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Front Office Terminology

General ledger – A collection of accounts that the controller uses to organize the financial activities of the hotel.

Group rate – Room rate offered to large groups of people visiting the hotel for a common reason.

Group travelers – Person who are travelling on business or for pleasure in an organized fashion.

Guaranteed reservations – Prospective guests who made a contact with the hotel for a guest room.

Guest Folio – A form imprinted with the hotel’s logo and control number and allowing space for room number, guest identification, date in and date out, and room rate in the upper left-hand corner; it allows for guest charges to be imprinted with PMS and is filed in room number sequence.

Guest histories – Detail concerning the guest’ visits, such as ZIP code, frequent of visits, corporate affiliation or special needs.

Guest supplies – Commonly referred to as guest amenities or personal toiletries; care items such as small bottles of shampoo, hair conditioner, lotion, soap, mouthwash, shoeshine cloth, mending kit etc.

Hard key system – A security devise consisting of the traditional hard key that fits into keyhole in a lock; preset tumblers inside the lock are turned by the designated key.

Hardware – Computer equipment used to process software, such as central processing units, keyboards, monitor and printers.

Hospitality – The generous and cordial provision of services to a guest.

Hotel representative – A member of the marketing and sales department of the hotel who actively seeks out group activities planner.

House count – The number of persons registered in a hotel on a specific night.

Housekeeping room status – Terminology that indicate s availability of guest room such as available, clean or ready ( room is ready to be occupied ), occupied ( guest or guests are already occupying a room ), dirty or stay over ( guest will not be checking out of a room on the current day ), on change ( guest has checked out of the room, but housekeeping staff has not released the room for occupancy), and out of order ( the room is not available for occupancy because of a mechanical malfunction)

Hubbart formula – A method used to computed room rate that considers such factors as operating expenses, desired return on investment and income from various departments in the hotel.

Incentive program – An organized effort by management to understand employees’ motivational concerns and develop opportunities for employees to achieve both their goals and the goals of the hotel.

Independent hotel – A hotel that is not associated with a franchise.

In-house laundry – A hotel-operated department that launders linens, uniforms, bedspreads etc.

In-room guest check out – A feature of the property management system that allows the guest to use a guest room television to check out of a hotel.

Interdepartmental communication – Communication between departments.

Interfacing – The ability of computers to communicate electronically and share data.

Inter-hotel property referrals – A system in which one member-property recommends another member property to a guest.

Job analysis – A detailed listing of the tasks performed in a job, which provides the basis for a sound job description.

Job description – A listing of required duties to be performed by an employee in a particular job.

Key drawer – A drawer located underneath the counter of the front desk that holds room keys in slots in numerical order.

Key fob – A decorative and descriptive plastic or metal tag attached to a hard key.

Late charges – Guest charges that might not be included on the guest folio because of a delay in posting by other department.

Leisure travelers – People who travel alone or with others on their own for visits to points of interest, to relatives, or for other personal reasons.

Liabilities – Financial or other contractual obligations or debts.

Limited service – A level of service provided by a hotel with guest room accommodations and limited food service and meeting space.

Litigious society – An environment in which consumers sue providers of products and services for not delivering them according to expected operating standards.

Manager’s report – A listing of occupancy statistics from the previous day, such as occupancy percentage, yield percentage, average daily rate, Rev PAR, and number of guests.

Market segment – Identifiable group of customers with similar needs for products and services.

Marquee – The curbside message board, which includes the logo of the hotel and space for a message.

Mass marketing – Advertising products and service through mass communications such as television, radio, and internet.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) – A listing of the chemical contents, relative hazards to the users, and name and address of the producers of the contents.

Military and Educational rate – Room rate established for military personnel and educators.

Modified American Plan – A room rate that offers one meal with the price of a room rental.

Moonlighter – A person who holds a full-time job at one organization and a part-time job at another organization.

Night Audit – the control process whereby the financial activity of guest’s accounts is maintained and balanced on a daily basis.

No-show factor – Percentage of guests with confirmed or guaranteed reservations who do not show up.

Occupancy percentage – The number of rooms sold devided by the number of rooms available.

On the job training – A training process in which the employee observes and practices a tasks while performing his or her job.

