our outdoor pool and bar are still open.”

9. Sell the whole hotel by making suggestions for dinner. “Just dial 7 on your room phone to make a reservation” or for drinks in the lounge “The new entertainer is fantastic’ and for recreational facilities. “There is no charge for the use of the Sauna and the health club”.

10. Try to anticipate the guest’s needs and offer services, suggestions, and assistance.













REGISTRATION

INTRODUCTION :

The registration process begins when the guest arrives at the reception or the arrival section of the hotel. The process terminates when he has signed the registration card or guest arrival register, has been assigned a room and goes to his room.
The registration procedure differs for the different categories of the guests, like guests with reservation, without reservation, foreigners, groups, etc.
This process of registration is very important for the hotel as it not only contributes significantly to the basic information the hotel needs to monitor its business, but it is also a legal requirement. A complete record of present and past guests has to be maintained. It is a legal requirement that each guest must be registered. Guest signature is important as it signifies his consent to pay for all the services provided by the hotel and abide by the rules and regulations of the hotel. It also serves as a proof of his stay in the hotel from a certain date to another certain date. So in short, registration serves as legal contract between the hotel and the guest. We can summarize the objectives of the registration system as follows :
1. To provide guest information to he hotel.
2. To fulfill legal requirements.
3. To provide mode of payment.
4. To provide information about the date of departure.

A registration process is based on the following four concepts.
1. Collection : It helps the hotel in capturing information pertaining to the guest needs, expected or actual date of departure, billing instructions like cash or credit, mode of payment and personal data like his occupation, date of birth, purpose of visit, his office and residential address, etc.
2. Assignment and allocation of room : The assignment of room matching the guest requirement both in terms of type and the rate of the room.
3. Credibility of the guest : Based on the policies like advance payment and credit limits, etc. of the hotel and also on the basis of information provided by the billing instructions, the hotel decides upon fixing the credit limit for the guest.
4. Future planning of the room sales : The hotel can maximize it’s occupancy through a knowledge of room availability based on the information from the registration records.
VARIOUS TYPES OF REGISTRATION RECORDS :

Information about the guest which may be required by the hotel or police may be registered in two ways 1. In the form of a ‘Hotel Register’ also known as ‘Red Book’ or ‘F form’. 2. Individual guest ‘Registration cards’.
• The register can be a ‘Bound Book Register’ which is normally used by small hotels. Thick book which can be used for long time.
Merits :
1. All records are available in one book.
2. No filing is required.
3. Wastage is minimum.
Demerits :
1. Only one guest can register at a time.
2. It is bulky and difficult to carry to other departments.
3. Being very bulky and used for long period, it looks shabby on the counter.
4. Privacy can not be maintained.
5. Pre-registration not possible.
6. If the book is misplaced all the record is lost.
• Another type of register is a ‘Loose Leaf Register’ which is same as the bound book register in it’s contents but the pages are not bound. One page or sheet is used for each day.
Merits :
1. To some extent privacy is maintained.
2. Easy to hand over to customer to write details.
3. If one sheet is lost only one day’s record is lost.
Demerits :
1. It can be very easily misplaced.
2. If for a day, one full sheet is not completed, the rest goes waste.
3. Only one guest can register at a time.
4. Filing becomes an additional job.
• Individual guest registration cards are most widely used in hotels these days. They may be duplicate or triplicate depending on the hotel
Merits :
1. Many guests may be registered at the same time.
2. Privacy can be maintained.
3. Storage is easy.
4. No wastage.
5. Guests can be pre registered.
6. More mobile.
Demerits :
1. Expensive.
2. If not properly stored, may be lost.


DOCUMENTS GENERATED IN THE REGISTRATION PROCESS :
1. Registration Card : Used to collect guest personal data.
2. Room Rack Slip : A document on which the information is transferred from the registration card in the form of a summary. This slip is placed in the room rack.
3. Information rack Slip : Used to provide guest name and room no. A copy of this slip goes to room service, housekeeping, telephones, etc. These departments also maintain information racks.
4. Bell Boy’s Errand Card : It is communicate the guest arrival to the bell desk and to keep a check on the movement of the bell boys.
5. Other Support Documents :
a) Arrival notification slips : These slips are prepared and distributed to all the concerned departments.
b) ‘C’ Form : The Registration of Foreigners Act 11939 Section 3(e) Rule 14 makes it obligatory on the part of the hotel to send information about the foreigners registered at the hotel. In this connection any person who is not an Indian National or one who does not hold an Indian passport is termed as a foreigner. The form which is used to notify F.R.R.O. (Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Madras) is called as ‘C’ form. Within 24 hours from the time of registration of a foreigner (12 hours for Pakistani, Chinese and other middle eastern countries) the information should reach the F.R.R.O. In the cities where there are no F.R.R.O. this information should reach the office of the Superintendent of Police of that area or town. Nepal and Bhutan and Shree Lanka nationals are exempted from the ‘C’ form notification. The ‘C’ form is made in duplicate pr in triplicate. It is made in duplicate if sent to F.R.R.O. (original copy goes to F.R.R.O.). If it is sent to the S.P. office, it has to be made in triplicate (two copies sent to the S.P. office). A bell boy is debuted to do this work everyday and it is his duty to bring the acknowledgment of their receipt from the F.R.R.O. The ‘C’ forms are serially numbered and contain all the information about he guest which is collected from the G.R. card (guest registration card).


TYPES OF REGISTRATION SYSTEMS :
Non-Automatic Systems: It refers to a manual system. This system is used for small hotels where the installation of automatic system would prove to be quite expensive and waste. All the forms like ‘C’ form, room rack slip, information rack slip, arrival notification slip, etc. are produced and distributed manually. It is wholly dependent on guests accurate and legible completion of the registration card.
1. Semi-Automatic System : It is a combination of manual and automated systems which involves the usage of the office machinery, clerical equipment and people.
2. Fully Computerised System : It is system in which various section of the front office department are connected to each other with the help of computer interfaces. The data collected at one point can be transmitted and utilized at any other location. This system speeds up the process and reduces the no. of errors.


CREATIVE OPTIONS IN REGISTRATION

Hotels have experimented with different techniques to make registration more efficient and effective.
Techniques tried with varying degree of success include :
1. Eliminating the front desk : Instead of the front desk, a host waits at the reception area with a list of expected guests and their pre-assigned rooms. The host identifies the guests, completes an abbreviated registration process. Marriot, Hilton and several other hotel companies are currently using this procedure at selected hotels. Credit is established at the time of reservation, through a special interface between the central reservation computer and the credit card company. With everything else in place, all the hotel staff has to do is pre-register the guest and attach a room key to the registration card. When the guest arrives at the hotel a simple verification of information on the registration card completes the process.
2. Having ‘Hotel Greeter’ registering the guests at a special lobby location : The regular front desk is screened off and used only for sorting and filing records. The screen can be temporarily removed, for check-in and settlement at peak time.
3. Creating a unique, separate registration area for VIP guests : This concept is similar to hotel greeter concept, but is only available for VIP guests.
4. Self-registration : Self registration terminals are usually located in lobbies of fully automated hotels. These terminals can vary in design. Some resemble the Automated Bank Teller Machine (ATM), while the others possess both video and audio capability. Recent technological advances allow hotels to place these terminals at off premises locations such as airports, car rental agencies, etc. To use an advanced self registration terminal, a guest generally must have made a reservation which led to creation of reservation and registration record.

FLOW OF ACTIVITIES AT THE SELF-REGISTRATION TERMINAL

1. Guest enters his reservation confirmation number or valid credit card.
2. Terminal reads information from the magnetic strip, passes the information to hotel computer to locate the reservation record.
3. Terminal prompts the guest to feed in additional data with the help of key pad.
4. Computer which is interfaced with computerised room management system, enables automatic room and rate assignment.
5. Some terminals print & request the guest to sign the registration card & deposit it in a card drop box.
6. Some terminals then direct the guest to a guest room key pick-up area. In other cases, the terminal dispenses the guest room key.





REGISTRATION


Registration procedure can be divided into six steps -
1. Pre-registration activity
2. Creating a registration record
3. Assigning the room and rate
4. Establishing the method of payment
5. Issuing the room key
6. Fulfilling special request

Pre-registration activity

Information is taken from the reservation record for quick check-in. It includes printing of the registration card, room and rate assignment, creation of a guest folio, other functions may also be part of the pre-registration activities. Sometimes room number is not assigned especially when the occupancy is high. Pre-registration can help plan for special requests. This leads to innovation in registration.
Option- when the driver goes to the airport to pick up the guest. He can get the guest signature on the registration card, take an imprint of the credit card, the room key can be given to the guest even before reaching the hotel. The check in can be carried out at the airport itself.

The registration record

Registration cards- have details about the guest taken from the reservation record such as name of the guest, address, contact no., date of arrival, date of departure, type of room, special request etc. At check out they are stored as guest history record. It is a database for future trends.

Flow of guest registration information:


Room rack slip

POS charge status

Guest folio slip

Registration record
Housekeeping schedule

Information rack slip Guest history card
Room and rate assignment

Involves identifying and allocating an available room in a specific room category. If not available, identify an acceptable available room. The room can be pre- assigned. A variety of room rates exist for similar types of rooms. Rates differ based on room view, location, furnishing etc.

I. Room status

Effective room and rate assignment depends on accurate and timely room status information. Housekeeping uses status- occupied, vacant, on- change, out of order. The housekeeping status should be communicated to the front office and it should be checked against the front office status. The discrepancy should be rectified. Communication between front office and housekeeping is written, spoken, through telephones, computers, interface in- room telephone. Occupancy report is sent by the housekeeping to the front office.


Computers

Computers give instantaneous access to the room status. Pagers can be connected to the computer terminals. At times the rooms are ready in all respect but there could be a delay in clearing the rooms as the housekeeper may be clearing a number of rooms together. It can be made faster when the telephone and computer are interfaced.

