A la Carte Menu A food and drink menu in which each item is listed and priced separately.
Adjoining Rooms Guestrooms that are located next to each other, but without a connecting door between them.
Advance Deposit Money paid, usually by credit card or cheque, by a guest before they arrive at the hotel to guarantee a reservation. The amount is generally equal to one night’s lodging fees. The full amount is applied to the guest’s bill upon check-out.
Aesthetic Balance In meal planning, a pleasing combination obtained by making use of the colours, flavours and textures of foods.
Affiliate Reservation System A hotel chain’s reservation system in which all participating properties are contractually related. Each hotel is represented in the computer database and is required to provide room availability data to the reservation centre in a timely manner.
Affiliated Hotel A hotel that is a member of a franchise, chain or referral system. Membership usually provides special advantages, such as the use of a national reservation system.
Air Change Ventilation rate in terms of building or room volume. The figure is typically expressed as air changes per hour.
Air Handling Unit An all-air HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system that consists of filters, fresh air intakes, coils (through which chilled water or steam/hot water is circulated from central boilers and chillers), exhaust air discharges, and in some cases, humidification equipment.
Airline-Related Guests Airplane passengers and crew members who need emergency accommodations.
Airport Hotel Lodging properties located near a public airport (usually within 5 miles), which derive a significant amount of demand from the airport. Although airport hotels vary widely in service levels and size, they are generally full-service and are more likely than other hotels to have in-room films, call accounting systems and computerised property management systems.
Alcoholic Beverage Menu A menu that lists wines, cocktails, and other alcoholic beverages offered to guests. They may be included on the regular menu or listed on a separate menu. Many beverage menus also include no- or low-alcohol drinks. Restaurants with a large selection of wines may have a separate wine list.
All-Expense Tour A tour that offers all or most services: meals, lodging, transportation, sight-seeing (etc), for a pre-established price. However, the terms ‘all-expense’ and ‘all-inclusive’ are normally much misused, as almost no tour rate will cover everything. The terms and conditions of a tour contract should specify exactly what is covered.
All-Suite Hotel A hotel that features suites, which are larger than the typical hotel room, with a separate living space in addition to the bedroom. A suite may also have a whirlpool or kitchenette.
Alternative Tourism Smaller scale tourism in terms of the dimensions of tourism development and the number of tourists.
Ambiance(1) Applied to environments, a mood or feeling associated with a particular place, person, or thing; an atmosphere (2) A feeling about or an identity for an establishment created by the combination of lighting, decor, furnishings, and other features.
Ambient Air Temperature The surrounding inside air temperature, usually considered ideal for human comfort at 18-24°C (65-75°F).
Ambient Lighting Lighting that holds together varied elements of the decor and provides atmosphere.
Amenity An item or service placed in guestrooms or offered to guests for their comfort and convenience, and at no extra cost. Examples include various guest services (such as automatic check-out, in-room entertainment systems, concierge services free parking and multilingual staff) in addition to an array of personal bathroom items offered by most hotels. Amenities are designed to enhance a guest’s stay, increase a hotel’s appeal, and encourage guests to return.
American Service A pre-plated restraint service, which means that the food is served into the guest’s plate in the kitchen itself and brought to the guest. The portion is predetermined by the kitchen and the accompaniments served with the dish balance the entire presentation in terms of nutrition and colour.
Apartment hotel Accommodation in apartment-style units rather than rooms, with in-suite cooking facilities.
Automatic Form Number Reader (AFNR) A feature of a guest bill (check) printer that helps order entry procedures. A barcode imprinted on the guest bill presents the bill’s serial number in a machine-readable format, rather than the server having to manually input the bill serial number to access the account.
Average Daily Rate (ADR) The total room revenue for a given period (day, month, month to date, year to date), divided by the number of rooms occupied for the same period. The ADR is ratio that indicates average room rate, and to what extent rooms are being discounted or up-sold, and is frequently used as a measure of economic performance.
Average Published Rate (APR) The average of single low, single high, double low and double high published room rates.
Back Any beverage a guest orders that is to be served in a separate glass along with their drink.
Back of House The functional areas of a hotel in which employees have little or no direct guest contact; for example, the accounting department, engineering and maintenance, or kitchen areas.
Backbar That part of the back wall of a bar that is used for storage and display, which may consist of photographs, mirrors, or memorabilia.
Backup Drinks Two drinks purchased at one time by or for one guest.
Banquet A meal that is prepared for a particular group, for which the menu and the number of guests are predetermined. Most hotel properties offering banquet service have special facilities for banquet food production and service.
Banquet Menu A table d’hôte menu; a set meal with few, if any, choices, prepared for a large group of people.
Banquette A benches, usually upholstered, that is built in along a wall in a restaurant, bar or other seating area.
Bar The area in which drinks are prepared and from which drinks are sold.
Bar and Beverage Operations A term that includes all possible combinations of establishments serving alcoholic beverages. Typical examples are lounges and bars.
Bar Menu The primary types of drinks that a beverage operation is prepared to serve, including mixed drinks, bottled and/or draft beers, wine, and specialty drinks. The bar menu usually includes the projected drink preferences of the operation’s target markets.
Bar Par The amount established for each type of beverage to be stored in the backbar. This amount is generally based on expected consumption.
