Operational and functional departments within a hospitality business
This article aims to examine a range of operational and functional departments within a hospitality business. There are different types of business within the hospitality industry; however, this article aims to explore the operational and functional departments of a hotel.
Hotels are complex businesses that require a wide range of activities to run smoothly. From the reception desk to the housekeeping staff, many departments work together to provide guests with a comfortable and enjoyable experience. While each department has its own set of responsibilities, it is important for the whole team to understand how the operational and functional departments of a hotel work together.
The four major operational departments of a hotel are: housekeeping department, food and beverage service department, food production (kitchen) department, and front office department. In addition to these departments, hotels usually have a number of functional departments as well e.g. marketing department, HR department, accounting & finance department, and purchase department.
Operational departments of a hotel
This is a very important department of a hotel that impacts directly on guest experience. It ensures that guest rooms, common areas, lobbies, hallways, restrooms, and any other public areas are clean and ready to use.
Housekeepers carry out a deep cleaning of rooms once the guests check out to ensure that the new guests come to pristine rooms or suites. In fact, the main job of the housekeeping department is to ensure that the hotel always maintains high standards in cleanliness.
Food production (kitchen) department
Food production department is also called kitchen department. It is responsible for the actual preparation of food items. Chef, sous chef, cook, kitchen porter, and kitchen manager are some of the most important job roles in this department.
This department ensures that cooking of foods takes place in a hygienic environment and the food safety rules are followed strictly and appropriately. Failure to do so may cause the hotel dearly.
Food and beverage service department
Foods made in the kitchen and drinks prepared in the bar need to go customers. This is the responsibility of the food and beverage service department. This department ensures that the waiters, waitresses, and whoever else involved take foods and drinks the customer’s tables as per their demands and serve them in a hospitable manner.
Front office department
Front office staff are the first point of contact of a hotel’s guests. Front office department is responsible to ensure that the guests are welcomed in a friendly and professional manner, and they are assigned with rooms according to their bookings.
Front office staff also deal with guests’ complaints (if any) and provide them with any relevant information they seek. Their service and performance play a big role in achieving customer satisfaction.
Functional departments of a hotel
Marketing is about understanding and satisfying customer requirements profitably (CIM, 2023). Marketing department of a hotel carries out a number of tasks. For instance, doing market research to understand the needs and demands of guests, developing new services, and carrying out advertising and sales promotions campaigns are some of the responsibilities of the marketing department.
Marketing department is also responsible for maximising a hotel’s revenue. To do so, it needs to develop strong customer relationships. Without it, the hotel will fail to retain customers. If the customers are not satisfied and retained, there will be challenges in the long-run.
Human Resource (HR) department of a hotel carries out a number of tasks. For instance, designing jobs, developing job responsibilities and person specification, advertising jobs on appropriate media, hiring and training new people, and firing underperformed ones are some of the major responsibilities the HR department of a hotel.
Accounting & finance department
This is a very important department of a hotel. Cost controlling, billing and credit control, dealing with tax issues, preparing financial statements, budgeting and budgetary control, managing payroll system, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws are some of the major responsibilities of the accounting and finance department.
The purchasing department is also called procurement department. This department of a hotel is responsible to ensure that the company has access to the best quality raw materials, equipment, and other required goods at the most competitive prices to enable it to operate efficiently (Graduate Prospect Limited, 2023).
Challenges facing operational and functional departments in a hotel
Despite the important role played by operational and functional departments in a hotel, there are some challenges that may arise. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that all departments are working together effectively. If different departments are not communicating or working together, it can lead to delays and problems that could affect the hotel’s reputation.
Another challenge is managing the budget for different departments. It is important to ensure that the hotel is not overspending on any department, as this could have a negative impact on the hotel’s bottom line.
Finally, it is important to ensure that the operational and functional departments are up to date with the latest technology and trends. If the departments are not using the latest technology, it can lead to a decline in customer satisfaction and an increase in operational costs.
Strategies deal with challenges facing operational and functional departments in a hotel
In order to ensure that the operational and functional departments are running smoothly, it is important to have an effective management strategy. The following are some strategies that can help:
It is essential to ensure that all departments are communicating and working together effectively. This can be done by holding regular meetings to discuss any issues or areas that need improvement.
It is important to ensure that all staff are properly trained in their roles and are up to date with the latest technology and trends. This can be done by providing staff with regular training sessions and workshops.
It is important to ensure that the hotel is not overspending on any department. To do this, it is necessary to create a budget for each department and ensure that it is adhered to.
To ensure that the operational and functional departments are up to date with the latest technology and trends, it is important to invest in the latest technology. This will help the hotel remain competitive and provide guests with the best possible experience.
Technology can be an invaluable tool for improving the performance of operational and functional departments in a hotel. It can be used to automate tasks, streamline processes, and improve communication between departments.
For example, the IT department can use cloud-based systems to store and share information between departments. This will help ensure that all departments are working together effectively and will reduce the amount of time needed to complete tasks.
Furthermore, technology can be used to provide staff with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively. For example, the housekeeping department can use mobile devices to track and manage tasks, while the marketing department can use email marketing software to create campaigns. By providing staff with the tools they need, it can lead to increased efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.
Summary of ‘Operational and functional departments within a hospitality business’
In conclusion, operational and functional departments play an important role in the running of a hotel. It is important for the whole team to understand how these departments work together and the strategies for effective management. By following the strategies outlined in this article, hotels can ensure that their operational and functional departments are working together effectively and providing guests with the best possible experience.
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Last update: 24 January 2023
CIM (2023) What is marketing? Available at: https://www.cim.co.uk/qualifications/get-into-marketing/ (accessed 24 January 2023)
Graduate Prospect Limited (2023) Purchasing manager, available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/purchasing-manager (accessed 24 January 2023)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.