Room rates

A room rate is the price a hotel charges for overnight accommodation.
Rack rate – standard rate for each room.
Food plans – room rate is inclusive of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eg. Continental plan, European plan, American plan, Bermuda plan, modified American plan.
Special rates – these are discounted rates.
• Commercial or corporate rate – for frequent guests
• Complimentary – for business promotion
• Group rates – for groups, tour operators etc.
• Family rates – for families with children under 12.
• Day rates – hourly rate generally for a minimum of four hours. Applicable only during slack seasons.
• Package plan rates – room rate includes room rent and some facilities.
• Frequent traveler rate – for regular guests or guests who are flying with the airline that is part of the intersell agency or the co- marketer of the hotel.

Room locations
Front Office assistants should know the location of each room in the hotel. Room rack should contain information about the room types, rate, d├ęcor etc. computers record this information in their room history records.

II. Future blocks
Future blocks implies the showing of reservations on charts. Example: advance letting chart, density chart etc.

III. Methods of payment
Hotels accept different modes of payment such as cash, credit card, direct billing, special programmes and groups. Hotels have policies regarding the different modes.

IV. Issuing the room keys
By issuing the room keys the registration process is complete. Hotels have guidelines for the issue of room keys. Never announce the room number to the guest. When using key card draw the attention of the guest on the room number while writing it on the key card. Bell boy escorts the guest.

V. Fulfilling special request
Part of registration is making sure that any special requests made by guests are acknowledged. Sometimes even the room could be blocked in advance. Example inter connecting room.

VI. Creative options in registration
Apart from the traditional method, innovations could be used in the registration process. Some of them could be eliminating the front desk and having hotel greeters, creating a unique separate registration area for a VIP, combining the hotel registration with the meeting registration in a separate area of the building. Also, having a separate desk for the registration of groups.

VII. Self registration
Self registration terminals are installed in the lobby. They are interfaced with the front office computer terminals. It makes use of the credit card that was used for guaranteeing the reservation. These machines resemble the bank ATM machines.

VIII. When guest cannot be accommodated
Guaranteed reservation: hotel makes arrangement for the guest in a hotel of the same standard in the vicinity. Hotel may go to the extent of paying for the accommodation of the guest when it is walking the guest.

Walk in guest: hotel is not liable to provide accommodation to a walk in guest if there is no room available. But hotel can offer to assist the guest in finding accommodation in a similar hotel in the vicinity. The hotel may make reservation for the guest in the other hotel.

Guest with non- guaranteed reservation: reservation is held till the reservation cancellation hour, in case the room position is minus the hotel can release the room. The hotel must be tactful in dealing with non guaranteed reservations. Guests should be told about the hotels policy regarding the cancellation hour at the time he makes the room reservation.

Guests with guaranteed reservation:
• Review all front office transactions to ensure full occupancy.
- accurate counts of occupied rooms, compare room racks.
• Telephone due outs/ expected check outs.
• Check the condition of Out Of Order rooms.
• Identify pre- blocked rooms.
• Guests are encouraged to return to the hotel as VIPs.
• Management should prepare a follow up letter.
• For members of a convention, the planner should be informed.
• In case of a tour group, tour operator should be informed.
• If no room is available in the hotel guest can be sent to another hotel.


REGISTRATION SITUATIONS


DNS (Did Not Stay):
The guest sometimes wants to move-out almost immediately after being shown the room. If the room is not satisfactory to the guest the receptionist should try and provide alternative accommodation to this guest in the same hotel. If that is not possible then she should try and accommodate the guest in some other hotel of similar standard.
If the guest departs for reasons, which are beyond hotel’s control, the receptionist should express her regret and should assist the guest with departure. If the room is not being used, no charges will be made to the guest. All the forms and records will be marked ‘DNS’. Management is informed about these DNS cases and the reasons for the same.

DNA (Did Not Arrive):
At the end of the day, the receptionist should take following steps:
1. Check for reservation slips in the reservation rack.
2. Check the room rack to verify that the guest has not checked-in already.
3. Double check the arrival dates.
4. Check with the airline company for delay in the flight (if flight no. is given)
5. Time stamp the reservation form and attach it with folio card (in case of advance payment), mark it as ‘DNA’.
6. These reservation forms are kept with the next day’s reservations as the guaranteed reservation guest may arrive the next day.

RNA (Registered Not Assigned):
A guest arriving early in the morning, when the rooms are not available, may be asked to register himself. He is requested to deposit his luggage in the left luggage room and return to the hotel for room assignment later in the day (by hotel’s check-in time). The registration card is marked ‘RNA’ and kept at the reception counter. As soon as room of the required type is available, room assignment will be done. Room no. is then mentioned on the registration card.

PIA (Paid In Advance):
At arrival, if the guest has very little luggage (scanty baggage/ scanty luggage), then payment in advance is normally requested. This situation should be handled with extreme care and tact. Guest with cash payment should be informed about the hotel’s policy, very politely and advance should be collected. All the other revenue centers should be informed that the guest has to in cash for all the services and products provided to him. A ‘Cash Only Slip’ or a ‘PIA guest list’ is sent to all the service outlets.
If the guest holds a credit card and wants to make the payment through the same, then his card is validated and an imprint of the card is taken on the credit card voucher.

No Information:
The guest may request that no information regarding his/her presence in the hotel be given to any caller or visitor. ‘No Information’ should be clearly marked on the slips so that the staff can respond appropriately.

Signature check in:
The Registration card is filled in before the arrival of the guest as a part of the pre registration activity. The details are taken from the reservation record. The guest only signs on the registration card at the time of arrival. This saves a lot of time and is found convenient by guests as well as the hotel.


ARRIVAL PROCEDURE

ARRIVAL PROCEDURE GUEST ARRIVES AT THE HOTEL: Doorman greets the guest, opens door of the vehicle and helps guest alight. Bellboy unloads guest luggage, carrries it to the bell desk, directs the guest to the reception counter. GUEST ARRIVES AT THE RECEPTION COUNTER: Check expected arrivals list. Reconfirm accommodation requirements and mode of payment and special instructions with the guest. Check correspondence file for clarification if necessary. If the guest is an unknown FIT, if the mode of payment is cash ask the guest for an advance voucher or the pre-typed GR card or registration record and give it to the guest for completion. In the mean time check for the mail and messages for the guest. Decide on the room to be allocated from room rack availability of the type of room required. Prepare the key card and/ or welcome slip. Collect key, prepare lobby attendant’s errand card. Check that the registration card is properly filled. Ensure guest signature and then sign. In some hotels details of advance voucher are noted on the registration record at this stage. Hand over to the guest to the guest key card and / or welcome slip. Call for the Bell boy, enter his name on the errand card. Hand key to the Bell boy and instruct him to escort the guest to the room. (announce guest name and room number clearly but softly, at the same time indicating guest to the bell boy so as to avoid mistakes). After the guest leaves the counter inform Telephone department and Room Service immediately on phone. Prepare rack slips for room rack and Information rack. If hotel policy dictates prepare rack slips for Room Service and Telephone department. Also the slips themselves serve as arrival notification slips ( permanent notification slips). Otherwise temporary notification slips may be prepared and sent. Housekeeping department has to be informed. Attach reservation form and relevant correspondence to the guest registration card and sent to the Cashier to open the guest folio. In some hotels, guest folio is opened by the Receptionist and sent to the cashier with the rest of the forms to be maintained till the guest departure. Make entries in the arrival and departure register. Prepare ‘C’ Forms for foreigners. FORMATS: Expected arrival list Registration card, C Form Key card / Welcome slip Arrival-Departure register Bell boys errand card Bell captains control sheet Arrival notification slip ARRIVAL PROCEDURE Pre-arrival procedure: Refer log or memorandum. Calculate room position. Block room for existing reservation. Make amenities voucher if required. Keep registration cards ready. Formula for calculating room position: Room position = Available rooms -Expected arrivals + Exp. Dep. – Out of order / blocked rooms. Overbooking percentage = Cancellations + No shows X 100 No. of rooms F.I.T ARRIVAL PROCEDURE Guest without a reservation (walk in guest): Find out the requirement of the guest and allot a room as per the guest request. Guest with a reservation: Obtain the name of the guest. Check for the name of the guest in the expected arrivals list and tick it off. Check if the room is already blocked or allocated from the room rack. If not, then identify a suitable vacant room from the room rack to be assigned to the guest. Confirm the mode of payment. If cash, then request an advance payment. If the guest is paying by credit card, take an imprint of the credit card and validate the card. Offer a blank registration card if the guest is not pre-registered. Let the guest fill up the registration card and check it to see if all details have been entered. Prepare the key and welcome card. Summon the bell boy ad fill the errand card for the bell boy. Let the bell boy escort the guest to the room. LUGGAGE CONTROL AND BELLBOYS CONTROL Many guests arrive at the hotel with heavy baggage or several pieces of luggage. Guests receive help from the bell attendants. Bell attendants provide baggage service between the Lobby area and the guest room. Activities at the bell desk on arrival: Bell boy returns to the bell desk with errand card and hands it over to the bell captain. Hotel tags are prepared and fixed by the bell boy in the presence of the guest to identify the luggage and avid confusion or mistakes. Bell boy escorts the guest to the room with the luggage. Places luggage on the luggage stand or as directed by the guest. Returns to the bell desk and punches time of return on the errand card. The details on the errand card are filled up by the bell captain. He also makes entries of the details into his control sheet on the bell boys return. The errand card contains details such as the description and the number of pieces of baggage, the time at which the bell boy left the counter, time of return etc.