Bay The principal compartment, typically of a suite, that is the space equivalent of a standard guestroom. A suite may have a multiple-bay or single-bay living room.
Bed and Breakfast (B&B)(1) A small lodge or inn that provides a room and a breakfast. A B&B is often in a residential home setting and/or a historic building (2) A type of room rate that includes the price of the room and breakfast. Also known as Continental Plan.
Bellboy Also known as Bellhop or Bellman. A person employed by a hotel to assist guests, by carrying luggage and doing errands.
Billed-To-Room Call An operator-assisted call that allows guests to have an operator place their calls and then inform the hotel of the charges.
Billing Clerk The person responsible for charging to hotel guests all vouchers representing room service, beverages, food, and merchandise purchases.
Booking Engine An online system used by hotels that allows prospective hotel guests to check availability and make reservations at the hotel over the Internet.
Boutique Hotel Historical, classic buildings, remodelled into hotels with usually less than 30 rooms.
Buffet An assortment of foods offered on a table for guests to choose in self-service fashion.
Buffet Service Hot and cold foods attractively arranged on platters are placed on large serving tables and guests walk up and choose in self-service fashion. Service personnel, such as carvers, may be required to assist guests. In some cases, each course may be placed on a separate table.
Business MixA hotel’s desired blend of business from various segments such as corporate group, business transient, leisure and convention.
Cabana A guestroom that is situated adjacent to the pool area, with or without sleeping facilities.
Cafeteria A food service operation in which guests pass through serving lines and help themselves to food items or receive food items from service staff.
Call Accounting System A system that is part of the telephone equipment that prices phone calls made by hotel guests and sends the information to the property management system (PMS) for billing.
Calling Card A credit card for making telephone calls; issued by either a long-distance company or the local phone company.
Calling Card Call A call typically billed to a code number on a calling card issued by either a long-distance company or the local phone company, usually with a per-call surcharge.
Cancellation A reservation voided by a guest.
Cancellation Hour A specific time after which a hotel may release all unclaimed non-guaranteed room reservations.
Cancellation Number A number issued to a guest who properly cancels a room reservation, proving that a cancellation was received and acted upon.
Canteen A type of business and industrial food service that includes mobile or portable on-street catering.
Capsule Hotel A (primarily Japanese) hotel system of extremely dense occupancy. Guest space is reduced in size to a modular fibreglass or plastic block, approximately 2 x 1 x 1.25 m, providing just enough room to sleep. These capsules are stacked side by side and two units top to bottom, with steps providing access to the second level rooms. Privacy is ensured by a curtain or a fibreglass door at the open end of the capsule. Most capsules include entertainment facilities such as a television, an electronic console, and wireless Internet connection. Washrooms are communal and most hotels include restaurants, or at least vending machines, pools, and other facilities. This style of hotel accommodation was developed in Japan, although Western variants with larger accommodations and often private bathrooms are being developed in Kuala Lumpur, London, New York and Amsterdam.
Card Key A plastic card, resembling a credit card, which is used to open a guestroom door in place of a metal key. Card keys require electronic locks.
Casino Hotel A hotel that features gambling, with the hotel operation secondary to the gambling operation.
Catering Manager A hotel manager who promotes and sells a hotel’s banquet facilities and uses their expertise to plan, organise, and carry out hotel banquets.
Central Reservation System (CRS)An external reservation network, which allows guests to make a reservation for one hotel out of a number by contacting one agency. The CRS is contracted by the hotels acting as a group, to operate a ‘central’ reservation service.
Chain Operating Company A firm that operates several properties, such as Hilton Hotels Corporation or Holiday Inn Worldwide. Such an operator provides both a reservation system and a trademark as an integral part of the management of its managed properties.
Check-In The procedures for a hotel guest’s arrival and registration.
Check-Out(1) A room status term indicating that the guest has returned their room keys, the settled account, and left the property (2) The procedures for a guest’s departure and the settling of their account.
Chef de Partie The chef in charge of a particular food production area in the kitchen.
Chef du Rang The employee in a restaurant who is responsible for taking orders, serving drinks, preparing food at the table, and collecting sales income. If the restaurant has no wine steward or sommelier, the chef du rang may also serve wine.
Children’s Menu A menu for children featuring simple, food served in smaller portions. The actual physical menu may also be designed to entertain the child: they may have word games, stories, or mazes printed on them; be shaped like animals; or fold into masks or hats.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Often used as part of a surveillance system on hotel premises, where images captured by cameras are streamed onto monitors and recorded on video or DVD recorders. Along with alarm and access control systems, CCTV cameras are used as a security measure, and provide security staff with a visual aid for monitoring visitors and staff.
Club Manager The hired professional responsible for guiding all of the elements of a private club’s operation.
Coffee Maker A semi-automatic or automatic machine that makes coffee and dispenses it into individual cups or into a coffee pot.
Commercial Agency A travel agency that specialises in commercial business and usually has little or no walk-in clientele.
Commercial Hotel Also known as a Transient Hotel. A property, usually located in a city centre or business district, which caters primarily to business clients. Commercial hotels tend to be busiest Monday to Thursday.
