Room division is one of the critical areas of hospitality industry. It covers housekeeping operations, reservations and front office operations as well as uniform services. In most cases, this division acts as the main source of revenue in hotels (Tesone 2012, p. 85). The resident managers as well as assistant general managers oversee operations in this division. The front office welcomes guests, listens to their complaints and secures payments. In addition, it communicates with other departments and determines rooms that are available at any given time among other responsibilities. Reservation department, on the other hand, concerns itself with making sure that guests acquire what they request. As a result, this department mostly maintains contact with other departments in room division for the purposes of forecasting available rooms. The housekeeping department concerns itself with stocking essential supplies in guest rooms, laundry and cleaning guest rooms (O’Fallon & Rutherford 2011, p. 174). Lastly, uniformed service department that comprises of security personnel, valet, and concierge as well as bell staff plays a wide range of responsibilities in front office. This report evaluates room division with an aim of establishing the factors that enhance effective management in this division.
Legislation and regulatory requirement
Like other industries, there are various legal requirements that room division in hospitality industry should observe. Some of these requirements relate to guests, employees and environment. There are safety regulations that require room division to enhance safety in guest rooms. On the other hand, there are environmental regulations that require room division to use environment friendly materials as well as treat wastes before disposing them. Other regulations such as price tariffs require room division to display their rooms and respective charges. In case room division does not display this information or displays misleading information, then it may be liable for the damages (Barth & Hayes 2006, p. 240).
A good example of the legislations in room division is the disability discrimination act that has lately been replaced by equality act. The said legislation takes care of the disabled people thereby bans unfair treatment by demanding fair treatment to all people. For this reason, while offering services, employees in room division should not discriminate against disabled guests. In addition, hotels and restaurants should make sure that they take into considerations the needs of disabled people as they make their rooms. In this respect, room division should have adjustable facilities that disabled people can use without encountering problems (Barth & Hayes 2006, p. 241).
Roles and responsibilities
A receptionist staff is the person dealing with the front aspects of hospitality industry. This person in most cases welcomes guests into hotel and handles them immediately they report to hotels. In other instances, the said person receives calls from potential guests and does hotel reservations as the guests direct. Apart from this, a receptionist staff also deals with payments and keeps records in the front office. Furthermore, they deal with all questions that guests may have regarding their hotels or restaurants. In contrast to accommodation service staffs, receptionists act as the face of hotels and they dispense all activities in the front offices of hotels and restaurants. Other responsibilities include guest registration, maintaining guest accounts and assigning rooms. In some instances, receptionist staffs may control guest room keys, provide coordination and communication between departments and sell guest rooms (Andrews 2013, p. 139).
On the contrary, an accommodation service staff usually does not deal with guests directly because he/she mostly handles back-of-the-house operations. This person makes beds, does laundry work and maintains cleanliness in guest rooms. The said person also handles all room related issues that may bother guests thereby make guest rooms comfortable (Andrews 2013, p. 139).
Definition of the term hotel
A general definition of the term hotel might be that it is an establishment in the hospitality industry that specializes in providing meals and lodging among other hospitality services to paying guests or travelers (Andrews 2008, p. 36). In most cases, hotels reserve the rights of refusing to offer these services to disorderly, drunk and unkempt people that are not able to pay for these services because they are profit making entities. There are about five different types of star hotels. The first one is one star hotel, and Heathrow hostel in London is a good example of this type of hotel. Its room division offer affordable accommodation to members of the public. The second type is two star hotels, and Windsor house hotel in London is a good example of this type of hotel. Its room division offer front office services and accommodation. The third type is three star hotels, and London house hotel is a good example of this type of hotel. Its room division offers front office services, accommodation and reservation services. The fourth type is four star hotels, and Hilton London Metropole in London is a good example of four star hotels. Its room division offers exceptional services in front office and accommodation together with conference facilities (Sfetcu 2014, p. 65). The fifth type is five star hotels. These are the most luxurious hotels in this industry, and Hilton hotel is a good example of hotels in this level. Its room division offer exceptional services in all areas.