FRONT OFFICE MEMORANDUM



Time filed Transferred
From last sheet Memorandum Time completed Transferred to next sheet

















FRONT OFFICE LOG BOOK



S.No. Particulars Time
(given) Time
(completed) Completed by Transferred






REGISTRATION CARD

IX. Name ________________________________________________________________________________
Surname first name
Arriving from _______________________ Company Design. _____________________________
Next destination _____________________ Organisation _________________________________
Date of birth ________________________ Address ______________________________________
Residential address __________________ __________________________________________

Arrival on ______ Dep. On __________ FOR FOREIGNERS

PURPOSE OF VISIT Date of arrival in India:_____________

Business 0Conference 0 Leisure Duration of stay in India:__________

MODE OF PAYMENT Passport no. _______________________

0Cash 0Travellers cheque 0 BTC 0voucher Nationality _______________________

Credit card 0Visa 0Master card 0Amex0Diners Date of issue:_____________________
Credit card no. _______________________ Place of issue:____________________
Expiry date _________________________ Certificate of registration
(Only for foreigners residing in India)
No. ___________________________
Bill to _____________________________ Date: __________________________
Room to be charged to ______________ Issued at: ______________________
Room types_________ Room no.________

Room rate No. of guests Room type



I agree to release my room(s) by 12 noon on the date of departure. Should I fail to check out, I authorise the management to pack and remove my belongings to the hotel check room so that my room will be available for incoming guests with confirmed reservations. The management is not responsible for any theft or loss of the valuables from the room.


Signature of the receptionist _____________ Guest’s signature ________________




AMENITIES VOUCHER

Date: ___________

From : Front Office

To : Room Service / Housekeeping / Pantry

Please supply:
0 fruit basket ( small / large / special)

0 flower arrangement (small / large)

0 bottle of wine

To _________________ Room no. ______________ at ________________________
(Guest’s name) (time)

Authorised by ___________________________________________________________

Card to be attached of __________________ Signature ______________________


Copies: 1. Room service/ Pantry / Housekeeper
2. F & B Controls
3. File copy




KEY CARD

Guest name ___________________________________________________________

Room no. ______________________________________________________________

Arrival Date __________________ Departure date ___________________________

Signature of the guest _______________________

Room key, on presentation of this card.

Purpose: This card is an authorization for guest to collect key.



MOVEMENT LIST
X.
Date: __________________ Day:____________________________

S no. Name Arr.flt.
No. Room no. No. of persons Instructions Departure date Booked by
















BELL BOYS ERRAND CARD
(ARRIVAL)

Room no. Name:


Items No. of pieces

Suite case
Brief case
Hand bag
Suit hanger
Others

FOR OFFICE ONLY
Company
Contact
Departure date
Remarks

BELL CAPTAIN
LOBBY MANAGER

ROOM CHECKLIST
AC operation Mini bar flask
Music Leather folder
Television Bath robe
Brass ashtray – 2L, 2 S Mini

Lobby attendant Time: Date:



LOBBY ATTENDANT ERRAND CARD
(Departure)

Room no: Name:

Items No. of pieces
Suit case
Brief case
Hand bag
Suit hanger
Others

ROOM CHECK LIST
Brass ashtrays – 2L, 2S Bath robe
Mini bar flask Leather flask

DEPARTURE

INFORMATION RECEPTION CASHIER




Lobby attendant: Time: Date:

BELL CAPTAINS CONTROL SHEET
Sheet no. _____
Captain ________________
Date __________________ Shift from_________ To __________________


FIT DEPARTURE PROCEDURE

AT THE RECEPTION:

• The receptionist receives the errand card.
• Check name on the expected departure list.
• Inform the housekeeping control desk.
• Notes down the name of the housekeeping staff and time informed in the departure intimation register.
• Checks for the room key and signs on the errand card.
• Informs telephone.
• Informs room service.
• Updates room rack (slip folded in half) and information rack.
• Enters details in an alphabetical order in the register against the guest name.
• Enters details in the arrival / departure register.
• Keep registration card for filing.

AT THE CASHIER’S DESK:

• The cashier checks the guest folio for any unposted vouchers.
• Calls up the room service, coffee shop for any last minute billing.
• Updates bills and checks billing instructions.
• Checks all entries against the vouchers and arranges them date-wise.
• Presents the bill to the guest to check and rectify(approve) charges. Also reconfirm the billing instructions.
• Queries if any are answered and vouchers are presented.

Bell desk

Bell desk / Bell stand / Porter’s lodge
Operations at this desk are controlled by Bell captain / head hall porter. In case of large & very large hotels this responsibility is taken care of by the senior bell captain.
There are bell boys/ porters/ page boys working under the bell captain.

This small desk is located:
• In the lobby
• In front of the front desk
• Near the entrance
• Near the luggage elevator
The ‘left luggage room is located next to this small desk.

Bell desk communicates with:

1. Doorman

2. Reception/ Information/ CashierS

3. Lobby manager

XI. Functions performed

1. Paging of guests.
2. Handling mail & messages for in-house guests.
3. collection of room keys from the guest at the time of departure & depositing at the reception.
4. Handling and distribution of newspapers & magazines.
5. Attending outside calls.
6. Postage stamps and outgoing mail.
7. Handling other services like door service, car parking, crew/ group wake call service.
8. Helping lobby manager to check discrepant rooms.
9. Handling and storage of luggage left by the guest for temporary storage.

XII. Basic equipment used

1. Luggage trolley
2. Intercom telephones
3. Postage scales
4. Date & time stamping machines
5. Stamp folder
6. Luggage net
7. Paging board



LEFT LUGGAGE FACILITY

Hotel guests, at times wish to leave their luggage in the custody of the hotel left luggage room. The luggage will be kept in the left luggage room under following circumstances:
* On arrival : The guest may not need all the luggage, he is carrying with him to his room.
* On departure : When he intends to return to the hotel after a short trip to another city OR when the guest wants the luggage piece to be picked-up by another friend or relative OR when the guest is not able to make immediate payments of the bills OR when the guest checks out of the room at noon to save extra billing but is bound to leave by an evening flight.
This service is provided only to hotel residents.
Conditions Applied for Accepting Left Luggage :
Hotel accepts baggage or package for storage in a condition that hotel shall be in no way liable for loss caused to it through water, fire, theft, or any such causes.
Hotel shall not be responsible for the luggage after 30 days of storage.
Precious items, jewelry, important documents ,etc. won’t be accepted for storage. Guest is advised to contact any scheduled bank and hire a locker for such purposes.
No edibles, explosives or inflammable material should form a part of the content of goods being given for storage.
Guests are requested to ensure that the baggage handed over for storage is properly locked and secured.
Guests are requested to sign the register in the left luggage room at the time of handing over and receiving their baggage.
In some cases, a fixed charge per piece per day will be levied for each baggage occupied for storage.
Baggage will be handed over only on the production of baggage check.






INFORMATION DESK


Front office staff must know the following points :
Hotel Product Check List
• Room number and location of each room : floor and access.
• Type of accommodation available : single, double, twin, etc.
extra bed etc.
• Additional facilities : Terrace, private balcony, Jacuzzi, etc.
• Room facilities : Telephone, mini bar, channel music, fax machine, etc.
• State of furnishings : Newly redecorated, good, poor, old fashioned, etc.
• Fire emergency drill.
• Hotel rates : per person, per day, per room, etc.
• Details of tariff : Half board, full board, B.P., etc.
• Special tariffs : High / mid / low season, festival season, discount rates.
Standing Arrangements :
• Service charges.
• Reservation deposit policy.
• Price and service times of all meals in the restaurant.
• Room and floor service facilities & charges.
• Policy for pets and dogs.
• Car parking, garage, petrol, car repairs facilities.
• Telephone call charges.
• Corkage charges.
• Liquor, cigarettes and snacks service time and charges.
• Cheque, traveler’s cheque and personal cheque policies.
• Credit card policy
• Travel agents and company business policy.
Hotel facilities :
• Number and position of public cloak room, staircases, elevators, etc.
• Position and amenities of lounge, TV room or reading room, restaurants, etc.
• Opening and closing hours of bar, games room, health club, swimming pool, etc.
• Provision for packed food, early dinner, late supper.
• Banqueting and conference facilities.
• Theater tickets, taxi hire, car hire, laundry, dry cleaning, etc.





GUEST COMPLAINT HANDLING

How to handle complaints:
1. Listen carefully
When a guest complaints do not interrupt, listen carefully. Because a guest who is complaining. Do not interrupt and give excuses. The guest is angry and to lessen the anger, let him tell you the entire problem.
2. Clarify
If you are in doubt about the specific problem of your guest then do not guess his problem but, clarify it by asking questions and understanding the nature of problem.
3. Think about your guest wants
When a guest complaints he might tell you so many things along with the actual problem. But you have to try and the important message from the complaint, i.e. find out the root cause.
4.Think how you can help
Considering the nature of the problem and the complaint, decide the plan of action quickly.
5. Act immediately
Take immediate action and take the action in front of the guest so that he feels that he is taken care of.
6. Follow-up
Merely taking action is not sufficient, so follow-up with the other departments, if the complaint has been handled.
7. No false promises
It is very dangerous to make false promise. If you can’t solve a particular problem do not promise, otherwise you may loose not only one customer but many.
8. Ask senior
If you feel you can’t solve a certain problem or you are not authorized to take a decision, ask your senior to help you.