Organization Chart – Schematic drawing that list management position in an organization.

Orientation Check List – A summary of all items that must be covered during orientation.

Outsourcing – Provision of service to the hotel, for example; a central reservation system by an agency outside of the hotel.

Outstanding balance report – A listing of guest’s folio balances.

Overbooking – Accepting reservations for more rooms than are available by forecasting the number of no show reservations, stayovers, understays, and walk ins, with the goal of attaining 100 percent occupancy.

Package Rate – Room rate that include goods and services in addition to rental of a room.

Paid in advance ( PIA ) – Guest who paid cash at check in.

Paid-outs – Amount of monies paid out of the cashier’s drawer on behalf of guest or an employee of the hotel.

Par System – A level of inventory established that provides adequately for service.

Percent Yield – The number of rooms sold at average daily rate versus number of rooms available at rack rate multiplied by 100

Point of sale – An outlet in the hotel that generates income such as a restaurant, gift shop, spa etc.

Posting – The process of debiting and crediting charges and payments to a guest folio.

Policy and procedure manual – Publication that provides an outline of how the specific duties of each job are to be performed.

Potential gross income – The amount of sales a hotel might obtain at a given level of occupancy, average daily rate and anticipated yield.

Private label cards – Credit cards issued by retail organization, such as a department store or gasoline company.

Profit-and-loss statement – A listing of revenues and expenses for a certain time period.

Property Management System (PMS) – A generic term for applications of computer hardware and software used to manage a hotel by networking reservation and registration databases, point of sales system, accounting system and other office software.

Rack rate – The highest room rate category offered by a hotel.

Referral reservation service – A service offered by a management company of a chain of hotels to franchisee members.

Registration card – A form on which the guest indicates name, home or billing address, phone number, date of departure, method of payment and etc.

Residential hotel – hotels that provide long term accommodations for guest.

Revenue management – A process of planning to achieve maximum room rate and most  profitable guests ( guest who will spend money at the hotel’s food and beverage outlets, spa etc ) that encourages front office manager, general manager and marketing or sales director to target sales periods and develop sales programs that will maximize profit for the hotel.

Room blocking – reserving rooms for guests who are holding reservations.

Room revenue – The amount of room sales received.

Room sales projections – A weekly report prepared and distributed by the front office manager that indicates the number of the departures, arrivals, walk ins, stayovers, and no shows.

Sales indicators – Number of guest and revenue generated.

Self-check-in process – A procedure that requires the guest to insert a credit card with a magnetic stripe containing personal and financial data into a self check in terminal and answer a few simple questions concerning the guest stay.

Stayovers – currently registered guest who wish to extend their stay beyond the time for which they made reservations.

Total Quality Management ( TQM ) – A management technique that encourages managers to look critically at process used to produce products and services.

Travel directories – Organized listings of hotel reservation access methods and hotel geographic and specific accommodations information.

Traveler’s checks – Prepaid checks that have been issued by a bank or other financial organization.

Understays – Guest who arrive on time but decide to leave before their predicted date of departure.

Upsell – To encourage a customer to consider buying a higher priced product or service than originally anticipated.

Visual alarm systems – flashing lights that indicate a fire or other emergency in a hotel room.

Walk in guest – Guest who request a room rental without having made a reservation.

Yield – The percentage of income that could be secured if 100 percent of available rooms are sold at their full rack rate.

ZIP or Postal Code – An individual local postal designation assigned by a country.

 
 

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Front Office Terminology

Access time – the amount of time required for a processor to retrieve information from the hard drive; recorded in milliseconds.

Account payable – Financial obligations the hotel owes to private and government-related agencies and vendors.

Account receivable – Amount of money owed to the hotel by guests.

Aging of account – Indication of the stage of the payment cycle such as 10 days old, 30 days overdue, 60 days overdue.

All-suite – A level of service provided by a hotel for a guest who will desire an at home atmosphere.

Amenities – Personal toiletry items such as shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash and electrical equipment.

American plan – A room rate that includes meals, usually breakfast and evening meal as well as room rental in the room rate.

Assets – Items that have monetary value.

Atrium concept – A design in which guest rooms overlook the lobby from the first floor to the roof.

