Front Office Terminology

23 Apr

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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