MAIL HANDLING
Importance :
Mail handling procedure is a very important function which the Front Office staff has to handle in a hotel. A receptionist in a hotel has to be very careful that all the mail receives due attention and are attended to without any delay to avoid embarrassment.
Types of mail - Incoming & Outgoing, Ordinary & Registered :
Basically while discussing there are two types of mail. Incoming & Outgoing.
Incoming Mail :
Various types of mail may be received in a hotel, like mail for Hotel Management and Hotel staff and mail for guests. In addition the mail may be an ordinary mail or registered/recorded mail etc.
Staff has to be extra careful about recorded mail. All incoming mail must be DATE AND TIME STAMPED. A proper record of all the recorded mail is kept as per requirement i.e., the entries are made in either registered letter book, parcels book or telegram book etc. No such record is maintained for ordinary mail. After having date and time marked the mail, it is sorted and classified under 3 main categories.
(1) HOTEL MAIL is identified by the designation of a senior manager of the hotel eg General Manager, Banquet Manager etc. This mail is delivered to the office of the managers concerned.
(2) STAFF MAIL is identified by the presence of the name of employee, designation and department mentioned in the address. This is usually sorted and delivered through the Time Office.
(3) GUEST MAIL : Any mail that is left is supposed to be guest mail
Guest Mail may belong to any one of the following categories
(1) Present Guest Mail
(2) Past Guest Mail
(3) Future guest Mail
(4) Wrongly Addressed Mail

PRESENT GUEST MAIL
The guest mail is first arranged in ALPHABETICAL ORDER and then checked against the INFORMATION RACK to identify the PRESENT GUESTS. Wherever applicable the room no is entered in pencil on the letters and then they are put in the appropriate room no pigeon hole in the MAIL AND KEY RACK to be handed to the guests when they come to deposit or collect their keys

Any mail that is left still belongs to guests who have already departed (past guest) or to guests who have still to arrive (future guests)

PAST GUEST MAIL
Sometime the hotel receives mail for the guests who have already departed from the hotel after having stayed for some period. The hotel to avoid any embarrassment as to what to do with such mail and how to hand it over to the person quickly, ask the departing guest to leave their forwarding address and for how long they would want their mail to be redirected to that address. A special program called “Mail Forwarding Card” is used for this. Many hotels keep these cards in the stationery folder in the room while others keep these slips at the Front Desk and give them to the guest at the time of departure. This card contains the address to which and the dates/period till by which the guest would like all the mail received by the hotel after his departure to be forwarded. These cards are filed alphabetically and when the expiry date is reached they are cleared out systematically. Any letter received after the expiry date is either returned back to the sender or in case the permanent address of the guest is available, is redirected to him at his permanent address.
The remaining mail is still in alphabetical order and checked against the Mail Forwarding Cards and where applicable they are Redirected. Details of mail redirected is entered on the reverse of the Mail Forwarding Card.

FUTURE GUEST MAIL
General mail for guests yet to arrive is kept in the back office in pigeon holes marked alphabetically. An indication is made in the reservation record about this awaited mail i.e., in case of Whitney system the words “Awaited Mail” is written on the Whitney slip. In case of diary system it is recorded in the diary against his name in remarks column and in case of Computer system it is updated in the computer. Later this mail is sent to the Front Desk and is kept with the receptionist in special slot on the day of arrival of the guest and when the guest arrives the receptionist hands over the mail to the guest at the time of registration.
If there is any mail that is delivered within thirty days after it has been received, it is marked “Addressee Unknown” and sent back to the Post Office which will send them to the Dead Letter Office..



Outgoing Mail :
Outgoing mail of the hotel include mail of the hotel and guest. Outgoing Hotel Mail is handled by the individual departments. The various departments have their own secretarial staff who maintain record of all outgoing mail. Large Hotels use Franking Machine for postage. If the volume of mail is high the use of Franking Machine save lot of time. This machine is hired / purchased generally from the Post & Telegram department or any authorized supplying company. This machine stamps on the envelope (or on an adhesive tape) the amount of postage required and the date cancellation mark. Advance payment has to be made to the post office to cover the value of the postage expected to be used. As the stamp value is printed on the envelope, the amount is reduced on the machine till it reaches zero value. The machine will then automatically lock and the post office will again charge it after further payment. While using the machine care must be taken that the correct denomination of stamp is put on envelopes. The date stamp must be altered every day as the post office will not accept the prior post dated mail. One of the most important thing for the staff to know is the current postal regulations.
Besides the outgoing mail of Hotel, the Hotel also provide the service of posting letter etc. for the guest staying at the hotel. Generally the bell desk keeps stamps and letter and parcels scale. The stamp folder is used to prevent the stamps from getting lost. The folder contains separate divisions for various denominations. The stamp folder should be kept under lock and key. The letter and parcel scale is used to weigh the mail to ensure that correct amount of postage is affixed.
Some hotels use a book called postage book to keep the record of postage used. All mail for dispatch if franked by a franking machine or if the stamps are used should be entered into postage book.
The procedure of sending ordinary mail for guest is simple. The guest leaves his mail (to be posted) at the Bell Desk where it is weighed and then the necessary stamps are affixed and posted. In case of Registered mail the mail is sent to post office, which issue an special official receipt. These receipts are retained as they are required to be produced in case a claim for clarification from the guest.

PAGING


Paging is used to locate a guest in the hotel. Guests may require this paging service during their stay in the hotel. Sometimes when a expecting a phone call or a visitor but he doesn’t want to wait for him in his room, and either goes to any of the public areas or goes out of the hotel; then in such cases he will leave the information about his whereabouts at the front desk. For this purpose he has to fill in a ‘Location form’

Location form tells about the whereabouts of the guest in case he is not in his room and is expecting a telephone call or a visitor. Sometimes this form is kept in the stationary folder in the guest room but more commonly it is with the front desk. The receptionist on the guest’s behalf can fill this in. it is made in duplicate; one copy is kept in the “Key and Mail rack”, the second copy goes to the telephone operator. Paging can be done for a guest whose location is known or for a guest who has not left any location form.

PROCEDURE FOR PAGING

1. Page Board System:
When a phone call is received for any guest or a visitor comes to visit the guest who is not in his room, the reception desk personnel will write the name and/or room number of the guest on both the sides of the Page board. This will be handed over to the bellboy. If the guest location is known, bell boy will carry that board to specific public area and will ring the bells attached to the board. This draws attention of the guest and the concerned guest gets his message.

Disadvantages:
• Time consuming- if the guest does not specify his location page board will have to be carried to all public areas of the hotel.
• When bell boy moves with the board and the bells are ringing, he might disturb many guests in the area.

2. Channel Music Or Public Address System:

When there is a phone call for a guest who has to be paged, the receptionist switches off the channel music of the lobby and other public area of the hotel. With the help of a microphone she announces the name and/or the room number of the guest, which is transmitted to all public areas simultaneously.















SAFE CUSTODY OF GUEST VALUABLES


The hotelier has a liability towards the property of a guest and he is obliged to accept articles such as jewelry, cash, etc for safekeeping. The hotel can either accept articles from the guest for safekeeping or can provide facilities like lockers where the guest can keep his valuables.
The hotel has to display a notice informing the guest about the safekeeping facilities in a prominent place where it can be noticed by the guest. The hotelier must also inform the guest about these facilities orally. Once he has accepted the responsibility for the safety of the guest valuables, the guest can clam damages for the following:
1. The property was lost or damaged in spite of the fact that they were given for safekeeping.
2. The hotel refused to accept guest’s valuables for safekeeping and later they were lost or stolen.
3. The hotel failed to display a notice in a prominent place and the guest was not aware of this facility.

PROCEDURE

1. COMMON SAFE:
When a guest deposits his valuables for safe custody, he is given a specially prepared envelope in which he puts the articles. He seals the envelope and signs across it. The cashier gives a receipt for the envelope. The receipts are serially numbered and are in triplicate. Top copy is given to the guest, second copy is attached to the envelope and the third copy is the book copy. A deposit register is also maintained in which the details of the receipt are posted.

When the guest requests for the return of the property, he gives back the original of the receipt. This is cancelled and is attached to the third copy in the book. The deposit receipt book is checked against the deposit register to ensure that all deposits have been entered in the register and all the receipts are returned to the book after returning the guest article.

2. INDIVIDUAL SAFE DEPOSIT LOCKERS:

As the above process is time consuming and could lead to confusion, mostly individual safe deposit lockers are used. When valuables are to be deposited the guest is given the key of the locker, which he signs for and the particulars are recorded in the ‘Safe deposit locker record sheet’. There are two keys for each locker. When the locker has to be opened, both the keys have to be used. The cashier is responsible for the control key and the second key is the guest key. The cashier uses his key and then h guest can open the locker with his key. This prevents the guest or the staff from tampering with the lockers. The front desk must verify the identity of the guest before granting him the access to the safe deposit box. The guest is required to sign a form requesting the access to the locker and the staff will verify the signature with the guest signature on the safe deposit locker form. A few hotels also take a deposit for the key. It is refunded at the time of departure on production of the key receipt.

In some hotels safe deposit lockers are also placed in the guest rooms. In- room safes are generally placed in the guest room closet or wardrobe. Guest convenience is the main advantage of the in-room safe. Several different types of in-room safe systems exist. A few of them have mechanical locks while others have electronic locks that can be coded by the guests. Every guest staying in the room can lock the safe with his own code and the guest is requested to leave the safe open when he checks out.

In case a guest does not remember the code, he can take help from the hotel security officers who have a master key that will open the safe.



SAFE DEPOSIT FORM:

ASSIGNED TO:__________________ SAFE DEPOSIT BOX NO.:___________

ROOM DATE TIME CASHIER GUEST

I HEREBY AUTHORIZE THE PERSON, WHOSE SIGNATURE IS SHOWN IN THE BOX ABOVE, TO HAVE THE ACCESS TO THE LOCKER.

GUEST SIGNATURE DATE TIMES OPENED CASHIER


A CHARGE OF RS.500/- WILL BE MADE FOR LOST KEYS.

SURRENDERED BY:

GUEST SIGNATURE DATE TIME CASHIER


















SAFE DEPOSIT LOCKER APPLICATION

FROM : Mr./Mrs./Ms.____________________________________________

ROOM NO. : _______________

Please allot me a safe deposit locker for my personal use.
I agree to pay the charges for the same as per the terms and conditions of the organisation.

