Front Office Terminology
Account-Document containing details of all guest transactions.
Advance Payment- Payment made for one room night at least by guest to guarantee his reservation..
Affiliate Reservation Network– A hotel chain reservations network in which all participating hotels are members.
Allowance-A monetary reduction to the guest bill because of an accounting error or loss of service.
Airport Hotel-A hotel located in proximity to an airport. Categorized as transit hotel. Guest segment include travellers transit, airline crew, and lay-overs.
Amendment- A change in the reservation made by a guest earlier. A change in room category/dates of arrival or departure/ arrival or departure time.
Authorization code-A credit verification generated online approving the transaction.
American Plan/Full Pension- A food plan in which room rates include American Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Usually favoured for employees of a company attending a HR program- conference, meeting, training session or seminar. Offered logically by Convention hotels.
Availability Status– Updated Number of rooms in each category. Enables front office staff to know at a quick glance, number of rooms available for sale in each category.
Average Room Rate/ ARR– An average rate derived dividing total room revenue earned by the number of rooms sold.
Bounced Guest- A guest with a confirmed reservation denied a room on arrival due to over booking, overstays, OOO rooms not being readied in time. Or some rooms having a problem.
Bumped Guest- A bounced guest escorted to another hotel for the night to be escorted back the next morning.
Back-to Back– A full house in which the numbers of arrivals equal the number of departures..
Bed & Breakfast Hotel- Hotels normally small in which room rates include breakfast. Now all hotels offer this service citing ‘Breakfast complimentary..’
Booking-Reserving a room or rooms on guest request for a particular length of time.
Blocking- Setting aside a number of rooms, normally for a group, on one particular floor, or as required.
Cancellation– a reservation request of a guest voided.
Central Reservations System/CRS- A network for reservations in which automatically reservation/ amendment/ cancellation. requests are updated.
Chain Hotels- A group of hotels owned by a company operating with a common brand name.
Commercial Hotel A hotel located in the heart of the city, catering, primarily, to the business travellers.
Check-out- A guest who has settled his bills and departed.
Corporate rate- A discounted room rate for executives of a company which has a business arrangement – commitment of room nights vis a vis a certain rate.
Concierge – A very experienced hotel employee with excellent networks. Basic task to liaison for the guest internally and externally too to cater to specific guest requests. A Concierge is a European concept.
Cut-off Date- A mutually agreed upon date between the hotel and a group, after which the tentative booking is null& void, for the hotel to release the rooms.
DND- ‘Do Not Disturb’ is a communication by the guest not to be disturbed. May be in the form of the door knob and/or on the room’s telephone.
Due Out– A room status indicating the occupied room shall be vacant the following day after the stipulated check-out time.
Early Arrival- A guest who arrives before his expected date of arrival.
Employee folio– A folio opened to record employee transactions. Examples- purchasing something from the cake shop or as ITC Hotels employees enjoy the privilege of buying ITC cigarettes at factory price from Room Service. Normally, the employee gets a discounted rate, with the option of paying then & there or getting it debited from his salary.
European Plan– A food plan in which room rate are included with food& beverages to be billed separately.
Expected Arrivals List/ Daily Arrivals list- A report generated the previous day detailing the following day’s expected arrivals with details of guest; details: transferred from the reservation form.
Expected Departures List
A report generated the previous day detailing the following day’s departures.
Family Rate- A special room rate for for a family of a couple and children.
Flex Time- A schedule of flexible hours that allows employees to vary their time of starting and ending their work hours, under special circumstances with the HOD’s consent.
Floor Limit- A credit limit, allowed to a credit card holder by the credit card company.
Folio Posting- The process of entering transactions in the folio.
Forecasting– A process of predicting room availability and occupancy statistics. Can go totally off target like the weather forecasting !
Franchise-A contract entered into by two parties. One-the Franchiser and the other- Franchisee for the latter to use the former’s reputed name & brand to conduct business. The franchisee to adhere to the franchiser’s standards as also pay royalty.
FIT– Free Individual Traveller, meaning a guest who pays rack rates/ rates as published in the tariff.
Full House- A situation in which all the rooms of the hotel are reserved. A Front Office Manager’s dream !
Global Distribution System- A distribution channel global in nature for room reservations. It provides world-wide distribution of room reservation status for travellers to book online.
Group Rate-A discounted room rate for a body of 15 pax travelling together for a common purpose.