Commis du Rang The employee who assists the chef du rang in a restaurant. They may take food orders to the kitchen, pick up the food when it is ready, and take it to the cart at tableside for further preparation. A commis du rang may also serve food to guests and deliver drink orders.
Commissary(1) A centralised servicing area for mobile food service units (2) A central food production area from which food is transported to individual outlets for final preparation and service.
Complimentary Occupancy Percentage A ratio that shows the percentage of occupied rooms that are complimentary (and therefore do not generate any revenue). This figure is calculated by dividing complimentary rooms for a period by total available rooms for the same period.
Complimentary Room Also known as a Comp Room. An occupied room for which the guest is not charged. This may include a room occupied by a hotel employee. A hotel may offer complimentary rooms to a group in ratio to the total number of rooms the group occupies. For example, 1 comp room may be offered for every 25 rooms occupied.
Concierge An employee whose basic task is to serve as the guest’s liaison with hotel and non-hotel facilities, attractions, activities and services.
Condominium Hotel A hotel in which a customer takes title to a specific hotel room. Unit owners may live in the hotel permanently or use it as a second home. Depending on the management company, unit owners have varying degrees of access to their hotel’s amenities and services. Unit owners also incur budgeted maintenance and operating expenses. Depending on the hotel’s policy, unit owners may rent their units independently when they are not using the room or through the management company’s rental program and derive income through a revenue-sharing arrangement. The unit owner generally expects to receive a gain from the increase in value of the hotel over time, as well as receive ongoing income from the rental of their room.
Conference Centre A specialised hotel, usually accessible to major market areas but in less busy locations, that almost exclusively books executive meetings, conferences and seminars. A conference centre often also provides extensive leisure facilities.
Confirmed Reservation A written or oral statement by the hotel that they have received a reservation and will honour it. Confirmed reservations may be either guaranteed or non-guaranteed. Oral confirmations have virtually no legal worth, and even written or emailed confirmations have implied or specified limitations. For example, unless late arrival is specified, a hotel is not obligated to honour a confirmed reservation if the guest arrives after 6 pm.
Connecting Rooms Two or more guestrooms with private connecting doors that give guests access between rooms without having to go into the corridor.
Continental Breakfast A small morning meal that usually includes a drink, rolls, butter, and jam or marmalade. Better hotels may serve brioches and croissants. There are variations to the Continental Breakfast. Cafe com-plate refers to Continental Breakfast with coffee (or tea) while cafe simple refers to just coffee or tea with nothing to eat.
Cooling Degree-Day (CDD) A measure of the need for air conditioning based upon outdoor temperatures. Cooling degree-days are calculated as follows:
Daily mean temperature – 65°F (18.3°C)
For example, if the average temperature for a given day was 85°F, then that would be a 20 degree day. Cooling degree days can be added over periods of time to provide a rough estimate of seasonal cooling requirements. For example, the number of cooling degree-days in Florida is likely to be much higher than those in Alaska.
Corporate Hotel Chain Hotel organisation that has its own brand (or brands), which may be managed by a conglomerate or by the corporate chain.
Credit Card Commission A fee paid to credit card companies based upon a contracted percentage of credit card charges accepted.
Cruise Ship Passenger ship designed for holidaymakers. Today’s cruise ships feature a variety of entertainment and activities and can be thought of as floating resort hotels.
Dais A raised platform on which the head table is placed at a banquet.
Day Rate A special room rate for less than an overnight stay.
Design Theme A theme that has been established to ensure overall consistency in the design of interior decor.
Dessert Menu A separate menu designed to remind guests of the dessert items listed on the regular menu. It may also include dessert specials and list desserts not shown on the regular menu. Some restaurants may include dessert wines, cordials, liqueurs and brandies on the dessert menu.
Destination Club A niche market that most closely resembles country clubs in ownership structure, and targets the most affluent of travellers. Customers pay high initiation fees and annual dues, and in return, they can stay for weeks at a time in multi-million pound villas and residences in prime resort and urban locations and enjoy a full range of services and amenities.
Developer-Owner The owner of a managed hotel who either purchased an existing hotel or developed and retained the property.
Digital Video Server (DVS) A system that is designed for the hospitality market as a turnkey entertainment solution, providing guests with pay per view/on demand video, satellite/cable TV, on-screen guest information, games and Internet access. Televisions in hotel guest rooms can usually be linked to the DVS via a set-top box and are controlled by hotel guests using a remote control or wireless keyboard.
Dinner Cost The standard food cost for items combined to form dinners or other meals that are priced and sold as one menu selection.
Director of Sales (DOS)The manager of a hotel sales department.
Domestic TourismTravel within the traveller’s country of residence.
Doorknob Menu A type of room service menu that a housekeeper can leave in the guestroom, which lists the times that breakfast can be served and a limited number of breakfast items. Guests select what they want to eat and the time they want the food delivered, then hang the menu outside the door on the doorknob. The menus are collected and the orders are prepared and sent to the rooms at the specified times.
A guestroom assigned to two people.
Double Occupancy Rate A rate used that bases the per-person charge on two to a room.
Double-Loaded Slab A guestroom floor configuration in which rooms are laid out on both sides of a central corridor.
Double-Locked Room An occupied room for which the guest has locked the room from the inside with a dead bolt. Double-locked rooms cannot be accessed by a room attendant using a standard passkey.