LOCKER NO. : _______________ KEY NO. : _____________
DATE OF ALLOTMENT : _______________
TIME OF ALLOTMENT : ________________
SIGNATURE OF THE GUEST : _______________
SIGNATURE OF THE FR. OFFICE CASHIER : ______________











TERMS AND CONDITIONS



1. I confirm to use the safe deposit locker for storing valuables and cash at my
risk.
2. I undertake not to misuse the safe deposit locker for the storage of damaged,
Combustible and other objectionable items.
3. I assure to keep the safe deposit locker key in my possession and hand over the
same at the time of check-out.
4. In case of loss of safe deposit locker key, I agree to pay Rs. 1,500/- towards the
cost of replacement of the lock.
5. I agree to pay a rent of Rs. 25/day






____________________
Guest Signature.





















ROOMING LIST


GROUP NAME : CHECK-IN DATE : TIME :

TRAVEL AGENCY : CHECK-OUT DATE : TIME :


ROOM NO.
GUEST NAME ROOM TYPE CHECK-IN TIME REMARKS




























ROOM NO.
GUEST NAME ROOM TYPE CHECK-IN TIME REMARKS



























x


























TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE: THIRTY-SIX TIPS

Before you answer be prepared (this includes knowing how to use the phone/system features):

1. Turn away from your computer, desk or other work.
2. Have pens, pencils and notepaper handy.

In answering the phone:

3. Answer calls promptly, by the second or third ring.
4. Smile as you pick up the phone.
5. Assume your "telephone" voice, controlling your volume and speed.
6. Project a tone that is enthusiastic, natural, attentive and respectful.
7. Greet the caller and identify yourself and your company/department/unit.
8. Ask, "To whom am I speaking?"
9. Ask, "How may I help you?"

In the course of the conversation:

10. Focus your entire attention on the caller.
11. Enunciate/articulate clearly. Speak distinctly.
12. Use Plain English and avoid unnecessary jargon and acronyms.
13. Use action specific words and directions.
14. Use the caller's name during the conversation.
15. Always speak calmly and choose your words naturally.

16. Use all of your listening skills:
a. Focus your full attention on the caller and the conversation.
b. Listen "between" the words.
c. Use reflective/active listening to clarify and check for understanding.
17. If there is a problem, project a tone that is concerned, empathetic, and apologetic.

18. Avoid the Five Forbidden Phrases.

a. "I don't know"
Instead, say: "That is a good question; let me find out for you" or offer to connect the caller with someone who could provide the answer.
If a call involves some research, assure the person that you will call back by a specific time.
If you do not have an answer by the deadline, call back to say, “I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m still researching it.” There is no excuse for not returning calls.
b. "I/we can't do that."
Instead say: "This is what I/we can do."
c. "You'll have to"
Instead say: "You will need to" or "I need you to" or “Here’s how we can help you.”
d. "Just a second"
Instead: Give a more honest estimate of how long it will take you and/or let them know what you are doing.
e. "No."
Instead: Find a way to state the situation positively.

19. Use "LEAPS" with the emotional caller to vent.
L Listen; allow the caller to vent.
E Empathize; acknowledge the person's feelings
A Apologize when appropriate, even if the problem is not your fault, you can say, "I am really sorry this has happened" and mean it.
P (Be) Positive
S Solve; suggest/generate solutions that you can both agree on and/or ask what you can do to help and, if reasonable, do it! If not, find a compromise.

In concluding the call:

20. End the conversation with agreement on what is to happen next; if you are to follow-up, do so immediately.
21. Thank the caller for calling; invite the caller to call again.
In transferring calls:
22. Transfer ONLY when necessary; get the information yourself.
23. If you must transfer, avoid the use of the word "transfer." Say instead: "I am going to connect you with".
24. Explain why you are "transferring" the call.
25. Give the caller the person's name and direct number
26. Stay on the line and introduce the caller.

In taking messages:
27. Identify yourself and for whom you are answering the phone.
28. Practice political sensitivity.
29. Indicate the period of time the person will be unavailable.
30. Write down all the important information given:
a. The name of the caller. Ask for spelling if unclear.
b. The (correct) telephone number of the caller.
c. The message. Ask for clarification if necessary.
31. Read back what you've written to be sure you've understood the message correctly.
32. Always assure the person that you will deliver the message promptly.
33. Deliver the message in a timely fashion.

NEVER:
34. Eat, drink or chew gum while on the phone.
35. Leave an open line:
a. Place the caller on hold
b. Check back with the caller frequently: every 30-45 seconds.



ALWAYS:
36. Put a smile in your telephone voice and let your personality shine!

The Complaint Call
Complaint callers who are irate are really saying, "I rate." They have bought into society's "the squeaky
wheel gets the grease" mentality. When that happens, try the EAR method:
E mpathize with the caller.
A pologize and acknowledge the problem.
Accept R esponsibility. (You'll do something.)
Empathize with the caller. This is different from sympathy, where you take on someone else's problem.
Try to understand how the person is feeling.
Apologize and acknowledge the problem. You don't have to agree with the caller, but express regret that there is a problem. People want to be heard, and no one's complaint is trivial.
Each deserves prompt handling, so do not deal with it in a trivial manner.
Accept responsibility. Make sure something is done. Take it upon yourself to DO something.
Many times, that's all that people want: the reassurance that something will be done. People want to be helped. They want to know that you care.
Use these phrases to get that sentiment across: "How can I help you?" "What can I do for you?" "I'll make sure this message/information gets to the right person."

The acceptance of responsibility may be as simple as forwarding the call to the appropriate individual or sending the caller more information.
If you do forward the caller to someone else on your staff, follow up with that person to make sure the caller was taken care of.

If you get an irate caller, or even one who is calm, cool, and collected, here are some more methods to handle complaint calls:
First, don't overreact, especially if the caller starts using "trigger" words or phrases, such as: "I want to talk to someone who knows something." Most people respond by getting defensive when their "hot-button words" are pressed.

Remember, a positive attitude is the most important asset you have.
Second, listen completely to the complaint. Allow the caller the opportunity to vent some frustration.
When you listen, don't try to apply logic to the situation. Many people are beyond logic if they are angry, so accept the feelings being expressed. Avoid argument and criticism.
Third, do not blame anyone -- the caller, yourself, or someone on your staff -- even if you know who is to blame for a problem. This information should not be shared with the caller.

Fourth, paraphrase the caller's comments, and ask questions if you do not understand the information being presented to you. Restate the problem as you understand it.
Fifth, offer solutions and, if appropriate, offer alternatives. Providing alternatives empowers callers. It gives callers a feeling that they were not dictated to and that they were part of the solution.
Finally, confirm the solution with the caller. Make sure the caller agrees with what has been decided.
Of course, not everyone will be happy, no matter what you do. These people will not be content; they just like being grumpy. Usually, these are the people who want to talk to the person "above you." If that is what it takes to lessen their anger, then do so. By the time they have been transferred to a supervisor, they usually have become calmer and less demanding. It seems that they just needed to vent their anger at someone: you. Just remember that most people are not that way and keep a firm grip on that positive attitude of yours.

How do people answer the phone in different parts of the world?
In Spain they say "Get on with it!"
In Italy they say "Ready!"
In the Czech Republic they say "Ahoy!"
In Japan they say "Mushi-mushi!"
In New Zealand they ask "Are you there?"
In Hong Kong they say "Waay!"
In the Netherlands they say "With..."
In Finland they state their full name
Ways to answer the Phone!
"Hi."
"Hola!"
"Hey wassup ?"
"You have reached the residence of ___________, but no one is here right now... so please leave a...."
"Thank you, please pull around."
"Do-do-do- I'm sorry, you call cannot be completed as dialed!"

"Burp!"
"Talk to I!"
"911 Emergency!"
"Pizza Hut, may I take your order?"

Role-play 1

Employer: "Hello, Johnson Industries."
Applicant: "Hi, my name is student's name, and I am calling about the ad in the Sunday paper for the Customer Service Representative Position." (speak clearly and state who you are and why you are calling)
Employer: "OK, what I need you to do is come down to the office and fill out an application."
Applicant: "Could you tell me where you are located?" (you may want to write the information down)
Employer: "Do you know where the McDonalds® is on Main Street?"
Applicant: "Yes, I do." (try to say more than "yeah" or "no")
Employer: "Good, we are located right across the street."
Applicant: "When is a good time to come by and who should I ask for?"
Employer: "You can come by any time before 5 p.m. today, and ask for me, Fred Stevenson."
Applicant: "Thank you Mr. Stevenson." (always be polite)
Employer: "You are welcome."
Role-play 2

Receptionist: "Good afternoon, McDonnel and Associates."
Applicant: "Hi, may I please speak to Ms. Fredrickson?" (use formal names)
Receptionist: "Ms. Fedrickson is in a meeting right now."
Applicant: "May I leave a message?" (ask to leave a message)
Receptionist: "Yes."
Applicant: "My name is student's name and I am calling about the status of the job opening as her assistant. My number is 555-1234."
Receptionist: "OK, I'll give her the message."
Applicant: "Thank you." (always be polite)
Role-play 3

Applicant: "Hello." (When you are doing a job search, answer the phone with an appropriate greeting each time you answer the phone. You may give a potential employer the wrong impression if you answer the phone with a greeting such as "Yo" or "Yea.")
Employer: "Hi, may I speak to student's name."
Applicant: "This is she/he." (make sure people respond in a polite way)
Employer: "This is Ms. Fredrickson from McDonnel and Associates."
Applicant: "How are you Ms. Fredrickson?"
Employer: "I am fine. I have read over your application, and I am interested in having you come in for an interview."
Applicant: "That would be great. When would you like me to stop by?"
Employer: "How does Tuesday at 10 a.m. sound?"
Applicant: "That sounds good. Your office is located by Evergreen School on Elm Street, right?"
(don't forget to ask where you need to be)
Employer: "That's correct."

Telephone Etiquette-Workshop


Telephone Skills
Work Related Telephone Skills

OBJECTIVES
1. Develop proper phone skills for speaking to a potential employee.
2. Develop proper phone skills when at work.

