Front Office Operations and Service Features of the Westin Dhaka - Assignment Point
Front Office Operations and Service Features of the Westin Dhaka
Subject: Management | Topics:

Front office operations and
Service features of ‘The Westin Dhaka

The Westin Dhaka started its journey on 20th June, 2007. Uniquely designed and comfortably appointed, The Westin Dhaka is a five-star hotel, conveniently located within the prime diplomatic and commercial zone of Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Relax, revive, and experience renewal at The Westin Dhaka, steps from renowned shopping malls, foreign missions, restaurant, art, private clubs, and multinationals. The embassies, high commissions, multinationals offices, and shopping malls are within easy walking distance. The hotel is also only 8 kilometers from Zia International Airport.

The Westin Dhaka offers five contemporary meeting and conference venues including The Westin Grand Ballroom with LED lighting effects and projections. From a fully serviced business centre to our health and fitness centre featuring the Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studio®, it fulfills the requirements of modern travelers. Find unique culinary experiences at numerous restaurants. Dishes are created with the freshest of ingredients, including preparations from live cooking stations.

The Westin Dhaka ensures that guest will leave in the hotel rested, energized, enriched, and renewed. Westin Slogan: “For a better you”.

 

Core Values of Westin Hotels and Resorts

  1. Personal

Westin associate are passionate that every reservation is an opportunity to meet the unique needs of guests on a personal level. They are empathetic, empowered, professional and unobtrusive. They go out of their way to provide personal touches and personalized services to ‘surprise and delight’ every guest.

  1. Instinctive

Westin not only reacts, but proactively anticipates guests’ needs. Our culture inspires associates to unleash their own intelligence and personal judgment to engage with guests at a high level. We intuitively and proactively make every guest feel special.

  1. Renewal

Recognizing the rigors of the road, Westin becomes a retreat offering a full spectrum of products and services that provide everything from tranquility to rejuvenation. Whether alone or with others, guest appreciates the array of services and special touches help restore the body, expand the mind and elevate the spirit. This gives them a sense of control so they leave not only rested, but also renewed and enriched.

Five Human Truths for Westin Hotels and Resorts

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Services and Facilities of the Westin Dhaka

As a five star hotel, The Westin Dhaka provides a lot of services and facilities to meet the guest’s need while maintaining the brand standard of Westin Hotels and Resorts. Major services provided by the property are room services, business, internet, mail, meeting, dining, catering, transport, recreation, entertainment. In this chapter of report all the services that are available in The Westin Dhaka are going to be discussed.

Restaurants and Lounges

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Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Program

A guest loyalty program runs by ‘Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ all over the world which ensures more benefits to the guest as well as more benefits to the company. SPG program is the 9 times Winner of Freddie Awards for Best Frequent Traveler Program in the world! The membership levels are:

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Starwood preferred guest gets the following benefits according to his/her membership level. Those benefits vary according to the membership level. Benefits of main three levels are as follows:

SPG Preferred Member “A” Benefits:

The preferred Guest level is the entry point where the majority of memberships originated. There are no minimum requirements for Preferred Guest membership, and the enrollment is free.

  1. Earn two Starpoints for every eligible U.S. dollar spent, including restaurant and room service charges, in-room movies and more.
  2. Star point redemption options, including Free Night awards without blackout dates, Award Flights and much more- starting at just 2000 star points.
  3. Members- only offer so you can on luxurious getaways and quickly earn bonus Starpoints for your stays.
  4. Rewards you can count on – Your Starpoints never expire as long as you show.

SPG Gold Member “G” Benefits:

Gold status is reached after completing 10-24 eligible stays or 25-49 eligible nights in a calendar year. Eligible paid stays and nights and award redemption stays and nights count toward elite status earning. As a gold member, you will receive all the benefits of preferred, plus much more:

  1. Three Star points for every eligible U.S. dollar spent – a 50% bonus over base-level membership.
  2. 4 p.m. late checkout, so you can sleep in, relax by the pool or see more of the local area you are visiting.
  3. An enhanced room at check-in , when available.
  4. Special elite customer service telephone line (available in most countries).
  5. New! Your choice of a welcome gift with each stay. Choose from bonus 250 star points, complimentary in-room Internet access or a complimentary beverage.