Average Daily Rate ( ADR ) – A measure of the hotel staff’s ability to sell available room rates; the method to compute the ADR is :

                                    Room revenue / number of rooms sold

Balance sheet – An official financial listing of assets, liabilities and owner’s equity.

Bank card – credit cards issued by banks, examples of which include Visa, MasterCard, JCB.

Banquet sheet – a listing of the details of an event at which food and beverage are served.

Bill-to-account – An extension of credit to a guest by an individual hotel that requires the guest or the guest’s employer to establish a line of credit and to adhere to a regular payment schedule.

Biometrics – An individual electronic measurement of uniqueness of human being such as voice, hand print or facial characteristics.

Blackout – Total loss of electricity.

Blocking on the horizon – Reserving guest rooms in the distant future.

Blocking procedure – Process of reserving a room on a specific day.

Bottom up – A sales method that involves presenting the lest expensive rate first.

Brownouts – Partial loss of electricity.

Business affiliation – Chain or independent ownership of hotels.

Call accounting – A computerized system that allows for automatic tracking and posting of outgoing guest room calls.

Cancellation code – A sequential series of alphanumeric combinations that provide the guest with a reference for a cancellation of a guaranteed reservation.

Cash bank – A specific amount of paper money and coins issued to a cashier to be used for making change.

Cashier – A person who processes guest check outs and legal tender and make change for guest.

Cashier’s report – A daily cash control report that list cashier activity of cash and credit cards and machine totals by cashier shift.

Chain – A group of hotels that follow standard operating procedures such as marketing, reservations, quality of service, food and beverage operations, housekeeping and accounting.

Chain affiliations – Hotels that purchase operational and marketing service from a corporation.

Channel management – Objective review of the most profitable marketing approach for guest rooms, central reservation system, GDS, third party reservation system, toll free phone reservation, travel agent, etc.

City ledger account – A collection of accounts receivable of nonregistered guest who use the service of the hotel.

Collective bargaining unit – A labor union

Commercial cards – Credit cards issued by cooperation, an example of which is Diners Club.

Commercial hotels – Hotels that provide short-term accommodation for travelling guests.

Commercial rate – Room rates for business people who represent a company but do not necessarily have bargaining power because of their infrequent or sporadic pattern of travel.

Communication hierarchy – A listing of the order in which management personnel may be called on to take charge in an emergency situation.

Complimentary rate – A rate in which there is no charge to the guest.

Computer supplies – Paper, forms, ribbons, ink cartridges needed to operate the system.

Concierge – A person who provides an endless array of information on entertainment, sports, amusement, transportation, tours, church services and babysitting in a particular city or town.

Conference call – A conversation in which three or more persons are linked by telephone.

Confirmed reservations – Prospective guests who have a reservation for accommodations that is honored until a specified time.

Continental breakfast – Juice , fruit, sweet roll and/or cereal.

Controller – The internal accountant for the hotel.

Convention guests – Guest who attend a large convention and receive a special room rate.

Corporate client – A hotel guest who represents a business or is a guest of that business and provides the hotel with an opportunity to establish a regular flow of business during sales periods that would normally be flat.

Corporate guests– frequent guests who are employed by a company and receive a special room rate.

Corporate rates – Room rate offered to corporate clients staying in the hotel.

Credit – A decrease in an asset or an increase in liability, or an amount of money the hotel owes the guest.

Credit balance – Amounts of money a hotel owes guests in future services.

Credit card imprinter – makes an imprint of the credit card the guest will use as the method of payment.

Crisis management – maintaining control of an emergency situation.

Cross-training – training employees for performing multiple tasks and jobs.

Current guests – Guest who are registered in the hotel

Customer relationship management – A system that allows hotel managers to integrate technology to support customer service techniques that provide top-notch customer service.

Cycle of service – The progression of a guest’s request for products and service through a hotel’s department.

Daily blocking – assigning guests to their particular rooms on a daily basis.

Daily sales report – A financial activity report produced by a department in a hotel that reflects daily sales activities with accompanying cash register tapes or point-of-sales audit tapes.

Database interfaces – the sharing of information among computers.

Data sorts – Report option in a PMS that indicate groupings of information.

