Process of Completing Reservations Through A PMS - Hotel Front Office Management

The previous discussion has focused on processing guest reservations through a central reservation headquarters. However, the individual PMS at a member hotel of a reservation / referral system is also able to process a reservation request. The reservation module and includes the list of applications available to the reservationist or desk clerk (shown in Figure).

If the reservationist selected option 1, “guest data,” the screen on the video display terminal would look like that in Figure. The clerk would enter the data into the PMS as requested. That data would then be cleared through the rooms reservations bank to confirm the availability of the room requested.

Other options in the menu would be accessed as needed. For example, option 2, “room inventory,” would list the reservation status, a term used to indicate the availability of a guest room to be rented on a particular night, that is, open (room is available for renting),confirmed (room has been reserved until 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.), guaranteed (room has been reserved until guest arrives), and repair (room is not available for guest rental).

Option 3, “deposits,” would be accessed when the clerk needed to determine whether the guest had a deposit on file. The information for this option is compiled from the “guest data” option, where the clerk indicates that the guest wanted to guarantee a reservation with a credit card or send a cash (bank check) deposit. Option 4, “special requests,” assists the reservationist or desk clerk in determining if rooms are

The guest data screen prompts the reservationist to obtain information about the guest and his orher stay

guest data screen prompts the reservationist to obtain information about the guest and his or her stay

The room inventory screen keeps track of guest room reservation status

room inventory screen keeps track of guest room reservation status

available to meet the specific needs of a guest. Facilities for handicapped guests, smoking / no smoking options, particular views, and locations near other hotel facilities are some of the features listed here. This option helps the new desk clerk provide hospitality to guests.

Option 5, “blocking,” provides reports to the front office manager on which rooms are to be reserved for incoming guests on a particular day or on the horizon. This option will assign a guest or guests to a specific room. Option 6, “arrivals,” lists the individuals or groups that are expected to arrive on a specific date. Option 7, “departures,” indicates which guests are expected to check out on a particular date.

This option is used by the front office manager or desk clerk to determine room availability for guests who wish to overstay their reserved time as well as to sell future visits. Option 8, “VIP,” provides the desk clerk with information on those guests with VIP status. Even though all guests are very important persons, VIP status is granted to persons who may be regular guests and expect special treatment, or celebrities or officials who need to spend minimal time checking in. If this information is obtained with the reservation request, it will assist the desk clerk at registration.

The guest deposits data screen displays a guest’s deposit for a particular visit

guest deposits data screen displays a guest’s deposit for a particular visit

The special requests screen assists reservationists in meeting a guest’s request for various roomaccommodation

special requests screen assists reservationists in meeting a guest’s request for various room accommodation

The blocking report screen provides front office staffwith room reservation status onthe horizon

blocking report screen provides front office staff with room reservation status on the horizon

Option 9, “projected occupancy,” provides the various departments in the hotel with information concerning the number of guests who will be in the hotel on a certain day. Option 10, “travel agents,” allows the reservationist to maintain data on the travel agent or travel agency that initiated a reservation. This option allows speedy processing of the agent’s or agency’s fee for placing a reservation with the hotel.

This option interfaces with the accounts payable module. Option 11, “guest messages,” allows the front desk clerk to relay important information to the guests on registration. This feature is another way the hotel can convey hospitality to the guest by demonstrating attention to details. Reports concerning reservations can be obtained by the front office manager by selecting option 12, “reports.” These examples provide only a brief overview of the capabilities of a reservation module of a PMS. Your hands - on experience with a PMS will provide you with real - life applications of a very valuable management tool.

The arrival report screen lists incoming guests with reservations

arrival report screen lists incoming guests with reservations

The departures screen lists names of guests and groups for a particular day

departures screen lists names of guests and groups for a particular day

The VIP information screen lists details of special needs of guests

VIP information screen lists details of special needs of guests

The projected occupancy screen assists front office managers in meeting projected income

projected occupancy screen assists front office managers in meeting projected income

The travel agent screen assists hotels in keeping track of commissions paid to travel agents

travel agent screen assists hotels in keeping track of commissions paid to travel agents

Managing reservation data allows the front office manager to organize hundreds of details into usable information - information that will help provide hospitality to guests and financial success to the lodging property.

Database Interfaces

Department managers rely on information captured at the time a reservation is made to plan their work. Database interfaces, which transfer shared information among computers,allow managers to retrieve this information at will. Marketing directors need current data to monitor projected sales, while sales representatives in the marketing department need immediate information on room availability for specific time periods.

The guest message screen is available for front office staff at a moment’s notice

guest message screen

Housekeeping staff members can plan routine care and maintenance activities depending on projected occupancy. Maintenance crews can plan refurbishing and repairs when projected occupancy is low. Food and beverage directors can promote a positive cash flow by increasing food and beverage marketing programs during slow room sales periods. The controller also needs to access the reservation database in planning fiscal budgets.

True Integration

It is interesting to note that there is a technological advancement being developed that integrates a hotel’s central reservations system and property management system. Rebecca Oliva reports the term true integration, in which the CRS and PMS use the same database for processing reservations. This allows for real - time reservations, which are a perceived benefit for consumers, as well as less technology investment for the storage of data, which is a benefit for hotel investors. Hotels can access reservation data via the Internet. Current software providers include MICROS Systems, through OPERA, and AREMIS (AremisSoft Corporation).


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