Guest Folio– A document used to record/post all financial transactions of a guest, generated at the time of registration.
Guest History– A record of a guest’s personal & financial details stored by the front office, relevant to the hotel for retaining the guest.
Guaranteed Reservation- A reservation in which the room is held for the guest for 24 hours from his expected time of arrival.. As the, hotel is assured of one night’s room rent.
Handicap room– A room designed with features for handicapped/ physically challenged guests.
High Balance/ High Risk Account- A guest account that has reached or about to reach the pre-determined credit limit. Requiring the need for a part payment or settlement.
House Count- The total number of guests in the hotel at any time.
House Use- A room that is being used as by an employee of the hotel with the sanction of the management.
Housekeeper’s Room Status Report- The status of rooms (Occupied, Vacant, OOO) compiled after a physical check by the Housekeeping staff. Used to compare to find out discrepancies, if any with the Front Office room status.
Independent Hotel- A stand alone hotel, not affiliated to any chain or group.
Inter-sell Agency– A Central Reservation System that offers a package of hospitality services. For Example- Hotel bookings, airline bookings etc
Late- Checkout- A guest who is allowed to retain his room past the check-out time.
Modified American Plan– A food plan that includes room rate, American breakfast and dinner only.
Layover- When a flight is unable to take off and it is forced to stay the night. The airline puts up the passengers at hotels in the city for a night. A discounted rate as it is a bonus plus high volume unexpected business. The guest in this case is termed layover.
Night Audit- A daily reconciliation of guest accounts with revenue transactions done daily at midnight after the day’s books of accounts are closed. A unique feature-closing books of accounts daily- specific only to the hotel industry. Night audit is the responsibility of the Night Auditor.
Non Affiliate Reservation Network- A reservation network connecting independent hotels.
Non Guest Account- An account created to post financial transactions of non- resident guests who enjoy credit facilities.
No Post Status- A term used to denote a guest who is not allowed to enjoy any credit facility during her/ his stay.
No-Show- A guest with a confirmed reservation failing to turn up.
Occupancy Percentage- An occupancy ratio indicating the number of rooms sold with the available for sale.
Overbooking- Taking more room reservations as against the available. Done to counter No-Shows, Early Checkouts and last minute cancellations.
‘000’- A room status indicating the room is Out of Order, due to maintenance or other problem. Also referred to as ‘Red Slip Room’- thered slip indicated it was Out of Order.
Paid-in Advance- A guest who pays her/ his room charges in advance at the time of registration.
POS- Point of Sale- being the location where the guest is provided the service. For example- Room Service, Coffee Shop etc.
Pre-registration- The process of filling in all the details of a guest to arrive that day to facilitate a convenient & faster registration on arrival. Details of the guest taken from the Room Reservation Form and/or Guest History Card.
PMS/ Property Management System- A software package that offers a variety of applications that related to front of the house & back of the house processes.
Posting- The process of recording guest transactions on the guest folio.
Reservation- The process of taking down the guest details to block a room type as per the guest requirements.
Registration- The mandatory legal process of allotting a room to a guest by filling up the Room registration card.
Rack rate- The standard rate for of the property for a category of rooms, printed on the tariff card. A non-discounted rate, offered to FIT’s.
Room rate– The actual rate charged to be paid by the guest.
Room Status- The tem used to describe whether the room is Occupied, Vacant , to be Cleared, OOO.
Room Status Discrepancy- A situation in which the status on the Housekeeper Status Report and the Front Office’s status do not tally/ reconcile. Detailed checks are made to find out the discrepancy and tally.
Skipper- The room status indicating the guest has skipped- checked out without settling the bills.
Sleep Out- A registered room guest who sleeps out and not in the room.
Stay-over- A guest who is staying beyond his earlier informed date of departure.
Up-selling- A sales technique where a guest is offered a more expensive room than the category he chose, done subtly buy communicating a picture of the experience and the services.
Up-grading- On registration allotting a guest a higher category of room than the one booked for. This could be as that category may have been oversold or to ensure the guest and the big business he represents is retained by the hotel. This at no extra cost but after informing the guest of the same.
Voucher- A document supporting the any financial transaction between a guest and the hotel.
Walk-in- A guest who arrives at the hotel without a reservation.
Yield Management- A technique based on supply and demand used to maximize revenues by lowering rates during off seasons and increasing it during peak season.
Zero Out- Status denoting the guest has settled the bill on checking out.