Organization of Lodging Properties - Hotel Front Office Management

The objective of most hospitality establishments is to produce a profit. To meet this goal, factors such as current economic conditions, marketing plans, competition, and staff size and ability are constantly reviewed.

The general manager, the person in charge of directing and leading the hotel staff in meeting its financial, environmental, and community responsibilities, develops and stylizes organization charts that fit his or her plan to meet the goals of the particular company.

The organization charts -schematic drawings that list management positions in an organization that are included in this chapter are offered only as instructional examples.

An organization chart represents the span of control for the general manager. Not all hotels have every position listed in these organization charts. Persons pursuing a career in the hotel industry will be called upon many times throughout their career to developor restructure an organization. The people who are part of these operational plans will have a direct influence on the type of structure you develop or regroup.

The goals of the organization must be paramount in the decision - making process. However, there mustbe flexibility to make the plan work. This section points out the major organizational features of a lodging property and typical managerial duties of the people within the organization.

It is not uncommon for a general manager of a property to move people around in various departments of the hotel. This is done for many reasons. A front office manager,the person responsible for leading the front office staff in delivering hospitality, may express interest in the position of controller, the internal accountant for the hotel, or in a position in the marketing and sales department.

The general manager realizes that a candidate must possess certain skills before being placed in any new position. To prepare someone for an opening in the controller’s office, the general manager may assign some of the busy work of the controller’s office to the front office manager. The front office manager might also spend some slack periods with the director of marketing and sales -the person who analyzes available markets, and sells these products and services at a profit - to become familiar with that department.

The general manager may also use the weekly staff meeting to explain the financial condition and marketing plans of the property. This tactic will reinforce the management team concept. By exposing interested employees to the responsibilities of other departments and by keeping the staff informed of the current situation of the property, the general manager is enabling staff members to meet their career goals within the organization.

Flexibility is the key to hospitality organization. On the operations level, familiarity with the staff’s strengths and weaknesses is essential to meet the demands of a particular situation. When the property experiences an expected slow period, regrouping may be necessary to maintain full - time positions. The front office manager may have to assist the marketing and sales office in advertising or hosting tour directors for a specific weekend.

The food and beverage director might have to spend some time in the controller’s office completing reports and developing budgets with the controller. This interdepartmental cooperation provides the backdrop for a smooth - running organization. Such flexibility prevents departmental jealousies and territoriality from becoming roadblocks to communication.

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Hotel Front Office Management Topics