Early Arrival A guest who arrives at the property before the date or specified time of their reservation.
Ecotourism Low-impact tourism that avoids harming the normal or natural environment. In this relatively new approach to promoting protection, as well as enjoyment, of the environment, tourists seek out tours or holidays which, in some way, improve or add to their knowledge of an environment and/or environmentally-sensitive travel.
English Breakfast A more elaborate breakfast style than Continental. A typical English breakfast may include:
- stewed fruit (prunes, pears, apples, figs)
- chilled fruit juices (orange, pineapple, tomato, grapefruit)
- cereals (porridge, cornflakes)
- eggs (poached, boiled, scrambled, fried, omelettes) – served with grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, fried potatoes.
- fish (smoked haddock, kippers)
- meat (sausages, bacon, kidney)
- breads (toast, rolls, brioche, croissant)
- preserves (jam, marmalade, honey)
- beverage (tea, coffee, hot chocolate)
English Service A style of restaurant service in which food is brought on platters by the waiter and is shown to the host for approval. The waiter then places the platters on the tables. After initially being assisted by the waiters, the guests then help themselves.
Executive Floor A floor of a hotel that offers exceptional service to business and other travellers.
Executive Housekeeper The person in charge of a housekeeping department in a hotel. The executive housekeeper is a member of the management team.
Expected Arrival/Departure Report A daily report that shows the number and names of guests expected to arrive with reservations, along with the number and names of guests expected to depart.
Expediter A staff member who acts as a communication link between servers and kitchen personnel. Servers give their orders to the expediter, who calls the orders to the appropriate kitchen stations. The expediter must provide leadership during hectic rush periods. They must also know cooking times and coordinate them to sequentially deliver cooked foods for pickup.
Extended Stay A hotel category comprised of properties that focus on attracting hotel guest for extended periods of time. These properties quote weekly rates, and their typical guest may stay 4-7 nights.
Extended-Stay Hotels Hotel that caters mostly to persons who must be in an area for a week or longer. The guestrooms of extended-stay hotels tend to have more living space than standard hotel guestrooms, and may also have kitchen facilities. Guestrooms in these hotels tend to be less expensive than guestrooms in full-service or all-suite hotels.
Facilities Core physical features; for example, restaurants, bars, accommodation and meeting rooms.
Familiarisation Tour A reduced-rate, often complimentary, tour or trip offered to incentive travel planners, travel agents, wholesalers, travel writers, photographers or broadcasters, to promote a destination or a hotel.
Family Life Cycle A series of stages used to distinguish between types of travellers; variables used to determine family life cycle stages are:
- marital status
- presence and ages of children
Family Rate A special room rate for parents and children occupying one guestroom.
Family-Style Service A table service style in which food is placed on large platters or in large bowls before being taken to the tables by servers. Guests serve themselves and pass the food around their table.
Fibre Optics Pure glass strands that transmit light signals over long distances. Fibre optics are used in the hospitality industry for high-speed Internet access and hotel lighting.
Finish A liquid applied to floors that enhances the appearance of the floor and dries to a protective coating. Finishes come in wax-based or polymer types.
Flying Food Show A procedure for delivering cooked menu items to guests as soon as the food is ready. The first server to arrive at the pickup point delivers the menu items that are ready for service. The flying food show can only be implemented if order tickets show which guest at which table is to receive each order.
Folio The guest’s bill that all hotel and incidental charges are posted to.
Food and Beverage (F&B) Division The division in a hospitality organisation that is responsible for preparing and serving food and beverages within the organisation or property. The F&B division also includes catering and room service.
Food and Beverage (F&B) Manager The person who is in charge of planning, directing, organising, and controlling all phases of the food and beverage departments of an establishment.
Franchise The right granted by the manufacturer, developer or distributor to market a service and/or product in return for a fee. Franchises are prevalent in the fast food industry but are increasingly being adopted within the hotel community.
French Service Also known as Tableside Service or Cart Service. A style of table service used by servers for preparing menu items beside the guest’s table in the dining room. Menu items are cooked, and sometimes flambéed, in front of the guest.
Frequent Independent Traveller (FIT) A visitor who stays at the hotel on their own (as opposed to being a part of an organised group) on a regular basis.
Front BarA place where guests may sit down and order and consume beverages and that also serves as a work space for the bartender. The front bar is divided into two functional areas: the underbar (the bartender’s main working area) and the backbar (the back wall, for storage and display).
Front Desk Agent A hotel employee whose responsibilities centre on the registration process, but also typically include room status coordination, preregistration activities, along with message, mail and information requests.
Front of the House The functional areas of a hotel in which employees have extensive guest contact, such as the front desk.
Front Office An office usually situated in the lobby of the hotel, whose primary function is to control the sale of guest rooms, maintain guest accounts, render bills, receive payments as well as providing information to other departments within the hotel.
Full Pension A type of room rate that includes the price of the room, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Full-Menu Restaurant A restaurant that has more than a dozen or so main-course items on the menu, and cooks them to order.
Full-Service Hotel A hotel with a full range of amenities and services, which may include meeting facilities, fitness centre, onsite restaurant and lounge, pool, business centre, etc.
General Manager The chief operating officer of a hotel.
