Frank Williams, general manager of the Convention Center Hotel, is very concerned. For the last

three months, the guest comment cards for his hotel have shown significant downturn in guest

satisfaction. The primary departments showing reduced guest ratings are reservations, front

desk, and housekeeping.

Frank knows he has to find the reasons for the low ratings. He and his hotel management team

are evaluated by the hotel’s parent company based on the ratings gathered through guest

comment cards. If the ratings are good, he and his team will see an increase in their year-end

bonus. If the ratings are poor, the bonus will be reduced. Of even more concern to Frank is the

potential loss of repeat business. If the trend continues, the number of guests returning to the

property may drop significantly. Returning guests are the cornerstone of Frank’s strategy to

make annual occupancy, rate, and revenue budgets. If the hotel begins to lose its best

customers, his strategy will fail.

Frank has looked at the remarks closely and asked each division head to provide two charts.

The first chart shows the guest comment card ratings for each department for the last three

months. The second chart shows the group arrival and departure patterns for the same period.

In addition, each division head has listed each type of guest complaint and its frequency. Frank

identified the following trends after meeting with the room division managers:

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The highest guest dissatisfaction was evident during major group arrivals and

departures. Most groups checked in on Monday and departed on Thursday. Monday

and Thursday were also the major arrival and departure days for non-group business.

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Both group and non-group guests mentioned that there was a lack of clean rooms when

they arrived, and that they had to wait up to three hours for a room.

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Guests driving to the hotel complained about the traffic and congestion at the hotel

front door.

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Special room requests by guests were seldom honored by the hotel– even those from

frequent guests.

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Most rooms division personnel (front desk, bellstand, concierge, telephone, and

housekeeping) seemed to know little about the groups staying in the hotel. Special

group room rates were often not posted to guest accounts; master account billings were

also incorrect on several occasions. In addition, room division personnel did not

recognize returning non-group guests.

Discussion Questions

1. What appears to be the underlying problem or problems with front office operations?

What hotel information should Frank be checking?

2. What other departments may be affecting front office performance and, as a

consequence, the guest ratings of the front office?

3. What should the room division management team be doing to turn this situation

around? Develop a plan, consisting of at least five elaborate steps, that will resolve the