Front Office is normally the first point of contact between a hospitality organization and its customer. For example, when a guest steps into a hotel, he or she first goes to the Front Office or Reception to register himself or herself and get a room. Similarly, when a guest shows up at a restaurant, he or she is first directed to the Front Desk where the clerk locates and assigns an available table to the guest.
Therefore, a Front Office executive or clerk has to have knowledge of available resources, such as rooms, tables, and other resources such as available slots in the hotel gym or spa, etc. The Front Office executive also has to have knowledge of different currencies and exchange rates of different countries of the world, so that guests with non-local money can pay their bills without any loss to the hotel or the organization and without any loss to themselves. If the guest loses money unnecessarily, then that is loss of goodwill for the hotel and the hotel may lose its reputation.
A Front Office executive also needs to have people handling skills. Sometimes guests feel they have been deprived or cheated when they do not get exactly what they want. They then start to make accusations, sometimes false accusations, against the hotel or restaurant employees. In most cases, it is the Front Office executive who has to handle such irate customers. Again, this has to be done in such a way that both the hotel and the customer are both satisfied with the final outcome. If the customer is unreasonable the Front Office executive has to escalate the matter to higher management and, if necessary, to the police and/or other authorities.
At NIMS, we train our students to have the best knowledge and skills to handle Front Office activities effectively.