Glass RailAn area on which a bartender can set glasses while pouring drinks.
Global Distribution System (GDS) A network of Internet reservation systems that provide a central place where travel agents and travellers can check availability and reserve travel related products such as hotels, airline and car rentals. These systems are formed and managed by the airline industry and includes system such as Amadeus, Sabre, Apollo and Pegasus.
Group Pick-Up The guestrooms that are actually rented by a group that are held in a Group Reservation.
Group Reservation A block of multiple guestrooms that are being held under an individual or business’ name at a particular hotel for a specific date or range of dates. Generally used for conferences, conventions, weddings, receptions, meetings, and so on.
Guaranteed Reservation A reservation of a hotel room that is paid in advance, usually with a cheque or credit card. The payment is normally held until the arrival date or until check-out time the next day. The payment is forfeited by the guest if the reservation is not cancelled in advance.
Guest Account Also known as Guest Bill, Guest Folio or Guest Statement. An itemised record of a guest’s credits and charges, which is maintained in the front office until their departure.
Guest History A record maintained for each guest who has stayed at the hotel with a separate entry for each visit and details of rooms assigned, rates, special needs, credit rating and personal preferences. Guest histories are a valuable reference tool for marketing, reservations and credit departments, and are now more readily available through the increased use of computers and other technology.
Guest History File A file containing guest history cards, maintained for marketing purposes and is referred to for return visits.
Guest House A personal residence with a small amount of overnight accommodation. Guest houses typically provide breakfast, which is included within the room rate.
Guest Information Services Automated information devices in public hotel areas that enable guests to find out about local activities and in-house events.
Guest Ledger Also known as Front Office Ledger, Transient Ledger or Room Ledger. A ledger that consists of individual records (known as folios) of the hotel’s registered guests, providing the current status on guest charges and payments. The front office is responsible for summarising these transactions during the guest’s stay.
Guest Mix The variety and percentage distribution of hotel guests (for example, business, leisure, individual or group) who stay at a hotel or patronise a restaurant.
Guest Profile A list of the characteristics that a hotel’s guests have in common. This helps management to identify which market the property appeals to and which segments the property wants to attract.
Guest Relations The establishment of goodwill and personal rapport with guests through service and attention to individual guest needs. It can also include the entertainment of VIPs, the promotion of in-house services and products, and the handling of social functions.
Guest Service Directory A documented listing of all of the features of a hotel together with general and relevant information about the local community. Directories are usually provided within each guest room.
Guest Service Manager (GSM) Manager of the guest services department.
Guest Service Representative (GSR) Employees who provide check-in check-out, keys, mail, messages, and information services for guests.
Guest Survey A questionnaire completed by guests and used by managers to improve the operation and to define current markets. Managers may leave the questionnaires with guests to fill out or they may talk them through the survey.
Guestroom Control Book A book used to monitor and control the number of guestrooms committed to groups, by providing the sales office with the maximum number of guestrooms it can sell to groups on a given day. The remaining guestrooms (along with any unsold guestrooms allotted to groups) are available for individual guests.
Guestroom Key A key that opens a single guestroom door.
Guestroom Maintenance A form of preventive maintenance that involves the inspection of a number of items in the guestroom, repair of obvious small problems, and, when needed, the initiation of a work order for more substantial problems.
Hand Caddy A portable container for holding, storing, and transporting cleaning supplies. The hand caddy is typically located on the top shelf of the room attendant’s cart.
Heating Degree-Day (HDD) A measure of the need for heating based upon outdoor temperatures. Heating degree-days are calculated as follows:
Daily mean temperature – 65°F (18.3°C)
For example, if the average temperature for a given day was 50°F, then that would be a 15 degree day. Heating degree days can be added over periods of time to provide a rough estimate of seasonal heating requirements. For example, the number of heating degree-days in Florida, is likely to be much lower than those in London.
High Season Also known as Peak Season. The period of consecutive months during which optimum revenues, room/suite occupancy and average room rates are generated. This is often over the summer months, or school holidays.
Hospitality Derived from the Latin term ‘hospes’ – a guest. A term used in travel and tourism to describe the cordial and generous reception of guests, including welcoming, greeting and food-service.
Hospitality Industry Lodging and food service businesses that provide food and/or short-term or transitional lodging.
Hospitality Suite A room used for entertaining; usually a function room.
Hotel A large lodging facility that also often provides food and beverage services on site. Hotels often provide a number of additional guest services such as a swimming pool, fitness centre or childcare. Some hotels have meeting rooms and conference services and encourage groups to hold conventions and meetings at their location.
Hotel Chain A group of affiliated hotels.
Hotel Guest Cycle The sequence of events that begins with pre-sale activities, continues through point-of-sale procedures, and concludes with post-sale transactions. The phases identify the financial exchanges that physical contacts and occur between guests and various revenue centres within a lodging operation.
Hotel Management The professional management techniques used in the hospitality sector. These can include hotel administration, marketing, accounts, front office or front of house, housekeeping, food and beverage management, maintenance and catering.
Hotel Management Company A company that is hired to professionally manage a hotel (or hotels) for other owners.
Hotel Representative An individual or firm who offers hotel reservations to travel agents, wholesalers, and the public. A hotel ‘rep’ may be paid by the hotels they represent by commission or on a fee basis. Many hotel representatives also offer marketing and other services.
