Budgeting for a Point-of-Sale Front Office - Hotel Front Office Management

The front office manager will incur costs in operating a point - of - sale front office, including expenses involved in implementing incentive programs, producing training materials, and spending time to plan. These costs, while not meant to be overwhelming, should be anticipated. If all appropriate steps are taken, the income from increased sales should far outweigh the additional costs. This projection of sales and related expenses is very useful when deciding which marketing ideas to explore.

Feedback

Feedback on the evaluation of the success of the front office staff in promoting other areas of the hotel is an important consideration in preparing a point - of - sale front office program. How will the front office manager know if the staff is using the sales techniques in which they were trained? How does the front office manager determine how the staff feels about this program after the novelty wears off? How does the guest feel about being presented with all these alternatives? How financially successful is the program? Front office managers will not be able to tell exactly how effective this promotional strategy is, but they must make an effort to obtain as much feedback from staff and guests as possible.

This information will be very valuable in planning future promotional ideas, incentive programs, and training programs. The objective for this part of the plan could be stated as “to develop feedback systems concerning employee performance, employee attitude, guest perception, and profitability.”

Guest Test

The standard guest test is one in which an outside person (known as the plant) is hired by the hotel to experience hotel services and report the findings to management. This test will enable the front office manager to evaluate the sales performance of the front desk clerk. If an unknown plant presents herself with a reservation and is greeted with “Yes, we have a reservation; please sign in,” the front office manager knows that the front desk clerk is disregarding the sales procedure. The front office manager should discuss with the employee why the procedure was not followed. Perhaps the goals of the employee have shifted from a larger paycheck to a more reasonable work schedule. Or maybe he or she forgot there was a choice of incentives for the job. Perhaps too many guests were responding negatively to the promotion, and the clerk gave up trying. This information may indicate that unwanted goods or services are being targeted for promotion

When the management of the hotel prepares the written information on the guest comment cards, questions concerning alternative promotion targets should be listed. Choices offered by hotel staff, such as upgrading reservations or information received about restaurants, gift shops, additional reservations, or other areas of the hotel, may be included. This information provides feedback as to whether the suggestions were made and how they were received. There is always the chance that guests may perceive an offer as pushy.

Financial Results

Another method for evaluating the program is reckoning the actual financial results. Were the anticipated profits outlined in the budget achieved? Use of a VIP Guest Card indicates to the restaurant manager that the guest was referred by the front desk clerk. Similar types of controls will enable management to pinpoint the origins of room reservations, gift shop purchases, and other sales. A record keeping system must be established to reflect the amount of money awarded to front office employees as incentives to increase sales in targeted areas. The details of this record keeping system must be worked out with the various department directors and the controller.


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Hotel Front Office Management Topics