MATERIALS NEEDED
Access to at least one telephone most recent local Sunday newspaper, paper, pens or pencils
SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES
Job Search/Job Survival – A $199.00 video package by Educational Design, Inc. (1800 221-9372). The Job Search video provides dramatizations of appropriate phone skills when contacting a potential employee.

INSTRUCTIONAL FORMAT
This lesson will provide training on proper phone etiquette when looking for work and while on the job. It is important to stress that a person's presentation on the phone is a significant factor in obtaining a job.
Additionally, poor phone skills at work can decrease an employee's chance for advancement or a pay raise.

1. Discuss contacting a potential employer.
First, one may have to answer a want ad with a call to the company. This call might involve answering questions, obtaining information about the job, and finding out where and how to apply for the position.
Second, following an interview or submission of an application, the applicant should follow up with a phone call to ask about the status of the position. This demonstrates an interest to the employer.
Regardless of why the applicant is calling, it is important that he speak clearly, identify who he is, and indicate the position in which he is interested.

2. Use modeling and role-playing to provide students an opportunity to learn and practice telephone skills when contacting a potential employee. There are sample scripts below to help guide the roleplays.

It is suggested that the applicant ask questions such as "Who will interview me? How long will the interview last? Should I bring anything?"

3. It is suggested that the class look at employment classifieds from the local Sunday paper and find want ads that instruct the reader to call a number for more information. Have each student make at least one call to practice the skills learned above.

4. Discuss phone etiquette at work. Different companies will have different procedures for answering the phones, directing phone calls, and taking messages. Review these basic procedures.
• Greet the caller and indicate the organization. "Hello. This is Krueger Automotive. How may I help you?"
• If the person the caller is asking for is available, transfer the call.
• If the person the caller is asking for is not available, ask if you can take a message. Never tell the caller why the person is not available unless they are in a meeting, with a customer, or on another line. Telling the caller that the person is in the bathroom or running errands is too personal.
• Write down all the necessary information that your boss wants you to when taking
messages.
• If the caller is a customer who wants help from you, be as helpful as possible. Direct the caller to person who can help if you can't. Always return calls as quickly as possible if you need to get the correct information and indicated that you would call back.
• Ask about the company's policy is on personal phone calls. A good rule of thumb is to only make or receive personal phone calls during breaks.
See the unit titled Family Responsibilities for additional information. Find out about the policy regarding cell phones and pagers.

5. Practice taking phone messages. The trainer can model appropriate ways to take phone messages.
It is suggested that the class decide on a company name and what information they should get for taking a message. It does not matter who the caller asks for because that person will never be in the office. The class members can critique and provide suggestions to the person answering the phone.
6. If it is feasible, it is suggested that students get an opportunity to answer phones at the program where they are receiving training. This will give them an opportunity to practice what they learned within the framework of an actual workplace's procedures.

SIGNS OF GENERALIZATION
Students use proper phone etiquette when searching or working at a job. If students can complete exercise number 3 and number 6 above, they should have the skills for future situations involving the phone and work.

http://www.workshopsinc.com/manual/Ch9L3.html


QUALITIES TO TRANSMIT BY TELEPHONE


FRIENDLINESS -
Your voice will carry your attitude over the phone.

CONFIDENCE -
Prepare yourself. This will enable you to speak with confidence. Know your property. Know how to analyze your status data quickly.

INTELLIGENCE -
Remember that you are talking with individuals from different backgrounds
and levels of education. Meet your caller on his level.

CLARITY -
It is embarrassing for the listener to ask you to repeat a statement.

CREATIVENESS -
If the opportunity avails itself, help solve problems. Use your expertise to offer alternatives he may not have thought of.

ENTHUSIASM -
Find out the positive points about your property and concentrate on them.

INTEGRITY -
Be honest, If you do not know, admit it & offer to find out. Do not mislead your prospect.

TACTFULNESS -
Be tactful in any situation. Try to convince the guest without hurting his feelings.

PRIDE -
Take pride in your company and your work. Let the pride reflect in your voice and your speech. Pride generates enthusiasm. Your pride in the hotel will instill interest & confidence in the mind of the caller.


USE OF TELEPHONE BY FRONT OFFICE STAFF

1. The telephone is to be used for reception business. If you want to make a private call, use the private call box in the lobby. If somebody telephones you personally (not on business), keep your conversation as brief as possible and offer to telephone back from the call box when you are free. Unless you do this, you may keep waiting a potential guest who wants to make a booking.

2. When the telephone rings answer it immediately. The call should be attended within three rings. If you are attending to a guest at that time, first answer the phone, excuse yourself. Do not let the telephone ring without answering it. Although it may at times be irritating the telephone should always come before any desk work, but should not take precedence over the guest at the counter with whom you were dealing before the telephone rang.

3. Do not keep the caller waiting for a long time before attending to him.
A caller on the telephone should never be left longer than 45 seconds without somebody picking up the telephone and telling him again “I am sorry to keep you waiting."

4. Answer the telephone by saying, “RECEPTION (inf. or reservation) GOOD MORNING (good afternoon or good evening), MAY I HELP YOU? Do not answer "Hello".

5. Speak clearly. Pronounce the words carefully. The caller may find it more difficult to understand you on the telephone than if you speak to him at the counter.

6. Be brief and to the point, but not abrupt. Remember that telephone time costs money and that the switchboard operator may be holding another call for you.

7. Be polite, friendly and helpful. On the telephone only your voice can indicate the welcome we want every potential guest to receive. Do not interrupt the caller while he is talking. You must never sound short, sharp, irritated and impatient.

8. Be accurate in what you say. The guest wants to have confidence in you. Do not ‘THINK’ or ‘SUPPOSE’ if you do not know the answer; find out and call back.

9. Be courteous in explaining the hotel rules. Do not use the phrase “You have to”, “I suggest” or “would you mind” is preferable. Never argue with the guest, the guest is always right. If you can not deal with a certain problem, inform the seniors in the department, so that they can deal with it.

10. Take the correct name and contact number of the caller. This information will help you if you have telephone the caller back.

11. Finally, Always remember that you represent the hotel or the organisation you are working for when you pick-up a telephone call at work. Caller does not see you or your hotel, so your voice alone has to help the caller become and remain a satisfied customer.


VISITOR’S TABULAR LEDGER.


Visitor’s tabular ledger is a ledger meant for keeping the record of registered guests in an analysed form. It serves the purpose of a day book (sales book) on one hand and registered guest’s personal account on the other. It is maintained for keeping the record of all the transactions relating to the sale of goods and services to registered guests in a systematically analysed form.
There are two types of V.T.L. 1) horizontal 2) vertical. V.T.L. is maintained in a loose leaf form. A separate ledger is maintained for each day. This ledger is maintained in the back office. It is written on the basis of vouchers or checks received by the cashier. As and when a transaction with a guest relating to sales takes place, the concerned department prepares a check and sends them to the cashier’s department. The cashier will immediately post the bill in the guest account, in the V.T.L. The guest account in the V.T.L. is closed as soon as the guest checks out. In case he continues to stay in the hotel, his account for the day is closed before the night audit (at about 12 midnight).
The balance c/f is calculated and transferred to the respective accounts in the new tabular ledger which is opened for the next day.

The completed V.T.L. gives following information:
The sale of each department and the total sale of each type meal, beverage
or other services.
The total debit balance of a departed guest transferred to the ledger
account or transferred to other guest’s account.
Cash paid by the guest during the day.
The details of individual guest’s account and the total amount the resident
guest owes at the end of the day.

Advantages of the V.T.L.:
1. All personal a/cs of registered guests are opened in V.T.L. and so the names of all the registered guests, their room nos., no. of rooms occupied, etc. can be seen at a glance.
2. All personal a/cs of guest’s are opened in V.T.L. and transactions relating to them for the day are recorded in their account. Therefore the day’s details of each personal a/c can be seen without wasting time.
3. Each guest’s personal a/c is debited directly with the help of vouchers without first entering the amount in the journal and therefore there are less chances of mistakes.
4. The posting is done directly so it takes less time.
5. By opening guest’s a/c in the V.T.L. one a/c for each guest is maintained up to the minute. So the final bill can be prepared easily at the time of guest check-out.
6. Every department sends the original copy of the check to the bill clerk for posting. So all the original bills are at the cashier’s desk, for checking and verification if required.
7. In case of controversy between the hotel and the guest, the tabular sheet can prove helpful for rechecking of all the entries.
8. The V.T.L. is prepared from the original vouchers and hence the control and checking of a/cs with the departmental sales summary sheets can be done efficiently.
9. The items of sale are in an analysed form. Income generated by each department can be seen at a glance.
10. The allowance given to the guests is also recorded in the V.T.L. so it is easy to know the total allowance given to the guests on that day.