Hotelier The owner or manager of a hotel.
Housekeeping Department A department of the rooms division, responsible for cleaning the hotel’s public areas and guestrooms.
In-Room Beverage Service System A computer-based system capable of monitoring sales transactions and determining inventory replenishment quantities. Popular systems include microprocessor-based vending machines and non-automated honour bars.
In-Room Check-Out A computer-based check-out procedure that allows guests to access and review their bill, and to approve and settle their accounts in their rooms. The technology involves interfacing the guestroom telephone, the television, and an in-room computer with the property management system’s guest accounting module.
In-Room Guest Console A multi-feature phone that may include such functions as:
- remote control of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, television, and room lights
- jack for portable computer use
- two-way speakerphone capability
- theft alarm
- alarm clock
- energy management
In-Room Movie System Guestroom entertainment provided through a dedicated television pay channel. Charges for the use of this in-room entertainment are posted to the guest bill.
Incidental Charges Guest charges on a bill or folio for items other than room and tax such as; phone calls, food, drinks, movies, etc.
Inclusive Tour A tour in which specific elements (such as air fare, transfers, accommodation) are included for a flat rate. An inclusive tour rate does not necessarily cover all costs.
Independent Food Service Operation An operation with one or more properties having no chain relationship. Menus, operating procedures, food purchase specifications, etc. may differ among the owned properties.
Independent Hotel A hotel with no franchise or chain affiliation. It may be owned by an individual proprietor or a group of investors.
Inn A smaller lodging facility, generally with limited service and 1-3 stories.
Intelligent Hotel Properties that use state of the art technology systems for their operations. These hotels have replaced the traditional systems to reduce their energy cost and usually have integrated systems which join analogue and digital systems to achieve an effective communication in their hotels. The return on investment is reflected in the comfort they provide to their guests and the energy-cost savings.
International Tourism Travel people make outside their country of residence.
Kapok Natural plant fibre used to stuff solid mattresses.
King Bed In the UK, a bed 152 x 198 cm (60 x 78 in). In the US, one that measures 193 x 203 cm (76 x 80 in).
Late Arrival A guest who holds a reservation, but who plans to arrive after the hotel’s designated cancellation hour and has notified the hotel.
Late Charge A charged purchase made by a guest that is posted to the guest’s folio after the guest has settled their account.
Late Check-Out A guest who is allowed to check out later than the property’s standard check-out time.
Latex Mattress A mattress made of whipped synthetic rubber.
Limited Service Hotel A lodging facility that offers no or very few amenities, extra facilities or services such as pools, restaurants or meeting rooms. Inns and motels are normally limited service; these properties are often located near business areas such as cities, industrial parks and airport terminals.
Limited-Menu Restaurant A restaurant with limited services and a small selection of food. Limited-menu restaurants give emphasis to speed of preparation and delivery, making convenience one of the main reasons for their appeal.
Linen Room An area in a hotel that is often considered the headquarters of the housekeeping department. This is where the housekeeping employee normally reports to work, receives room status reports, room assignments, and keys; assembles and organises cleaning supplies; and checks out at the end of their shift.
Lodge A hotel that is normally small and often located in a rustic outdoors environment, offering activities such as; skiing, fishing, boating, eco-tours.
Lodging Facility A business that rents guestrooms to the public on a nightly or short-term range of dates, i.e. weekly, month to month.
Lodging Industry Lodging and food service businesses that provide transitional or short-term lodging.
Low Season Also known as Off-Peak Season. The consecutive months during which the lowest revenues, room/suite occupancy and average room rates are generated.
Luncheon A light midday meal.
Luxury Hotel A hotel with high room rates that features exceptional amenities and service.
Luxury Restaurant A restaurant that features fine dining and employs well-trained, creative chefs and skilled food servers. Luxury restaurants are generally small and independently operated, with more employees per guest than other types of restaurants.
Mass Tourism Wide-scale travel by a large number of people from all walks of life, brought about by the increase in discretionary income, leisure time, and reliable and inexpensive modes of transportation such as the car and plane.
Master Folio A bill that all charges for the members of a group are posted to.
Master Key A key that can open all guestroom doors that are not double-locked.
Menu Board A keyboard overlay for an ECR (Electronic Cash Register) or POS (Point of Sale) system terminal used in a restaurant that identifies the function performed by each key during a specific meal period.
Mid-Range Service Hotel A modest but sufficient level of service that appeals to the largest segment of the travelling public. This type of property may offer:
- special rates for certain guests
- airport limousine service
- uniformed service
- food and beverage room service
- specialty restaurant
- coffee shop
Mini Bar A specially designed small floor mounted refrigerator located in guest rooms containing a variety of snacks and drinks, with individual guest room key access. This amenity serves as a more profitable substitute for room service.
MOD Acronym for ‘Manager On Duty’.
Motel A smaller lodging facility, originally targeted to car travellers and therefore situated at roadside locations. A more contemporary definition would be a limited service hotel that provides accommodation only, with no other amenities. The properties then to be one to two stories with exterior entrance rooms that guest can drive up to. The word ‘motel’ is a portmanteau of ‘motor’ and ‘hotel’ or ‘motorists hotel’.