Types of accommodations
The three types of accommodation in hospitality industry include bed and breakfast, hostel and resort. Bed and breakfast accommodation provides breakfasts and overnight lodging while hostels are budget oriented entities that host groups of people for some time. For these types of accommodation, room division specializes in lodging aspects thereby checks customers in and out, listens to complaints from customers and handles reservation issues (Tesone 2014, p. 83). In addition, this division deals with all housekeeping issues.
Significance of front of house area
Just like other businesses, front house area is crucial in hospitality industry because it generates most of the income. At the same time, it is at the front most part of hotels and restaurants. Accordingly, this area should be impressive for it to create lasting impressions on guests. In this respect, this area should be friendly and warm to guests. In addition, it should be clean and attractive. Other than this, this area should be well ventilated and lit properly so that it can hold a good number of guests at ago. Employees working in this area should be professional and courteous. Interior decorations in this area should be pleasant and appealing to customers (Yee 2007, p. 7). Furthermore, this area should be well organized and maintained so that it can enhance effective management in the front office department.
Accommodation services are also critical in hospitality industry. Just like front house area, these services also create lasting impressions to guests. These services should be extra ordinary and up to standard. Accordingly, the management teams should try as much as possible to make these services equal to the standards of their hotels. Accommodation services of five star hotels should equal that standard, and at no given time they should equal those of four star hotels (Adekola & Sergi 2007, p. 152). In this respect, employees offering these services should be professionals in accommodation services. If management teams ensure that these services are up to standards, then hotel management becomes easier than when services are not up to the standards.
Importance of property interiors and design
Property interior in hospitality industry concerns itself with the appearance of the inner parts of hotels. This appearance comes from the furniture, materials used, fixtures and proper utilization of public spaces in hotels among other items. Accordingly, the designs of these items are paramount in this industry because they enhance hotel outlooks. Interior designers may enhance property interior by using stylish decorations and furniture, placing furniture effectively and utilizing spaces effectively. In effective management, hotel management teams should make their property interiors more appealing and up-to-date by designing them effectively (Yee 2007, p. 7). To a great extent, well designed property interiors add value to hotels thereby help in generating more revenue. At the same time, well-organized property interiors enhance management and make it easier.
Key aspect in planning
As indicated earlier on, front house area is critical in hospitality industry. Accordingly, it should be managed and handled in the right manner if the industry is to make a lasting impression on its customers. This report highlights three key aspects of managing and planning hotel front office operations. The first key aspect relates to design. With regard to this aspect, the front house area should be well designed. This can be done by making sure that furniture are designed and arranged properly (Yee 2007, p. 248). The second aspect relates to image. This aspect is critical because it catches the attention of customers whenever they make their ways into hotel receptions. As a result, when management teams get this thing right, then it attracts and retains more customers. The third aspect relates to cleanliness. There is no doubt that front house area may have the best design and image, but be dirt. In such a case, front house area might interfere with effective management because customers might expect to find the same in guest rooms. Based on this understanding, the front house area should be clean at all times no matter what. In other words, there should be no compromise on this aspect.
Operational issues in accommodation services and front house area
An effective management has proper management and coordination. On the contrary, an inefficient management is poorly coordinated and managed. In this regard, some of the operational issues that affect hospitality industry in the front office and in accommodation services relate to coordination. In fact, if there is good coordination in these areas, then there is effective management. Conversely, if there is poor coordination in these areas, then there is ineffective management. This means that employees working in these areas should understand their responsibilities well and collaborate with one another in executing their mandates. This would enhance coordination. Another operational issue relates to system design. Once again, this has something to do with employee management in these two areas (Jin-zhao & Jing 2009, p. 55). If process design of managing employees in these areas is effective, then there are no operational issues, and vice versa.
Room division as it has been established in this report is a critical factor in hospitality industry. Its two main departments are accommodation and front office. The responsibilities of these two departments are many and sometimes overwhelming. Accordingly, the said division generates almost 70 percent of income in hospitality industry. This notwithstanding, room division faces various operational issues that must be dealt with for effective management to be realized in this division.
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