SPG Platinum Member (P) Benefits:

Our highest level, Platinum, is reached after completing 25+ eligible stays or 50+ eligible nights in a calendar year. Eligible paid stays and nights and Award redemption stays and nights count toward elite status earning. As a platinum member, you will receive all the benefits of preferred, plus much more:

  1. 3 star points per eligible US dollar spent a 50% bonus over the preferred level.
  2. Upgrades to best available room at check-in, including standard Suites.
  3. Your choice of a Welcome gift with each stay. Choose anyone from bonus 500 Star points, Continental breakfast (New option!) or local amenities. Club – and Executivelevel privileges where available. Complimentary in-room Internet access.
  4. 4 p.m. late checkout, so you can sleep in, relax by the pool or see more of the local area you are visiting.
  5. Access to Hotel’s Health Club / Gym where available.
  6. Guaranteed room availability when your room is booked by 3 p.m., 72+ hours prior to arrival.
  7. Our signature platinum Concierge service at 888-625-4991- always one call away to help you arrange just about anything regarding your visit. Its service tailored to your needs.
  8. One hour meeting room
  9. Happy hour(1700 hours-1900 hours)
  10. Complimentary local phone calls, fax,04 pieces of laundry( except dry cleaning) & shoe shine
  11. Wakeup tea and coffee with newspaper.

Front Office of the Westin Dhaka

A hotel generally runs based on the smooth functioning of front office which on the other hand is connected with the proper functioning of some departments. In other words front office is the circulating point of two important functions, which set motion of the whole property. One is effective communication with guests, employees and other departments of the hotel and the other is accounting (the procedure involving charges of registered and non-registered guests). In consideration of the above, it can be said that front office preserves all kinds of information as well as regulates all kinds of performance of the hotel as a central system. So in that view front office is the nerve center of a hotel.

Wings of the Front Office

Front Desk

After processing a reservation properly by the reservation section the next activity is at front desk. Here the front desk welcomes the guest and assigned that room after registration formal. Reception controls the room key, mail and message, credit limit, collecting payment from guest, checking out.

Concierge

It is a uniformed service. Concierge desk in The Westin Dhaka is mainly responsible for the following tasks:

  • Handle arrival luggage.
  • Handle departure luggage.
  • Manage luggage store.
  • Handle incoming and outgoing parcels and messages.
  • Handle lost luggage.
  • Endeavor guests with proper information according to their need.
  • Distribution the newspaper to the occupied room at night shift.
  • Endeavor the transport associate about the guest’s car booking.

Service Express-‘one call does it all’

Service express is the telephone based command centre of the Westin Dhaka. Most of the guest service will be done through service express. The service express associates are multi skilled and the most efficient as they need to work with all the department of the hotel and need to know everything about the hotel and the surrounding to provide all guest requirements. It is the one point of contact for the guest for any service and information. Provide the guests with a personalized service team responsible for expediting their requests for service, no matter what the request just dial ‘0’, they will do rest of the thing.

Executive Club Lounge

The Club Floor Lounge on the 21st floor offers unparalleled luxury with an inviting, intimate atmosphere where all your needs will be taken care of by dedicated attendants. This private lounge has designed with only one purpose in mind – to offer guest a luxurious oasis of peace and relaxation.

Executive Club Lounge Benefits:

  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast from 07:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee with Assorted Cookies
  • Complimentary Snacks during Lunch Time.
  • Complimentary Hors D’oeuvres and Cocktails from 05:30 P.M.-07:30 P.M.
  • A Variety of Intl. & Local Newspaper & Magazines.
  • Complimentary Local Telephone Calls and Facsimile.
  • E-Mail & Internet Services Facilities.

Executive Club Room Benefits:

  • Wake up tea/coffee with daily English newspaper.
  • complimentary laundry & shoe shine
  • late checkout till 04:00 pm
  • Fruit basket.
  • Complimentary tea/coffee making facilities in the room.