Debit – An increase in an asset or a decrease in a liability.

Debit balance – An amount of money the guest owes the hotel.

Debit cards – Embossed plastic cards with a magnetic strip on the reverse side that authorize direct transfer of fund from a customer’s bank account to the commercial organization’s bank account for purchase of goods and services.

Deep cleaning – A through cleaning on furniture and accessories, windows, flooring and walls.

Demographic data – Size, density, distribution, and vital statistic of population broken down into, for example; age, sex, marital status and occupation categories.

Departmental accounts – Income and expense-generating areas of the hotel, such as restaurants, gift shop and banquet.

Direct-email letters – Letter sent directly to individuals in a targeted market group in a marketing effort .

Distance learning – learning that takes place via satellite broadcasts, Picture Tel, or online computer interaction.

Double Occupancy Percentage – A measure of a hotel’s staff ability to attract more than one guest to a room; the method to compute double occupancy percentage is :

                        Number of guest – number of rooms sold / number of rooms sold X 100%

Eco tourists – Tourist who plan vacation to understand the culture and environment of a particular area

Electronic key – A plastic key with electronic codes embedded on a magnetic strip.

Electronic key system – A system composed of battery-powered or, less frequently, hardwired locks; a host computer and terminals; a keypuncher; and special entry cards that are used as keys.

Empowerment – Management’s act of delegating certain authority and responsibility to frontline employees.

Ergonomics – The study of how people relate psychologically to machines.

European plan – A rate that quotes room charge only.

Express check out – Means by which the guest uses computer technology in a guest room or a computer in the hotel lobby to check out.

Family rate – room rates offered to encourage visit by families with children.

Float – The delay in payment from an account after using a credit card or personal check.

Floor limit – A dollar amount set by the credit card agency that allows for a maximum amount of guest charges.

Flow analysis processes – The preparation of a schematic drawing of the operations included in a particular function.

Flowchart – An analysis of the delivery of a particular product or service.

Folio – A guest’s record of charges and payment.

Forecasting – Projecting room sales for a specific period.

Full house – 100 percent hotel occupancy; a hotel that has all its guest room occupied.

Full service – A level of service provided by a hotel with a wide range of conveniences for the guest.

Global Distribution System ( GDS ) – Distributor of hotel rooms to corporations such as travel agents that buy rooms in large volume.

Going green – the responsibility to take care of the environment.

 
 

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Hotel Management Terminology

Defection rate – A measure of guest dissatisfaction, expresses as a  percentage of guest lost to competitors because of service related problems.

Moment of truth – Any episode in which a customer comes into contact with some aspect of an organization and gets an impression of the quality of its service : considered to be the basic atom of service, the smallest indivisible unit of value delivered to customer.

Internal moment of truth – A specific event, situation, or interaction in which anyone employed by a company comes into contact with some aspect of the company that contribute to the quality of his or her work experience.

Quality service – Service that consistently  meet or exceeds customer expectation.

Service strategy – The effort of a hospitality business to increase guest perceptions of value by consistently meeting or exceeding important guest expectations in critical moment of truth.

Vision statement – A company’s assertion of the direction, objectives and ethical code underlying its purpose for being.

Service recovery system – Policies and procedures that guide manager and staff in resolving guest complaint.

Brainstorming – An idea gathering technique that uses team interaction or generate as many ideas as possible within a given time period. Brainstorming taps into the collective brainpower of the team and yields greater results than could be achieved if each individual in the team worked alone.

Continues improvement – The on going efforts within a company to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of customers by changing the way work is performed  so that products and services are delivered better, faster and at least cost than in the past.

Authority – The formal power granted by an organization to a management position.

Accountability – A manager’s acceptance of the responsibility that accompanies authority and the need to justify his or her actions to higher level managers in the organization.

Empowerment – The redistribution of power within an organization that enables managers, supervisors, and employees to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively with the overall goal of enhancing service to guest and increasing profits for the organization by releasing decision-making responsibility, authority and accountability to every level within the organization.

Power – The ability to influence the behavior of others.

Supportive communication style – A communication style that combines high sociability with low dominance, characterized by sensitivity , patience and preference for informal interactions.

Directive communication style – A communication style that combines high dominance with low sociability, characterized by frankness, determination and a no-nonsense approach.