Multiple Guest Splits Charges that are to be divided among a group of guests.
Napery A term used to describe table linens, such as tablecloths and napkins.
Occupancy The percentage of available rooms occupied for a given period of consecutive time. The occupancy figure (expressed a s a percentage) is calculated by dividing the number of rooms occupied for a period by the number of rooms available for the same period.
Occupancy Report A report prepared each night by a front desk agent that lists rooms occupied that night. The occupancy report also lists those guests expected to check out the following day.
Occupied Room The use and/or booking of a room by a guest for the purpose of accommodation, conference or any other use that means that the hotel staff may not allocate the room to another guest.
Online Reservation SystemAn Internet based system used by hotels that allows prospective hotel guests to check availability and make reservations at the hotel online.
Out of Order A room status term that indicates that a room cannot be assigned to a guest. A room may be out-of-order for refurbishing, maintenance, deep cleaning, or other reasons.
Outside Air Air taken from outside the building and not previously cooled or heated by the building’s mechanical systems.
Overbooking A situation in which more room reservations have been accepted by a hotel than the property is able to accommodate. Hotels use historic no-show information to determine what percentage they can over-commit rooms. This practice is intended to enable 100% occupancy for the hotel. Hotels that use overbooking as a policy are increasingly being targeted by tour operators and wholesalers in an attempt to better control and minimise the serious adverse marketing effects which overbooking has for all stakeholders.
Overstay A guest who remains at the property after their stated departure date.
Package A special offering of services and products created by a hotel to increase sales. In addition to the guestroom, packages may include meals, the use of the property’s recreational facilities, entertainment, champagne and chocolates – all in one special price. Examples include honeymoon packages, weekend packages, or New Years packages.
Package Tour A tour put together by a tour operator, offering several travel elements that a traveller would otherwise purchase separately. These may include any combination of flights, airport transfers, car hire, accommodation, meals, sight-seeing, attractions or entertainment – all for an inclusive price. Travellers who buy the package make the trips by themselves rather than with a large group. A package tour may include more than one destination.
Paid Occupancy Percentage A ratio that indicates management’s success in selling its product. The paid occupancy percentage is calculated by dividing the number of rooms sold by the number of available rooms.
Plate Service A basic service style in a restaurant in which fully cooked menu items are individually portioned, plated (put on plates) in the kitchen, and carried to each guest directly.
Platter Service A table service style in a restaurant in which servers carry platters of fully cooked food to the dining room, present them to the guest for approval, and then serve the food.
Point of Sale System (POS) A computerised system that retail outlets such as gift shops and restaurants enter orders and maintain various accounting information. The POS generally interfaces with the property management system (PMS).
Porcelain A hard ceramic substance used in the hospitality industry for tableware and kitchen items. Quality hotel porcelain is normally dishwasher friendly and microwave/grill resistant.
Porte Cochere From the French: porte, door + cochère, for coaches. A canopy designed to provide greater visibility to the main entrance and protect hotel guests from poor weather.
Porter A person employed to carry travellers’ baggage at a hotel.
Portion A standard quantity of beverage or food served for one person.
Portion Cost The food cost for an item that is sold as a single menu selection. This figure indicates the cost incurred by preparing one portion of the menu item according to its standard recipe.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX) A private telephone network used by hotels to manage a certain number of external lines. The system enables guests to use their room telephone to make calls to external numbers, without the hotel having to go to the expense of installing individual lines in each room.
Property Management System (PMS) A computerised front desk system that deals with online reservations, guest bookings, point of sale, telephone and other amenities. Some property management systems also include payroll, back office and guest billing.
Proprietary Booking Engine An Internet reservation system that is owned and operated by an individual hotel (or group of hotels) to enable them to take reservation on their own website without paying a fee to a franchise reservation systems, third party booking engines or Global Distribution System (GDS).
Public Bar A bar where bartenders prepare soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, either for waiter-service or service by the bartenders themselves.
Puzzle In menu management, an unpopular menu item that gives a high contribution margin.
Quad Room A guestroom assigned to four people; this will have two or more beds.
Quality Group A group of travellers for whom the quality of their holiday is of principal importance. They want and are willing to pay for first-class service and accommodations.
Queen Bed In the US, a bed that measures 152 x 203 cm (60 x 80 in); this is approximately equivalent to a King Size bed in the UK. (although it is actually a little longer). The term ‘Queen Size’ is not used in the UK or continental Europe.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) An system used as an alternative to bar coding, in which specialised equipment is used to transmit data to an RFID receiver.
Reception Also known as Front Desk. A designated area in the hotel lobby with a counter where guests are received. This is the first point of call for any visitor or guest. Here, guests are registered, assigned rooms, given keys (entry cards) and checked out. The receptionists are responsible for dealing with customer queries, requests and complaints.
Regional Getaway Guests Guests who check into a hotel close to home in order to enjoy a night or a few days away.
Registration CardA form on which guests record their names, addresses, and other details (such as length of stay, method of payment, nationality, purpose of visit and car registration number) when they check-in. A space is also provided for signature, room number and room rate. Additional questions may be included as a part of the hotel’s market research platform.
Relocation Guests Those families or individuals relocating to an area who require lodging until permanent housing can be found.
