Equipments used in front office
A large number of factors play a very important role in the choice of equipment to kept or installed in the front office of a hotel to carry out the day to day administration and management of the department.
The factors include the system of operations prevailing in front office, the size of the hotel, the level of automation and the budget of the hotel.
A big hotel having a high budget will definitely choose an automated front office with fully automated o computerized equipments.
A biog hotel having limited budget will opt for a semi-automated front office with semi-automated equipments.
A small hotel with limited budget will choose a non-automated system of front office operations with non-automated front office equipments.
List of manual Equipments Used in Front Office Operations
The room rack is a large front office equipment located just behind he front desk. The room rack is a wooden framework designed and contains a metallic array of pockets which contains a large number of room rack slips fro showing the reservation and housekeeping status of each guestroom of a property.
The room rack slip contained in the metallic pockets shows the types of room the occupancy status of the guestroom and the name of the guest registered in the guestroom. The current occupancy status of the guestrooms is indicated by the colored strips inserted in the pockets of the room rack.
It is the joint effort of the front desk and housekeeping to timely update the room rack in order to have an accurate room status position.
The information rack is another important devise positioned in the front desk and used by the front desk agent to track the various in-house guests of the hotel.
The information is a revolving devise that contains information about the various guests presently registered in the hotel with the name of the guests alphabetically arranged in the rack and the information taken from the upper portion of the folios of the guests.
The information contained in the information rack are name of the guests, number and type of room occupied, rate of the guestroom, date of arrival and departure and the billing instructions.
Mail And Message Rack
The mail and message rack is a wooden framework containing an array of pigeonholeswith each pigeonhole used to store the various mails and messages received for an in- hotel guest.
Previously, the mail and message rack used to contain the keys of guestroom in the pigeonholes and was thus called the mail, message and key rack.
But nowadays, the mail rack has been isolated from the key rack and has been moved behind scenes to present a more professional appearance and at the same time ensuring the security of the mails and messages of the guests of the hotel.
Key rack or key Drawer
The key rack or the key drawer is important front office equipment located underneath the counte of the front desk.
The key rack as the name suggests, is a wooden or metallic framework containing an array of slots used for keeping the keys of the guestroom in sequential order of the guestroom present in the hotel.
This rack is maintained by the front desk in hotels, where metal or hard keys are used and is thus an essential front desk equipment for such hotels.
Folio well or Folio Bucket
A folio well or folio bucket is also an important equipment used in the front desk cash section.
This equipment contains a large number of slots where the folios are arranged sequentially according to the room number.
The folio well is used by the front office cashier to store and track the folio of the various registered guests of the hotel and is used to maintain the folios safely for future use and reference.
List of semi – automated Equipment used in front office Operations
The posting machine is generally used to calculate the totals of the guest accounts, department and transactions.
The cash register is an semi – automated equipment used optionally by the front desk.
The cash register is generally used by the front desk to record the various sales of sundries at the front desk such as stamps, newspapers, candy etc.
The various required mechanical features present in the cash register include a keypad, category key and amount entering key.
The wake-up device is a very important device used by the front desk or the telephone exchange of non-automated or semi-automated hotels to remind the staffs of awaking the guests at requested times.
The most famous and common wake-up device is known as the James Remindo Timer which is an alarm clock with pull-out pins.
Many hotels also use a simple alarm clock for awaking the guests. The guests’ requests for wake-upls are recored in a awake- sheet with the information of time, room number and name of guest.
In fully automated systems, the telephones exchange automatically places the various requests of the guests for wake-up calls by automatic – voice – recorded wake- up messages. This features of great help when many guests have to be woken up at the same times in the hotel.