Front Office Department is responsible for creating the first impression on the guests. Mam, please tell us what all skills do you infuse in your students preparing for this field?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- First things first. At SOHMT (School of Hotel Management & Tourism ), we highly emphasize on grooming standards. Grooming should be flawless because that’s where the first impression gets registered in the mind of the guest, accompanied by body language, etiquettes, passion and confidence. We believe in giving the student Guest Orientation i.e. student in all circumstances should be able to put guest first, anticipating guest needs, attention to detail, concern and service excellence.
We craft out a Responsible professional i.e. he should be able to understand his responsibility towards community, environment, safety and security. We understand how important it is to speak language proficiently. Fluency in speaking, accent, pronunciation, listening and comprehension. We focus on general awareness and infuse in the student the basic technical knowledge.
We also teach the student workplace ethics and respect for colleagues, being fair and honest with others and being dependable.
Lastly we emphasize that the student should be a team player, practice day in and day out inter-personal skills and make him sensible enough to have the maturity level.
Human trafficking is increasing in hotels. There are certain signs which can be noticed if the guest is in trouble. Mam, please tell us does your institute provide such training to the students? (OPTIONAL)
We are not providing any such specific course on human trafficking. However, before going for industrial training or ODCs we do brief them about the same.
Mam, please tell us what is the importance of grooming for the students preparing for the front office?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- Grooming is definitely of utmost importance for everyone in the hotel and especially front office. Front Office staff is like an ambassador of the brand .If he is well groomed guest will conceive the right image about the hotel.Moreover, it also make the human being more confident.
Payments by the guests and their data handling are done by the front office department. Do you give training to your students on how to save such sensitive data from cybercrime?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- It is definitely highlighted during the classroom sessions and labs that taking care of guest information and privacy is also one of our prime responsibility .It is linked with every practical and during role-play situation.e.g Key handling ,telephone handling,reservations,during check-in and check –out etc.
How can a front office person handle a situation in case of extra walkins and extremely busy counters?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- We always tell the students that in lean periods hotels goes for rotation of front office staff.e.g a cashier can be given a training at reception ,reservation assistant can be given a training at reception .Moreover,hotels also practices cross training in other departments .So that in case it is extremely busy counters or a situation of extra walk-ins or a 100 pax group check –in ,it can be easily managed through intra and inter staff and moreover students who have gone for industrial training also lends a good support .
The front office employees have long, stagnant shifts. Mam, please tell us does it affect their health?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- Front Office employees do have long stagnant shifts and it is said to be a white collared job. Exactly there are any health issues associated with it .If the person is physically fit he will adapt and get used to .Moreover, these days we have seating reception as well ,so these days it is not a challenge.
What is LPU giving to the students who aspire to become Hospitality Professionals?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- To become hospitality professionals first of all the basic mentoring is done at school level .In second year student is given the opportunity to do a mandatory training of six months in the hotel. Also, we motivate the students to go for international internship .In the curriculum, we also provide the students an option of on-job training in a 25 room property named as Uni guest house in the campus.
Many Hospitality Institutes focus on theoretical knowledge rather than practical knowledge. What is your take on it?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- At School of hotel management & tourism we focus more on practical knowledge .I personally believe that student may understand the concept and after a few days he will forget but if we provide him experiential learning he will remember it for lifetime .We implement the experiential learning through industrial visit to star category hotels, through more of role-plays and situation handling, demonstration of equipment .We also have latest version of IDS software 6.5 through which we give the hands-on training to the students .We conduct activities at school like debates & declamations, group discussions, brainstorming sessions,elocution,quiz which gives the students live experience .We also motivate the students to participate in national and international competitions .We let them participate in outdoor caterings and mandatory industrial training of 6 months in hotel.
Would you like to give a few tips on how the front office department can act as a plus point in customer services?
Ms. Geetika Joshi :- Front office department is definitely a plus point in customer services, as front office is the first point of contact .With the right type of skill set front office department can convert walk in into a repeat guest .With the efficient and updated front office team issues of the guests’ can be resolved instantly .Front office team members acts as a brand ambassador for the hotel.
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