Airport/ Transportation Desk

The Westin Dhaka is one of the busiest hotel in the Dhaka city, lots of guests are checking in as well as checking out each and every day, who need the transportation facilities. This part of the hotel caters to their needs. According to the brand standard, The Westin Dhaka maintains shuttle service as well as some other personalized service like sedan car service.

Westin Workout- the Fitness Studio

The Westin Workout has been introduced is 2003 as it’s a brand standard. There are two types of workout can be found in The Westin Dhaka: female workout, unisex workout. It is located in level 4 along with the swimming pool in level 5 and its operation hours: 6am to 10pm.

Business Centre

Most of the guests stay here for business/official purpose, so business center is critical for them. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to work here during my internship period, and I will discuss all about it in later chapter of the report.

Westin Experience Desk

Westin Experience desk is strongly connected with the concierge. The main objective of this desk is to ensure the comfortably of the valued guests of the Westin Dhaka and meeting all of the preferences of them in order to create a memorable and lasting experience.

Main Functions of Front Office

There are various functions of the front office department in a hotel. Front office department of The Westin Dhaka is maintaining all the functions that are listed below:

  • To welcome guest in pleasant manner
  • To sell rooms
  • To register the guests
  • To handle guests reservation
  • To answer telephone calls and keep page for guest when necessary
  • To receive and deliver letters, fax, parcels and messages for the guest
  • To provide general information to the guests about the hotel, the city, current events and attraction.
  • To show rooms to guest if policy permits
  • To sell the hotels special services, e.g. restaurant and bar facilities, entertainment facilities, laundry services etc.
  • To receive payments and provide credit when necessary
  • To deal with guests’ complaints

Functions in terms of The Guest Cycle

Pre arrival

  • Daily Arrival List
  • Special Request
  • SPG
  • I.P
  • Diplomat
  • Transport request
  • Extra Bed
  • In Room Check-in

Arrival: It means

A- Acknowledge the guest by making eye contact, smiling and using the guest name and welcoming the guest.

R- Recognize SPG membership and status. If guest is non- member, offer enrollment.

R- Recap guest preferences and verify e-mail address.

I- Information in Reservation is confirmed, departure date, rate, and any special requests.

V- Verify or obtain the Method of payment.

A- Acquire key for guest. Rates are confirmed by either writing it on the key jacket or asking the guest to sign the registration card. Rates are not stated out loud.

L- Lasting Impression. Leave a lasting impression, wish the guest in a pleasant stay and offer additional service.

Departure

  • Special request for express check out
  • Place the bill
  • Ask about the experience of stay
  • Ask about the transportation service
  • Future reservation
  • Ask how guest wants to settle the payment
  • Handover the settled bill in an envelope
  • Make contact with the transport If guest wants to use hotel transport service
  • Wish the guest pleasant journey and invite the guest to come again.

Additional Functions of Front Office

There are some additional functions also maintain by the front office. These are as listed below:

  • To maintain up-to-date records of the accommodation and the occupancy percentage
  • To inform the Housekeeping department regarding the booking and occupancies
  • To liaise with the food and beverage department of the arrivals and departures of guests, so that they could arrange adequate food and drinks
  • To maintain good and efficient service with the other departments within the hotel
  • Try to solved the guest problem

Activities of Front Office with Guests

The main activity of front office of a hotel is to sell room. The main revenue of hotel comes from rooms. The profit of hotel business mainly depends on room sale. So the front office plays a very important role in making good business. The front office of a hotel is an image builder of the hotel.

Every guest is getting first contact at front office and finally when he checks-out he gets the last contact at the front office. So each person in front office is playing an critical role in making hotel image. The activities are given bellow:

Enquiry: Describe facilities and availabilities of rooms.

Reservation: Offer room, take reservation, update room availability chart.

Confirmation: Confirm reservation, block room, update chart, prepare document.

Arrival: Car parking, luggage handling.

Check-in: Well come the guest, make registration, a sign room, and give the key.

Send to room: Bell man takes luggage and escort the guest up to room.

In house: Start guest a/c, post all the charges, monitor over due.

Settle bill: Check the bill, take payment, collect room key

Departure: Notify other concerned department.

Night Auditing

The night audit team reconciles the hotel’s daily financial transactions and other activities for reporting purposes. Due to twenty four hour nature of hotel operations this department conducts its duties at night, when hotels are generally less busy. The staffing of the night audit group is commonly small in comparison to other room divisions’ department. Generally the team is led by the duty manager and is supported by anywhere from two to three night auditors. Thought in hotel Westin Dhaka there are no separate night audit team.

The night auditor is responsible for the following reports:

  • Manager Flash,
  • Daily comparative business analysis report,
  • Arrival and departure comparative report,
  • History and forecast,
  • Long staying in the house report,
  • VIP arrival report,
  • Credit card transaction report,
  • Credit limit report,
  • Room rate posting report,
  • Arrival departure report,
  • Room status report,
  • Daily food and beverage selling report.

Front Office uses of Property Management Software

A fully automated front office system replaces traditional room racks, electro-mechanical, and electronic posting machines. As a guest purchases or incurs charges in the hotel the charges are electronically transferred to the front office computer from the point-of-sale location. These charges are then automatically posted to the proper electronic guest folio. Immediate posting, simultaneous guest account and departmental entries, and continuous trial balances free the night auditor to spend time on auditing, rather than focusing primarily on guest account balances. Upon departure the guest is provided with a printed copy of his/her folio and can immediately verify whether it is complete and accurate. Depending on the method of settlement, the computer system may automatically post the transactions to appropriate accounts. For a guest account that requires billing, the system is capable of producing a bill to be sent to the guest. Once the guest’s account is settled and the postings are considered complete, departed guest information is used to create an electronic guest history record.

In order to make the front office task easier, The Westin Dhaka uses ‘opera’ as property management software.

OPERA: Property Management Software

At the core of the OPERA enterprise solution is premier property management software, the OPERA Property Management System (PMS). Designed to meet the varied requirements of any size hotel or hotel chain, OPERA PMS provides all the tools a hotel staff needs for doing their day-to-day jobs — handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms and managing room inventory, accommodating in-house guest needs, and handling accounting and billing. The property management  software is configurable to each property’s specific requirements and operates in either single property or multi-property mode, with all properties in a complex sharing a single database. OPERA Property Management Systems is fully integrated with OPERA Sales and Catering, OPERA Gaming and Comp Accounting, OPERA Vacation Ownership System, OPERA Quality Management System, and the OPERA central systems — ORS, the OPERA Reservation System; and OCIS, the OPERA Customer Information System.

Key Features of the OPERA Property Management System:

Reservations: OPERA Reservation features are integrated with other functionality such as profiles, cashiering, and deposits. This property management software module offers a complete set of features for making and updating individual, group, and business block reservations, including deposit handling, cancellations, confirmations, wait listing, room blocking, and sharing.

Rate Management: The OPERA Property Management System offers an extensive set of features for setting and automatically controlling rates, for rate quotation, and for revenue forecasting and analysis to create the most comprehensive rate management system in the industry. OPERA’s property management systems interface with the OPERA Revenue Management Systems and other major yield management applications.

Profiles: OPERA’s property management software also provides profiles – complete demographic records for guests, business accounts, contacts, groups, agents, and sources. Profiles include addresses, phone numbers, membership enrollments, stay and revenue details, guest preferences, and additional data that make reservations handling and many other activities faster and more accurate.

Front Desk: Arrivals and in-house guests are served using the Front Desk features of property management software. This module handles individual guests, groups, and walk-ins, and has features for room blocking, managing guest messages and wakeup calls, and creating and following up on inter-department advisories, or traces.

Back Office Interface: Revenue transfers, market statistics transfers, daily statistics transfers, and city ledger transfers can be easily made from OPERA Property Management System to a back office system.

Rooms Management: OPERA Property Management System’s Rooms Management features handle all facets of room supervision including availability, housekeeping, maintenance, and facility management. The Queue Rooms feature of the property management software coordinates Front Office and Housekeeping efforts when guests are waiting for rooms which are not immediately available for assignment

Cashiering: Posting guest and passer-by charges (including taxes and other generates), making posting adjustments, managing advance deposits, settlements, checkout and folio printing are a few of the many activities handled by OPERA Cashiering. Cashiering accommodates multiple payment methods per reservation including cash, check, credit cards, and direct bill. In multi-property environments, guest charges can be cross-posted from any property in the hotel complex.

Accounts Receivable(AR): Is fully integrated with the OPERA Property Management System database and includes direct billing, invoicing, account aging, bill payments, reminder and statement generation, and account research. Old balances from external accounting systems may be entered.

Commissions: OPERA’s property management software also offers integrated features for calculating, processing, and following up on travel agent and other types of commission payments, either by check or via EFT.

Reporting: OPERA offers over 360 separate standard reports. Reports can be customized for each hotel and new reports may be created as needed using OPERA’s built-in Report Writer.

Fully Configurable: Choice of OPERA features, system behaviors and priorities, and system-wide defaults are controlled by the property. User permissions determine which property management software features may be accessed by each user and user group. Many OPERA screens may be customized by the property.

Global Perspective: OPERA Property Management System supports multi-currency and multi-language features to meet the requirements of global operations. Rates and revenues can be dynamically converted from the local currency to any other currency. The appropriate language for guest correspondence can be automatically determined by the guest’s profile language; country specific address formats are supported.

Hospitality System Interfaces: OPERA PMS includes interfaces to hundreds of third-party hospitality systems including yield management, telephone and electronic switching, TV and video entertainment, key lock, restaurant POS, activities scheduling, refreshment center, and wakeup call systems.

OPERA Xpress: OPERA Xpress offers a scaled-down edition of our property management systems for smaller properties or properties offering limited services. Based on the core OPERA property management software product, properties may choose the features they want from a menu of product options.

Findings:

Hospitality Management industry in Bangladesh has been changed from earlier. This report represents the following main outcomes:

  • The overall impression of hotel impacts customers’ expectations and how Westin’s Experience Specialist (WES) try to meet up their requirement.
  • Although it is essential to meet customer anticipations at each phase of service provided, but most important is to meet customers’ expectations in hospitality and how WES are able to manage the whole hospitality.
  • Though the customers intention to re-visit hotel depends on many elements, among them comfort and impression “from the check in to check out”; WES has to check every single possible points to meet their requirements at higher priority.
  • There is a need for hotel managers to gather up-to date and accurate information about changing environment and present enticements to capture the attention of maximum customers

The whole working environment for the female associate is very safe and friendly. As people have a negative mindset about the working atmosphere of the hospitality industry for women, but I found the HR team is working quite well to change it and keep it in a good level.

 

Recommendation:

  1. Training is always important to customer service. Especially Procedures and most importantly strong leadership are the lasting foundation for providing best customer service. Still, there is a scope for WES team to focus on Procedures and Strong Leadership.
  2. Customer Vs WES member should be in a rational position. So that, Quality of the service will be improved with respect to quantity.
  3. Westin may create a forum to listen to not only the customers feedback but also to associates and team members as they are directly involve with service.
  4. Empowering in very important for instant service in case of arriving unwanted situation. For example; WES should have that authority to address a minor customer complaint about any issue without bringing in management.
  5. Now days, Social medias can be involved for WES support.
  6. They should bring more female associates to encourage the envolvement of women in the hospitality sector.

Conclusion:

For the completion of my BBA program it is mandatory to complete my internship program from any organization and I felt very privileged to work with the best Corporate and one of the largest hotel the Westin Dhaka. Working in a large organization like the Westin is a pleasant experience for me and directly communicating with the regular and VIP guests were a plus to increase my networking and communication skill as marketing major. Within this four month of internship program I got the idea of the corporate culture, work place, work life, and so on. The culture and the work environment of the  Westin Dhaka is very different. Specially the team where I belong, they never treated me as an intern and always considered me as a part of their Westin Dhaka Family. Afterworkinghere I truly believe The Westin Dhaka is thepeopleoriented brand of Bangladesh.

The Westin Dhaka has always emphasized on developing a good guidance system in order to achieve its desired corporate objectives. From the origin of the company, Westin has come to a long way in reaching these objectives by listening to client’s needs, learning real time lessons from past projects, innovating and partnering.

The Westin Dhaka works on making people feel the specialty to enjoy their service and focuses on ‘For a better you’.

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