GLOSSARY OF FRONT OFFICE TERMS

1. Accounts Receivable : A company, organization or individual, registered or not, who has an outstanding bill with the hotel.
2. Adjoining Rooms : Two rooms side by side with a common wall without a door on the common wall.
3. Advance Deposit : Payment of money by the guest on a room reservation that the hotel is holding.
4. After Departure : (AD) A late charge.
5. Allowance : A reduction to the folio, as an adjustment either for unsatisfactory service or for a posting error. Also called a “REBATE”.
6. American Hotel and Lodging Association : (AH & LA) A federation of regional and state associations composed of individual hotel and motel properties throughout the Americas.
7. American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) : A professional association of travel agents and tour operators.
8. Average Room Rate or Average Daily Rate : Computed by dividing the rooms revenue by the number of rooms occupied.
9. Back to Bank : A sequence of consecutive group departures and arrivals usually arranged by tour operators so rooms are never vacant.
10. Bank : Coins and small bills given to a cashier for making change.
11. Bed and Breakfast : (B & B). The room tariff includes the charge for the room and a continental breakfast.
12. Bed Board : A wooden board placed under the mattress to provide a firmer sleeping surface.
13. Blanket Reservation : A block of rooms held for a particular group with individual members requesting assignments from that block.
14. Bucket : The file that holds the guest folio, often recessed in the counter top. Also known as “Cashier’s Well”
15. Cabana or Kababa : A room on the beach or near the swimming pool separated from the main building, used for changing.
16. Cancellation : A guests request to the hotel to void a reservation previously made.
17. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) : A television screen or monitor that displays information put out by the computer.
18. Check-in : All the procedures involved in receiving the guest and completing the registration sequence.
19. Check-out : All the procedures involved in the departure of the guest and the settlement of the account.
20. City Ledger : An accounts receivable ledger of non registered guests.
21. Commercial Hotel : A transient hotel catering to a business clientele.
22. Commercial Rate : A reduced room rate given to business persons to promote occupancy.
23. Confirmed Reservation : The hotels agreement, usually in writing, to the guest’s reservation request.
24. Cut off Date : That date on which the block of unreserved rooms are released for general sale.
25. Day Rate : A reduced charge for occupancy of less than overnight; usually half the daily rate, for less than six hours arrival before check-out time, also used when the party arrives and departs the same day.
26. Did not Stay (DNS) : Means the guest left almost immediately after registering.
27. Duplex : Two rooms on two different floors with a private staircase connecting the two rooms.
28. Efficiency Room : Accommodations that include kitchen facilities.
29. Fam Trip : Familiarization trip taken by travel agents at little or no cost to acquaint themselves with properties and destinations.
30. Folio : A weekly bill of the hotel for keeping transient account receivable records. Also called “Guest Bill” or “Account Card”
31. Guest History Card : A record of the guests visits including rooms assigned, rates, special needs and credit rating.
32. Hard Copy : Computer term for material that has been printed on a paper rather than merely displayed on the monitor.
33. Hollywood Bed : Twin beds joined by a common headboard.
34. Hospitality Room : A room hired by a hotel guest on an hourly basis in order to entertain his own guests.
35. Hot List : A list of lost or stolen credit cards furnished to hotels and other retailers by credit card companies.
36. House Count : The number of registered guests in the hotel.
37. Housekeeper’s Report : A linen room summary of the status of guest rooms used by the front office to verify the accuracy of the room rack.
38. Hubbart Room Rate Formula : A basis for determining room rates.
39. Information Rack : An alphabetical listing of registered guests.
40. Junior Suite : One large room with a partition separating the living room furnishings from the bed room furnishings.
41. Lanai : A Hawaiian term for veranda: A room with a balcony usually overlooking gardens or swimming pool.
42. Late Charge : A departmental charge that arrives at the front desk for billing after the guest has checked out.
43. Late Checkout : A departing guest who remains beyond the checkout hour with permission of the front desk and thus without charge.
44. Lockout : Denying the guest access to his room, usually because of an unpaid bill.
45. Log Book : A record of activities maintained by several operating departments. Also used to record guest complaints.
46. Mail and Key Rack : A piece of front office equipment where both mail and keys are stored by room number.
47. Master Key : One key controlling several pass keys and opening all the guest rooms on one floor; also called a Floor Key.
48. Miscellaneous Charge Order (MCO) : Airline voucher authorizing the sale of services to the guest named on the form, with payment due from the airline.
49. Morning Call : A wake-up telephone call made by the telephone operator at the guest’s request.
50. Murphy Bed : A standard bed that folds or swings into a wall or cabinet in a closetlike fashion.
51. NCR 2000 : A front office posting machine manufactured by the National Cash Register Company, USA.
52. Night Audit : A daily reconciliation of accounts receivable that is completed during the night shift.
53. Off-Season Rate : A reduced room rate charged by resort hotels when demand is lowest.
54. On Change : The status of a room recently vacated but not yet cleaned for a new occupant.
55. Out-Of-Order (OOO) : The room is not available for sale because of some planned or unexpected shutdown of facilities.
56. Over and Short : A discrepancy between the cash on hand and the amount that should be on hand.
57. Overstay : A guest who wishes to extend his stay beyond the scheduled date of departure.
58. Paid In Advance (PIA) : A room charge that is collected prior to the arrival of the guest : it is the usual procedure when a guest is unknown and has scanty baggage, and wit some motels it is standard procedure for all guests.
59. Paid-Outs : Money disbursed to guests either as advances or loans or to balance the account, charged to their account like other departmental charges.
60. Parlour : A living room not used as a bedroom.
61. Pass Key : A submaster key limited to a set of rooms (12-16) and allowing access to no other rooms; usually given to chambermaids.
62. PBX : Private Branch Exchange. A telephone switchboard
63. Penthouse : A luxurious suite of rooms located at the topmost floor of the hotel, opening onto the terrace. It may have a skylight.
64. POS : Point of Sale
65. Preassign : Reservations are assigned and specific rooms blocked before the guest arrives.
66. Preregistration : A procedure in which the hotel completes the registration prior to the guest’s arrival; used with groups and tours to reduce congestion at the front desk.
67. Rack Rate : The standard rate quoted on the printed tariff card.
68. Referral : A reservation system for independently owned properties developed to counter the reservation advantages of the chains and their affiliates.
69. RNA - Registered, Not Assigned. A guest who has registered but is waiting for a specific room assignment until space becomes available.
70. Residential Hotels : A hotel catering to long term guests who have made the property their home or residence. Payment is on monthly basis.
71. Resort : A hotel that caters to vacationing guest providing recreational and entertainment facilities.
72. Rollaway Bed : A portable bed with wheels that can be put in a room as an extra bed.
73. Room Count : The number of occupied rooms in the hotel.
74. Rooming a Guest : The entire precedure by which the desk greets and assigns new arrivals and the bell staff directs them to their rooms.
75. Rooming List : The list of names furnished by a group in advance of arrival and used by the hotel to preregister and preassign the party.
76. Room Rack : A piece of front office equipment representing the guest rooms in the form of metal pockets arranged floorwise in the same sequence, with colour coding and symbols to identify the type of room and their facilities.
77. Room Service : Food and beverage service provided in the privacy of the guest room by the designated room service waiter.
78. Service Charge : A percentage (usually from 10 - 20 per cent) added to the bill for distribution to service employees in lieu of direct tipping.
79. Skipper : A guest who leaves the hotel without settling his bill.
80. Sleeper : 1. A departed guest whose room rack slip remains in the rack giving the appearance of an occupied room.
2. A person staying in the hotel room without the knowledge of the hotel.
3. A red slip put on the room rack to block a room for the arrival of a VVip.
81. Sleep out : A room that is taken, occupied and paid for but the guest does not sleep in it during the night.
82. SPATT (Special Attention) : A label assigned to important guests designated for special treatment. Also used for physically challenged visually impaired etc. guests.
83. Stayover : All registered guests who remain overnight.
84. Turn Away : To refuse walk-in business because rooms are unavailable; the guest so refused.
85. Turn-down : An evening service rendered by the house-keeping department which replaces soiled bathroom linen and prepares the bed for use.
86. Turn-in : The sum deposited with the general cashier by the departmental cashier at the close of each shift.
87. Understay : A guest who checks out before the scheduled date of departure.
88. Upgrade : To move a registered guest to a better room or class of service.
89. VIP (Very Important Person)
90. Voucher : The form used by the operating departments to notify the front desk of the charges incurred by a particular guest; A form furnished by a travel agent as a receipt for a client’s advance reservation payment.
91. Walking a Guest : To refuse accommodation to a guest with a confirmed reservation due to unavailability of rooms and who is sent to another hotel of similar standard for a day.
92. Walk-in : A guest without a reservation who requests for accommodation.
93. Credit Limit : This is the limit of amount of money up to which the guest is allowed credit facility. After the limit is reached the hotel requests the guest to clear his bill either partly or fully.
94. D.G.C.A. Director General of Civil Aviation.
95. D.O.T. Department of Tourism.
96. D.N.A. Did Not Arrive/
97. E.C.O. Express Check Out. An activity which involves compilation and early morning distribution of guest folios to all those guests who are expected to check out that morning.
98. F.E.R.A. Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.
99. F.H.R.A.I. Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India.
100. F.I.T. Free Independent Traveller.
101. Franking Machine : A machine used for printing postage stamp value on the envelope.
102. G.I.T. Group Inclusive Tour.
103. G.O.I. Government of India.
104. I.A.A.I. International Airports Authority of India.
105. I.A.T.A. International Air Transport Association
106. I.C.A.O. International Civil Aviation Organisation
107. I.D.D. International Direct Dialling.
108. I.L.O. International Labour organisation
109. I.C. Integrated Circuit.
110. T.A.A.I. Travel Agents Association of India.
111. U.F.T.A.A. Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association.
112. W.T.O. World Tourism Organisation.

REPORTING AND PRESENTING STATISTICS

1. Potential room occupancy % = No. of rooms sold / No. of lettable rooms * 100

2. Actual room occupancy % = No. of rooms sold / No. of rooms available * 100


3. House count = (No. of guests) brought forward + arrivals of the day – Departure for the day

House count is the total no. of guests staying in a hotel on a particular day at a given point of time.
4. Double occupancy % is the % of rooms occupied by two persons.

