Situation 1: Front Office & Other Departments

  • Marketing and Sales Knows It All—but Didn’t Tell Us

Mr. and Mrs. Oil Magnate are hosting a private party for 200 people in the Chandelier Room of City Hotel. On arriving at the hotel, they approach the front desk and ask if Mr. Benton, the director of marketing and sales, is available. The desk clerk checks the duty board and sees that Mr. Benton has left for the day. He responds, “Sorry, he’s left for the day. What are you here for anyway?” The Magnates immediately feel neglected and ask to see the manager on duty.

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Mr. Gerard, the assistant general manager, arrives on the scene and asks what he can do for the Magnates. Mr. Magnate has a number of concerns: Who will be in charge of their party? Will their two favorite servers be serving the cocktails, appetizers, and dinner? Have the flowers that were flown in from Holland arrived? Mr. Gerard says, “Gee, you’ll have to speak with Andre´, our banquet captain. He knows everything.”

When Andre´ arrives on the scene, he tells the Magnates that Mr. Benton left no instructions about who will be serving the party, and he has not seen any tulips in the walk-in. Mrs. Magnate declares that this party will be a disaster. Mr. Magnate decides to proceed with the party and take up the lack of professional service later.

Later has arrived: Mr. Magnate has complained to the general manager and I. M. Owner—owner of City Hotel—and both are upset about the situation. Mr. Magnate and I. M. Owner are coinvestors in a construction project. Even if the two men were not business associates, the treatment of any guest in such a shabby way spells disaster for future convention and banquet sales.

  • Front Office – What went Wrong with communication?

It is now 3:15 p.m., and the hotel lobby is jammed with people checking out and checking in. Only about 20 percent of the rooms needed, have been released by housekeeping. The food and beverage manager arrives and suggests to the front office manager that he announce the availability of the coffee shop and lounge in the hotel to the waiting guests. The front office manager feels that this is a good idea but that, with such chaos, no one would hear the announcement. Therefore, he does not make the announcement.

  • Analyse each of these scenarios in relation to communication in the front office.

  • Indicate how the situations could have been handled differently

  • Outline the impact on guest experience

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