There is no one standard organizational structure for a hotel. In fact, structures differ from hotel to hotel based on the size of the property and the type of hotel. A hotel's organizational structure should be designed to clearly delineate management structure and individual and department responsibilities while meeting the hotel's overall needs and goals. According to "Hotel Management and Operations," by Denney G. Rutherford and Michael J. O'Fallon, structure is the best way to channel employees' efforts toward productive ends.
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Every hotel, despite its size and amenities, has an organizational structure that's split into two basic groups: administrative and operations. The administrative side of the structure includes such departments as sales, marketing, accounting and human resources. The operations side is generally split further into food and beverage and rooms. Both administration and operations report to the general manager.
The administrative group is fairly straightforward. Any function that does not consistently interact with the guests or impact the service level falls into this group. The operations group is a bit more complicated. Food and beverage, for instance, might include the hotel's restaurants, bars, nightclubs, banquets department, catering department and sometimes room service. Rooms might include the front desk and front-door personnel, housekeeping, concierge, guest services and sometimes security and engineering.
A hotel's structure varies depending on the type of hotel: limited-service; full service; economy; or resort. An economy hotel or motel might outsource many of the functions and have a limited structure consisting of front-desk staff and a small maintenance crew. Limited-service hotels usually have a small staff consisting of the front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, sales and auditing departments.
Full-service or large hotels have a large structure consisting of rooms, food and beverage, human resources, marketing and sales and accounting. The rooms and food and beverage departments are the most complicated. Rooms can include reservations, front office, housekeeping, laundry, security and engineering. Food and beverage may include food production, food services, room service, beverage manager, conventions and catering.
Resort hotels have the most complicated structure, because they generally are spread out over a much bigger area and include many more features and amenities for their guests, such as golf courses, separate meeting facilities and various types of specialised venues.
The front office is usually considered one of the most important departments in a hotel because that is where the most interaction with the hotel guests takes place. Frequent and consistent communication among front-office functions is critical. Reservations, for instance, must communicate with the front desk each day about the number of rooms that have been presold. The front desk must communicate with housekeeping staff members to let them know when guests check out. Management for all front-office departments must stress consistent and frequent communication to ensure a smooth-running operation.
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