Double occupancy % = house count- No. of rooms sold / No. of rooms sold* 100

5. Bed occupancy % = No. of beds occupied / Total no. of beds * 100

6. Single occupancy % = 100 – Double occupancy %


7. Local occupancy % = local in house / house count * 100

8. Foreign occupancy % = foreigners in house / house count * 100

If either local or foreign occupancy % is given the following formulae may also be used:

Foreign occupancy % = 100 – local occupancy %
Local occupancy % = 100 – foreign occupancy %

9. Ave. rate per room = Total revenue from room sales / total no. of rooms sold

10. Ave. rate per guest = Total revenue from room sales / house count


11. Percentage no- shows = No. of room no shows / No. of room reservations * 100

12. % walk ins = No. of room walk ins / total no. of room arrivals * 100
13. % overstays = No. of overstay rooms / No. of expected check outs * 100

14. % understays = No. of understay rooms / No. of expected check outs * 100


15. Occupancy % = No. of rooms occupied / No. of rooms available * 100

16. Potential ave. double rate = double room revenue at rack rate / No. of rooms sold as doubles


17. Potential ave. single rate = Single room revenue at rack rate / No. of rooms sold as singles * 100

18. Forecasted rooms revenue = rooms available * occ. % * ave. daily rate


MECHANICAL BILLING
N.C.R. (National Cash Register) Machine:
In many hotels today, the tabular ledger has been replaced by a N.C.R. machine which is capable of recording and storing all charges incurred by the guest, producing individual bills for the presentation of guest and maintain daily summary totals. The main advantage if this method of keeping guests account is that it eliminates duplication of work (in a tab sheet every transaction is recorded twice. Once in the tab sheet, second time transfer to the guest bill).
Merits:
1. It eliminates duplication of work
2. Need for a separate receipt is eliminated
3. Arithmetical accuracy is ensured
4. The bills are neat and clean
5. The charges are printed on the audit roll which helps the control department
6. The machine shows the total of every department separately
Duties and responsibilities of the cashier:
• Dispose with petty cash
• Authorize V.P.O.
• Give charges to customers
• Accept advance deposit
• Custody of safe deposit
• Authorized movement of luggage by signing the bell boys errand cards after settling the bill
• Render accounts through cash envelope at the end of the shift.
The types of machine now normally employed are equipped with analysis key. The machine has the following visible parts:
1. Amount keys
2. Room number keys
3. Control keys for printing the names of departments or heads of revenue :
a. Identification keys : Room, Bar, Restaurant, Laundry, Local, Trunk Call
b. Debit balance key
c. Credit balance key
d. Debit pick up key
e. Credit pick up key
f. Plus & minus key
g. Debit transfer key
h. Credit transfer key
i. Allowance key
j. Paid in full key
k. Paid key
l. Total key
m. Sub-to all and misc. key
n. Date change key
o. Audit roll tape
p. Left printer
q. Right printer

As the charges are posted to the guest bill, they are automatically added so that at all times the guest bill is up to date provided no charges are left to be posted. The charges are printed on the audit roll simultaneously department wise which helps the control department.













.
VISITOR TABULAR LEDGER

A hotel maintains various types of ledgers to keep the record of the debtors, creditors, purchases, sales, assets, expenses etc. Visitors Tabular Ledger is one of these ledgers. As its very name shows , it is a ledger meant for keeping the records of registered guests in an analysed form. It serves the purpose of the day book on the one hand and registered guest’s personal account on the other. It is maintained for keeping the record of all transactions relating to sales of goods and services to registered guests In a systematically analysed and chronological order. There are two types of ledgers-one, horizontal Tabular Ledger and the other, vertical Tabular Ledger. On one side of this ledger, one column is provided to each registered guest and on the other side one column is provided for each item of sale of food, beverages, services etc. As in this ledger several columns are drawn to keep the record of the guest on the one hand and the record of sales of different items to guest on the other, therefore, it is known as Visitor Tabular Ledger.
Visitor Tabular Ledger is maintained in loose-leaf form. A separate ledger is maintained for each day. The number of tabular sheets used for the day depends upon the number of columns in the sheet and the number of rooms available for guests.
The tabular sheet used in some hotels contain only the debit side. So it fails to give the data of the credit side at a glance. For credits transactions other books are to be seen and referred. But in other hotels the tabular sheet contains both debit and credit side. Such Visitors Tabular Ledger records all aspect of both debit and credit transactions either on upper and lower sections or on the left and right section. Such visitors tabular ledger does not confine itself only to sales but it also includes all transactions that concern sales. This implies that amount paid by customer against outstanding debits, allowances and transfer to other ledgers are also recorded. Thus both debit and credit transactions relating to customers are recorded in the their respective columns. In such tabular Ledger if one column is provided for cash sales, it can give the picture of the total sales of the hotel(both cash and credit) of the day.
Tabular Ledger is maintained in the bill office. It is written up on the basis of voucher or checks received by them. As and when the transaction with the guest relating to sale or receipt or allowance or transfer etc. takes place the concern department prepares a check and sends the original copy of the check to the bill department. The bill department immediately posts the check in the customer account in the visitors tabular ledger and in his individual bill. Thus the sales record and the customers account are always complete to the minute.
The customer account, in day’s Tabular Ledger, is closed as soon as as he checks out either after making the bill payment or with the permission of the management even without settling the bill. In case of customers, who continue their stay, their accounts for the day are closed at 12 midnight by the bill clerk on the night duty . the balance carried forward is calculated and transferred to the respective accounts in the new Tabular Ledger which is opened for the coming day.
The completed Visitors Tabular Ledger gives the following formation
(a) The sales of each department and total sale of the hotel of a particular day. Not only this, the sale of each type of meal, beverages and services
(b) The total debit balance of a departed guest transferred to ledger account or transferred to other guest accounts.
(c) Cash paid by guest during the day and allowances given to them.
(d) The details of individual customer account and the total owing by resident guest at the close of the day.

Advantages of visitor tabular ledger
The advantages of visitors Tabular Ledger can be summed up as under-
(1) All personal accounts of the registered guests are opened in daily visitors tabular ledger(sheets) so the names of all the registered customers and the number of rooms and room number occupied can be seen at one glance
(2) On personal accounts of registered guest are opened in daily visitors tabular ledger and transactions relating to them for the day are recorded in their accounts in the tabular sheet, therefore, the days detail of each personal account can be seen without wasting time it save the necessity of opening personal accounts of registered guest in the debtors ledger.
(3) Each customer’s personal account is debited directly with the help of vouchers known as “checks” without first entering the amount into the journal or book of prime entry, so they are less chances of mistakes
(4) The posting is done directly so it takes less time
(5) By opening customer’s account in the visitors tabular ledger the account of each guest is always complete up to the minute. Therefore the bill can be prepared easily at the time of the checking out of the guest
(6) Every department sends the original copy of check to the bill clerk for posting, so the original copy of check are available with the bill clerk. In case of need they can be seen and verified.
(7) In case of controversy, between the hotel guests and bill clerk/cashier, over certain payments, the tabular sheet can prove helpful to the solution of such problem because it indicates the receipt side also
(8) The tabular sheet is prepared with original copy of the check and each department prepares a statement or summary of its day’s sales or services with the help of duplicate copy so the control and checking of the account can be done efficiently.
(9) In tabular ledger the items of sales are recorded in an analysed form. It shows at a glace how much income has been derived from different departments such as restaurant, bar, telephone, tobacco, laundry, etc.
(10) If one column of chance (cash) sale is added then the management can the total business of the hotel for the day and the credit position.
(11) It provides the control a ready guide to check the term and condition settled with each and every resident guest, the room rates agreed upon and whether the rates inclusive of or without board.
(12) It serves as a guide for the minute wise accumulation of debit item under each personal account. Any personal account showing abnormally high debit balance can be referred to the credit department which looks after the interest of the establishment in order to ensure safeguard of the credit facilities.
(13) Allowances given to the customers are recorded in Visitors Tabular Ledger; so it is easy to know the total allowance given to customers and whether It was approved and recorded in correct accounts.
(14) Visitors Tabular Ledger is kept in loosed-leaf form using the required number of sheets for each day and carrying forward all the totals from page to page to the final total for the day. Thus the grand totals can be found in the last sheet with the loose leaf method. The entire Visitors Tabular Ledger for one day can be sent to the control department without disturbing the next day’s work.
Disadvantages
The main disadvantages of visitors tabular ledger can be mentioned as under
(1) the tabular sheets which are used for guests accounts are unwieldy in dimension.
(2) The columns are too many in the tabular sheet and they are close to each other.there is every lity of wrong posting.
(3) If any mistake is commited, then it is difficult to locate it till the customer points it out. Such errors, lead to wrong summary and wrong postings in other ledgers.
(4) In the V.T.L. there is no provision for narration like journal, so it is difficult to know why the customer’s account has been debited. So is the case with V.P.O. column. As no explanation is given so it is not known on account of which the money has been paid by the front office to an outsider on behalf of the customer.

Hints for writing up the daily Visitors Tabular Ledger

The following points may be useful for a person writing Visitors Tabular Ledger (VTL):-
1. Use ink ¬ pencil.
2. Use capital letters for writing the names of the guest.
3. The information regarding the room nos., no. of guest, plan, rate, etc. should be written as soon as the account is opened.
4. The writing should be clear & legible.
5. Make small but clear figures, especially several items are to be charged to the same room number on the same day. Use the top position of the line for the first item and leave space for subsequent items.
6. Don not use noughts in case there is no figure of rupee paisa because it may give scope for manipulating accounts. Put dashes (-) instead of noughts.
7. A complete VTL has two sides – one debit and the other Credit. Enter the amount in guests account as per rules given below-

(a) Service write the amount on the debit side in the guests account in the laundry column.
(b) If the guest makes the payment, write it in the guests account on the credit side in cash/deposit column
(c) If the guest checks out without settling the bill and the amount is to be collected either from his office or from travel agency etc., write the amount on the credit side in the ledger column.
(d) If the guest checks out without settling the bill and other guest is willing to pay the bill, write the amount on the credit side in transfer column in outgoing guest’s account. Write it on the debit side in transfer column of the guest who Is willing to pay the bill.

8. either when the guest checks out or at the end of the day charge sales tax,service charge, surcharge etc. and apartment if it has not been charged so far.

9. after debiting the guest account for all the charges, calculate Daily Total.

10. add balance b/f in the daily total and find out grand total.

11. find the total of the credit side. It should tally with the grand total.

12. calculate the total of each item of sale and credits on the opposite side. Totals of the vertical columns must reconcile with the totals of horizontal columns. This is to check the arithmetical accuracy.

13. daily visitors tabular ledger is the basic record so it should be neat, clean and free from cuttings, erasures and over writings.

1 comment: