As one of the fundamental pillars of economic growth in the world, Hospitality and Tourism have grown into a multi-billion industry for quite some time. Amidst its rapid development, hotels and resorts have constantly been one of the main forces that drive this industry forward.
Although hotels and resorts are already familiar to people, many are not aware of the names of their departments, let alone intricacies of their day-to-day operations . With this article, we will get to know more about how hotel departments operate; learn about their functions as well as responsibilities, and how much of importance they hold to the hotel’s integrity.
Before proceeding, let’s take a look at the departments that made up a hotel’s structure:
Organizational Structure of Hotel.
Like a giant tree with both exposed and hidden roots, some hotel departments’ duties required them to deal directly with customers, the example being Front Office Department. The others work behind the scenes, such as Housekeeping Department. However, it doesn’t make back office departments less important and they all work simultaneously to support the hotel’s operations and provide optimal services for guests.
The bigger and fancier a hotel is, the larger departments and more staff it requires to operate. However, there are 7 main departments that are crucial to the day-to-day operations of a hotel. Hence, let’s take a detailed look into the functions and responsibilities of these hotel departments!
Front Office Department
Front Office Department.
As the frontline of every hotel, the Front Office is very crucial. As Kainthola points out in his Principles of Hotel Management, this department has the task of image-building, which means they are the guests’ first and last point of contact.
In a hotel’s daily operation, the Front Office’s responsibilities include:
- Guests’ check-in and check-out process;
- Room reservation, registration, and assigning it to the guest;
- Guest or customer service,
- Settlement of bills.
To become a good Front Office staff, one has to possess several qualifications. Among the most important skills needed in this area is customer service, as guests tend to approach the Front Office for help, complaint, or to find and pass information. The Front Office should also maintain a clean appearance, physical fitness, and proper etiquette as the role deals directly with customers. Surely, experience is always an added advantage among a Front Office staff’s repertoire of skills.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the Front Office department, the best option is to start with an internship program that not only guarantees hands-on experience, but provides you with the skillset and mindset to become a valuable asset to your future employer as well.
This department does most of the hard work behind the scenes. They are the ones who ensure that every guest is as comfortable as they should be.
The Housekeeping staff carries out a number of daily tasks that aren’t as simple as they seem. To be more specific, some of their major responsibilities are as follows:
- Cleaning and making beds in the guest’s room;
- Replacing dirty linens and towels, and restocking amenities for the guest,
- Taking out the trash, room service trays, and performing recycling.
Housekeeping is also in charge of maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of the public and back areas of a hotel, the examples are hallways, elevators, and many more.
With such great responsibilities, Housekeeping is another critical department that supports the success of a hotel’s daily operations. Thus, Housekeeping staff must have essential traits, the first and foremost being organized and detail-oriented due to their main tasks in maintaining the cleanliness and appeal of the hotel’s rooms, areas, and facilities. Additionally, time management and diligence are other skills that one should have to be a good Housekeeping staff, along with adequate experience through internship or training!
Food and Beverage Department
Food & Beverage Department.
The key function of the Food and Beverage department is to provide food and drinks service to customers. In this department, the staff is usually divided into the Kitchen and Service sub-departments.
In general, Food and Beverage department’s staff are assigned the following duties to support the hotel’s business operations:
- Ensure that the guests received high-quality meals that meet the regulations;
- Serve the best culinary and customer service;
- Dining table arrangement and welcoming the guests,
- Maintaining cleanliness of the dining room, kitchen, and cutleries.
In larger hotels, the Food and Beverage also provides an array of other services such as bar and pastry for its guests, which are performed by bartenders and pastry chefs.
Just like its other departments, the Food and Beverage has required a certain set of skills from its staff. To able to land a job in this field, an individual must be flexible and adapt to the fast-paced environment of the Food and Beverage department. If he/she aims to join the Kitchen sub-department, there would be more specific requirements, such as knowledge of cooking.
As the food and beverage industry has always been popular, hotel jobs for this expertise are available in various types, ranging from internships to full-time jobs. If you’re a student or graduate who wants to kickstart your career in this area, an internship or management training program would be a fit for your future!
Security and Maintenance Department
Security and Maintenance Department.
Similar to the Housekeeping department, most of the Security and Maintenance department jobs are done out of public view, but their contribution is as important as other departments for the hotel’s seamless operations on a daily basis.
As a part of a hotel’s grand structure, the Security and Maintenance department is responsible for the following aspects:
- Enforcing protocols that should be followed by both employees and guests;
- Traffic and access control; examples are controlling traffic flows in parking lots to avoid accidents and patrolling the hotel area to prevent intruders and other suspicious attempts;
- Handling guests’ loss and prevention cases,
- Install, manage, and repair the hotel’s system and facilities, such as electricity and internet system, water, furniture, and equipment.
Overall, the function of this department is to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone within the hotel area, and that the integrity of the hotel building and facility is continuously well-maintained.
A few of the skills required from a Security and Maintenance employee are excellent communication, organizational, and strong decision-making skills that would keep the Security and Maintenance department running as intended.
Human Resources Department
Human Resources Department.
Now that the hospitality industry is blooming again, hotels and resorts everywhere are opening up work opportunities for talented candidates. In order to find and recruit these desired talents, the Human Resources department is the one team who’s responsible for this area.
As they play a crucial role in ensuring the hotel’s future by recruiting talented staff regularly, which may also make Human Resources jobs more challenging at times. In detail, their responsibilities include:
- Planning, preparing, and listing new human resources needs, organizational and department structure, working contract or agreement, and more;
- Performing the recruitment process through job posting, application screening, and interviewing candidates;
- Managing and maintaining external relations with related parties, such as local revenue service and labor departments,
- Handling training and development, as well as retention of employees.
These great responsibilities of human resources make them key in the development of a hotel, thus affecting organizational success in the long run.
With a bright prospect, human resources management is among the favourite career choices for students and graduates. If you aim to start your journey here, a Human Resources internship is the perfect place to begin!
Sales and Marketing Department
Sales and Marketing Department.
In order for hotels to generate income and become profitable, sales and marketing are essential to reach the target audiences and persuade them into buying decisions. This is where the Sales and Marketing Department comes into the picture.
As the Sales and Marketing team is a crucial part of a hotel’s success, they are given responsibilities that include:
- Planning long-term and short-term marketing strategies by researching the market trends;
- Preparing and producing materials to promote the hotel, as well as executing promotional activities through social media and other channels;
- Updating customer information in the hotel’s database,
- Analyzing the performance of marketing campaigns and other statistical data.
Sales and marketing jobs are often challenging with targets to reach, but they held great importance to the success of a hotel’s business. Amidst this digital era, sales and marketing have been one of the most sought-out positions by every hotel. With so many branches in sales and marketing itself, this field promises job opportunities with exciting experience and benefits!
Sales and Marketing Department.
Last, but not least hotel department which is critical to the business is the Finance Department. This department serves a significant purpose in the entire financial activities of a hotel. Specifically, a finance department’s responsibilities are as follows:
- Recording and reporting data of the hotel’s financial transactions, including revenue, profit, taxes, equity, and more;
- Updating and reconciling internal financial data and bank statements;
- Do budgeting, accounting, and preparing monthly to annual financial reports of the hotel,
- Participating in hotel’s financial audits.
Generally, the Finance Department requires its ideal employees to possess high analytical, communication, and time management skills, along with broad knowledge of financial policies, procedures, and systems.
To be able to join the Finance Department in the hospitality industry, skillset and mindset alone don’t suffice as it requires some experience, to begin with! The good news, some hotels are currently opening up finance internship programs for students and graduates. If this sounds like a fit, come seize the opportunity now!
Which is the most important department?
Although each department has different functions and responsibilities, all share a common trait, which is to fully support day-to-day operations in the hotel. These departments are equal in position and importance within the hotel’s hierarchy.
As we came to know more about the hotel departments, we also learn to understand that the jobs in the hospitality industry are challenging yet rewarding!
If you are a student or fresh graduate who’s planning to take an internship or training and sharpen your skills in a real work environment, you have a perfect chance to join our Hospitality and Business Internship program. Our program offers services ranging from professional development and cultural exchange experience abroad to networking opportunities with industry experts!
Find more hospitality internship opportunities with various opening positions here.