Chain of command – A series of management position in order of authority . An organization’s chain of command is represented on an organization chart by lines of authority linking all positions within the organization and specifying formal reporting relationships.

Lateral communication – Communication with those on the same level as you in the organization.

Upward communication – Communication with those above you in the organization.

Coaching – A directive process used by a manager to train and orient an employee to the realities of the work place and to help the employee remove barriers to optimum work performance.

Conflict Management – A process in which a manager attempts to resolve a conflict by applying listening skills, feedback skills and one or more of a variety of conflict-management strategies.

Goal Setting – A process in which objectives are created to improve one’s work performance or personal skills.

Principle negotiation – A process that helps conflicting parties resolve conflicts in such a way that all parties gain something from the resolution. Four keys to principled negotiation are to separate the people from the problem, focus on what people really mean, invent options for mutual gain, and use objective criteria.

Process consultation – A process for resolving conflict that emphasizes understanding the attitudes the conflicting parties hold toward one another. Process consultation attempts to improve the relationship between the parties to the point that they can resolve the conflict themselves.

SWOT analysis – A brainstorming technique. “ SWOT” stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats.

Agenda – A written plan for a meeting that indicates the date, time, and place for the meeting and the issues to be addressed.

Baseline measurement – A measurement used as a basis for comparisons or for control purposes; a beginning point in an evaluation of output observed over a period of time. A baseline measurement represents how a process performs prior to any improvement effort.

Code of conduct – Expectations of behavior mutually agreed upon by team members.

Cross-functional team – A team of individuals from different organizational units or functions that solves problems and develops solution effecting the organization as a system.

Forming – The first stage of team development, characterized by cautions, limited member participation, dependence on the leader and low productivity.

Groupthink – The tendency of a group to stifle differences of opinion in an effort to preserve group unity and harmony; may arise during the norming stage of team development.

Just in time training – A process that provides training when it is needed.

Minutes – A written summary of the events and actions of a meeting.

Mission statement – A statement of the mission of an organization or team that describes the organization’s or team’s reason for existence. Mission statements are broad and expected to remain in effect for an extended period of time.

Norming – The third stage of team development, during which relationships become cooperative and supportive as members learn that they can work together as a cohesive unit. The team becomes more productive during this stage.

Performing – The fourth stage of team development, during which a team achieves its peak productivity: individual members share the desire to achieve the team’s common goals and appreciate each other’s individual contributions toward that end.

Self-directed team – A work team that manages itself and its work, making job assignments, planning work schedules and making service and production related decision.

Storming – The second stage of team development, characterized by conflict within the group as team members push boundaries and challenge authority. Member interaction becomes confrontational and productivity remains low.

Task-force team – A temporary work team formed to solve a specific problem that usually involves several departments or areas within an organization.

Transforming – The fifth and final stage of team development, when the group is either preparing to disband or facing a major change in its mission, membership, or environment. The team often regresses to behaviors characteristic of earlier stage of development as it struggles to cope with the changes.

Action plan – An outline of the tasks to be completed for each step in a critical path.

Driving force – A force that tends to encourage change in a particular direction.

Force field analysis – A planning technique that helps you identify and visualize the relationships of significant forces that influence a situation, problem or goal.

Reengineering – An organization change that involves the complete redesign of a process within the organization, the goal of which is to achieve a dramatic improvement.

Reinvention – An extreme organizational change requiring an organization to rethink every aspect of how it conducts business.

Restraining force – A force that tends to keep a situation from changing in a particular direction.

Behavior-based interviewing – A technique used by interviewers to determine how applicants have behaved under specific circumstances in the past. The theory behind behavior-based interviewing is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Networking – The practice of developing personal connections with friends, acquaintance, colleagues, associates, teacher, counselor and others.

 
 

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Housekeeping Terminology

Mini bar – A fixture in modern guestrooms, this is a miniature refrigerator stocked with juices, liquor, and snack for the convenience of guests.

Murphy bed – This refers to a bed that folds up into the walls and looks like a bookshelf or cupboard when folded away, being named for a leading manufacturer of such beds. It may also be called a Sico bed ( after another leading manufacturer of foldaway or wall beds )

Nightstand – A nightstand is a small stand or cabinet designed to stand beside a bed or elsewhere in a bedroom, as a place to put anything likely to be required during the night; also called night table.

Operating Budgets – These forecast the expense and revenues for the routine operations of the hotel during a certain period.

Operating expenses – Those cost that the hotel incurs in order to generate revenue in the normal course of doing business.

Operating supplies – The items essential to day-to- day housekeeping operations, including guest supplies and cleaning supplies.

OOO – Out of Order is the status of a guestroom that is not rentable because it is being repaired or redecorated.

OPL – On premises laundry. An in house area in the hotel where linen and uniforms are washed, dry-cleaned and pressed.

On change room – A room in need of housekeeping service before it can be registered to an arriving guest.

Open section – A group of rooms that is not part of a room section for cleaning purposes.

Porch – A covered approach to the entrance of a building.

Pat stock / par number – A multiple of the standard quantity of a particular inventory item that must be on hand to support daily, routine housekeeping operations.

Par level – The standard number of each inventoried item that must be in hand to support daily, routine housekeeping operations.

Performance standards – The quality level that employees’ performance is required to meet.

Productivity standards – The quantity of work expected to be completed by each department employee.

Pre-Opening Budgets – These budget allocate resources for opening parties, advertising, initial generation of goodwill, liaisons and PR. Pre-opening budgets also include the initial costs of employees’ salaries and wages, supplies, crockery, cutlery and other such items.

Pick up rooms – Rooms from the open section assigned to different GRAs to balance out the workload.

Queen size bed – A queen size bed has the dimensions 5 ft 6 in x 6 ft 6 in.

Room assignment sheets – The room assignment sheet indicates the rooms that the particular GRA has to service, giving their status as indicates in the daily work report. The sheet also lists any pick up rooms that the GRA has to service, apart from the rooms in his/her section.

Room status discrepancy – A situation in which the housekeeping department’s description of a room’s status differs from the room status information with the front office.

Room status report – A report that allows the housekeeping department to identify the occupancy or condition of the property’s rooms. It is generated daily through a two-way communication between housekeeping and front office.

Refurbish – To give a new look to a room by re-docarating, renewing soft furnishings, and possibly changing the carpet and touching up the furniture.

Room section – A group of 15-16 guestrooms reasonably contiguous to each other.

Runners – In this context, lengths of matting made of synthetic or natural fibres, placed at entrances to prevent dirt and dust from entering the building. ( Another use of the term runner in housekeeping is for a person who is charged with the duty of conveying orders from housekeeping department to the staff on guest floor ).

Safety stock level – The number of purchase unit that must always be on hand in case of emergencies, damages, delays in delivery and so on.

Service directory – This is a booklet in which the services offered to guests by the hotel are listed, along with the intercom numbers to reach the relevant departments.

Skipper – A room status that indicates the guest has left the hotel without making arrangements to settle his/her account.

Sleeper – A room status means that the guest has settle his/her account and left the hotel but the front office staff have failed to update the room status.

Studio bed – this is dual purpose bed that is used as divan in the daytime and converts into a bed in the night after the removal of bolsters and covers.

Swab cloth – A soft, absorbent cleaning cloth used for wet cleaning work, such as for wash basin, baths, and so on.

Sani-bin – These are small metal or plastic containers with lids, kept in toilets for collection of soiled sanitary towels.

Surveillance equipment – Equipment such as CCTVs ( Closet circuit televisions ) that help to closely observe suspicious activities and persons.

Scanty baggage – A room status indicating a room assigned to guest with small, light and few pieces of luggage that could be carried away without obviously indicating a departure, should a guest walk out with them.

Soft water – Water in which the level of dissolved calcium and/or magnesium is below 60 ppm.

Soiled linen – Dirty and stained linen that required laundering.

Spotting – The specialized function of stain removal carried out by skilled personal called spotters, using appropriate equipment and stain-removal agents.

Stain – A spot or discoloration left on fabrics from contact with and absorption of foreign substances.

Sorting – The process of separating soiled linen into different categories: those requiring dry-cleaning and those that should be laundered under different conditions, such as whites and colored. In other words, sorting is governed construction and the amount and kind of soil.

Stock taking – The physical verification of inventory items by counting up stocks of all items at periodic intervals. Stock taking is also termed “ conducting inventory “.

SWB – Salaries, Wages and Benefit.

Timeshares – vacation interval hotels. These involve individuals purchasing the ownership of accommodations for a specific period of time, usually one or two weeks a year. These owner then can occupy the unit during that time. Owner may also have the unit rented out by the management company that operates the hotel.

Tent cards – Hotel publicity cards in the shape of tents placed in guestrooms.

Terrazzo – Flooring which consists of marble, granite and other decorative chips set in cement.

Turn down service – A special service provided by the housekeeping department in which a room attendant enters the guestroom early in the evening to re stock supplies , tidy the room and turn down the covers on the bed in preparation for the night.

Tooth glass – A glass placed on the vanity unit as a guest supply and used for gargling or to keep the guest’s toothbrush, dentures, or other similar items in.

Water closet – Sanitary fitting consisting of the toilet bowl and the cistern.

Vanity area – A unit comprising a wash basin and mirror, surrounded by flat area where soap, dental kits, saving kits, and tooth glasses are kept.

Vacant – The status of a room in which no guest has slept the previous night and which is not yet occupied.

Wi-fi – Wireless fidelity. This is an amenity provided nowadays by world class hotels. Wi fi enables guests to access a wide range of information, applications, and computing resources without connectivity problem.

Zero base budgeting – Zero base budgeting refers to hiring employees while taking into account the actual occupancy for a specified period of time.

Please also check Housekeeping Terminology 1

 
 

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Housekeeping Terminology

Antique – Antique furniture belongs to the period before 1840, though nowadays any pieces of furniture that is more than 100 years old is considered an antique.

Amenity – A service or item offered to guests or placed in guestrooms for convenience and comfort, at no extra cost.

Area inventory list – A list of all items and surfaces within a particular area that require the attention of the housekeeping personnel.

Back of the house – The functional areas of the hotel in which employees have little or no guest contact, such as the engineering and maintenance department, laundry room and so on.

Back to back – Describes a heavy rate of check outs and check ins on the same day, so that as soon as room is made up, a new guest checks into it.

Banquet – A term used to describe catering for specific numbers of people at specific times, in a variety of dining layouts.

Bath linen – Include bath towels, hand towels, face towels, washcloths and fabric bath mats. Machine.

Budget – A budget is a plan that projects both the revenue that the hotel anticipates during the period covered by the budget and the expenses required to generate the anticipated revenues.

Buff – To smooth the floor with a low speed floor polishing.

Burnishing – Polishing the floor with a high speed floor machine to achieve an extremely high gloss.

Breakfast knob cards – Card hung by guests on the knobs of guest room doors to pre order breakfast at night so that the order reaches the staff on time and the guest is not disturbed for placing the order early in the morning.

Bonsai – Literally meaning “a plant in a tray” this refers to a tree or a plant whose typical growth in nature has been copied exactly in a miniature style within the confines of a container.

Capital budgets – These allocate the use of capital assets that have a life span considerably in excess of one year, these are assets that are not normally used up in day to day operations.

Cabana – A room adjacent to the pool area, with or without sleeping facilities, but with provision for relaxing on a sofa. It is mainly used for changing.

Coverlet – A bedspread that just covers the top of the dust ruffle but does not reach down to the floor.

Cleaning supplies – Cleaning agents and small cleaning equipment used in the cleaning of guestrooms and public areas in the hotel.

 Condominiums – hotels similar to timeshare hotels. The difference between the two lies in the type of ownership. Units in condominium hotels have only one owner instead of multiple owners, each for a limited amount of time each year.

Convention – A formal assembly of representatives sharing a common field of interest, come together to air their views.

Crib – Cot for babies, provided to guests on request.

Damp-dust – A method of cleaning where the item to be cleaned is wiped with a damp cloth.

Deep cleaning – intensive or specialized cleaning undertaken in guestrooms or public areas, often conducted according to a special schedule or on a special project basis.

DNCO – This room status means that the guest made arrangement s to settle his/her account but has left without informing the front office.

DND Card – A do not disturb card is hung outside the room to inform hotel staff or visitor that the occupant does not wish to be disturb.

Double Locked (DL) – An occupied room in which the deadbolt has been turn to prohibit entry from the corridor. Only a grandmaster key or an emergency key can open it.

Dutch wife – Another term for the sewing kit provided as a guest amenity.

Duplex – A two storey suite with parlour and bedrooms connected by a stairway.

Duvet – Quilts filled with down feather or synthetic fibres. Many hotels use duvets with a decorative duvet cover in lieu of both blankets and bedspread. They are sometimes referred to as comforters.

Dry Cleaning – The cleaning of fabrics in a substantially non-aqueous liquid medium.

EPABX Operator – Electronic  Private Automatic Branch Exchange operators. These are the hotel switchboard operators who answer calls and connect them to the appropriate extensions. These operator also relay telephone charge incurred by guests to the front office cashier.

Exhaust vent – An opening for ventilation, sometimes fixed with an exhaust fan to facilitate of fresh air.

FFE – Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment.

Fix assets – These are tangible assets of a long term nature, such as land or large pieces of machinery and equipments.

Fixture – Hardware items present in guestrooms that cannot be moved or are difficult to move as a whole since they are fixed in position. For example; wash basin, baths and lighting fixtures.

Floatels – Hotel establishments being operated on large water bodies such as seas and lakes. Cruise liner and some houseboats are typical examples of these.

Front of the house – The functional areas of the hotel in which employees have extensive guest contact, such as food and beverage outlets and front office areas.

Floor pantry – A service room provided on each floor for GRAs to store cleaning agents, equipments, guest supplies, guest room linen and maid’s cart.

Gate pass – An authorization given to an employee to take guest or hotel property out of the hotel.

Guest Loan Items – Guest supplies not normally found in a guestrooms but available upon request. For example; ironing board.

Guest essentials – items that are essential to the guestrooms and are not expected to be used up or taken away by guest.

Guest expendables – Guest supplies that are expected to be used up or taken away by guest on leaving the property.

Graveyard shift – Night shift.

Guest supplies – These are items placed in the guestroom free of cost for the use and comfort of guest.

Handle with care ( HWC ) guest – Guest who may have had some unpleasant experiences in the hotel or had some complaints, genuine or otherwise, are labeled as “ handle with care “ guest by the hotel for the reminder of their stay or future sojourn.

Hard water – Water that contains more than 60 ppm ( part per million ) of calcium and/or magnesium is called hard water.

Hand caddy – A portable container for storing and transporting cleaning supplies, carried on a room maid’s cart.

Hollywood Twin room – A room with two twin beds but a common headboard, which is meant for two people. If the need arises, the beds can be bridged together to make it appear a single bed.

Hospitality – The cordial and generous reception and entertainment of guests or strangers, either socially or commercially.

Inventory – Stock or merchandise, operating supplies, and other items held for future use in a hotel. For example; linen, cleaning supplies and so on, are important housekeeping inventories.

Jacuzzis – Whirlpool ; small pools in which alternate jets of warm water bring about therapeutic effect.

King-size bed – The largest size of bed available, with dimension of 78 inches x 80 inches ( eastern king ) or 72 x 80 inches ( California king )

Lanai – A room overlooking a landscaped area, a scenic view, a water body or garden. It may have a balcony, a patio or both.

Laissez faire – A style of leadership where a leader believes in delegating assignments and important task to others in the team.

Landscape area – An area where trees, plants, turf, deck, walks, ponds and so on have been used to create a natural looking outdoor space that is functional and visually appealing.

Luggage rack – A furniture item provided in guestrooms for placing the guest’s luggage on.

Linen chute – A passage in the form of a tunnel for sending soiled linen from the floor pantries of all floors to a central place near the laundry, from where it can be collected by the laundry staff.

MICE – Meeting, incentives, conventions, exhibitions. This segment is now a big revenue generator for the hotels. Certain hotels cater specially to the MICE customer.

Motels – Hotels that are located primarily on highways. They provide modest lodgings to highways travelers. Most motels provide ample parking space and may be located near a petrol station.

Make up – servicing of the room while a guest is registered in the room.

Please also check another Housekeeping Terminology 2

 
 

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