Reservation A guestroom that is being held under an individual or business’ name for a specific date or range of dates at a particular hotel.
Reservations Agent An employee, either in the front office or in a separate department, who is responsible for all aspects of reservations processing.
Reservations Department A department within a hotel’s rooms division staffed by skilled telemarketing personnel who quote prices and available dates, answer questions about facilities, take reservations over the phone, and sell to callers who are shopping around.
Resident Manager The manager in charge of the rooms division in a mid-size to large hotel. In some cases, the resident manager may also be in charge of security.
Resort Hotel A hotel, usually located in a desirable holiday spot, which offers exceptional service, fine dining, recreational activities unavailable at most other properties, in a more aesthetically pleasing setting, than other hotels. These hotels are located in natural and attractive tourism destinations and their attractions vary depending on the region; some might offer tennis, golf, scuba diving and, depending on the natural surroundings, may also arrange other recreational activities.
Retail Travel Agent An individual qualified to arrange and sell transportation and other travel products and services directly to the public.
Revenue per Available Guest (RevPAG) The revenue per available guest. Hotels should consider not only the revenue generated by each room (RevPAR), but also the revenue generated by each guest, from booking to check out. This may include additional revenue generated by dining, recreation (golf, spa services, excursions and so on) and meeting facilities. RevPAG is often considered by a hotel when conducting their revenue management.
Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) A statistic used in the hotel industry used to measure revenue per available room. RevPAR is the key indicator of performance for hotels and can be broken down into two parts reflecting occupancy and rates:
RevPAR = occupancy (percentage of available rooms occupied) × average room rate per night. The figure can be used to compare companies but only if they have broadly similar hotels – i.e. similarly priced in similar locations.
Room Attendant’s CartA lightweight, wheeled vehicle used by room attendants for transporting linen, cleaning supplies, and equipment needed to fulfil a block of cleaning assignments.
Room Block A predetermined number of rooms reserved in advance for members of a group (for example, tour or conference).
Room Data Card A card used to record information concerning the major elements and basic characteristics of an individual guestroom.
Room Inspection A detailed process in which guestrooms are systematically checked for maintenance needs and cleanliness.
Room Night One guestroom occupied for one night.
Room Occupancy Sensor A device that uses ultrasonic sound waves or infrared light to sense the physical occupancy of a room. Sensors have the ability to turn on appliances and devices such as air conditioning, heating and lights whenever a guest enters a room, and to turn these appliances and devices off when the guest leaves.
Room RackA card index system that is continually updated to reflect vacant and occupied rooms. In the evening, the room rack will only contain forms for registered guests remaining for the night who are to be charged for rooms. A daily room report can be prepared from the room rack.
Room RateThe price a hotel charges for overnight accommodation.
Room Revenue Total room revenue generated from the rental of rooms.
Room Service The department within a food and beverage (F&B) division that is responsible for delivering food or drinks to guests in their rooms. The department may also be responsible for preparing the food and drinks.
Room Service Menu A menu offered by hotels and other lodging properties that serve food to guests in the room. As it is difficult to maintain food quality while transporting the food to the guest, room service menus usually offer a limited number of items.
Room Status Information about current and future availability of rooms in a hotel. Information about availability data which extends several days into the future is important because it may affect the length of stay of in-house guests. Current availability is determined through housekeeping data, whilst future availability is determined through reservations data.
Room Status Discrepancy A situation in which the room status information that guides the front desk employee in assigning rooms to guests differs from the housekeeping department’s description of a room’s status. Discrepancies can seriously affect a property’s ability to satisfy guests and maximise room revenue.
Rooming List A list of the guests who will occupy reserved accommodations.
Rooms Activity Forecast Information on anticipated arrivals, stay-overs, departures and vacancies. Managers use this forecast to determine staffing needs in housekeeping areas and at the front desk.
Rooms Allotment Report A report that summarises rooms committed (blocked or booked), by future date.
Rooms Availability Report A report that lists, by room type, the number of available rooms each day (net remaining rooms in each category).
Rooms Checklist A list of all the items in the guestroom with a brief notation opposite each item of the type of inspection, repair, adjustments, lubrication, or cleaning activity to be performed.
Rooms Discrepancy Report A report that notes any variances between housekeeping and front desk room status updates. It often alerts management to investigate the possibility of sleepers.
Rooms Division The largest, and usually most profitable, division in a hotel. The rooms division typically consists of four departments:
- front office
- uniformed service
Rooms History Report A computer-based report that depicts the use and revenue history of each room by room type. This report is particularly useful to those properties that use an automatic room assignment function.
Rooms Management Module A front office application of a computer-based property management system. The module:
- assists in the assignment of rooms during registration
- maintains up-to-date information on the status of rooms
- helps coordinate various guest services
Rooms Productivity Report A report that ranks room types by percentage of occupancy and/or by percentage of total rooms revenue.
Rooms Sold The number of rooms sold (excludes complimentary rooms).
Rooms Status Report A report that indicates the current status of rooms according to housekeeping designations, such as:
- clean and ready for inspection
Russian Service An elaborate silver service where the food is portioned and carved by the waiter in full view of the guests. The principle involved is to have whole joints, poultry, game and fish elaborately dressed and garnished, presented to guests and carved and portioned by the waiter. Display and presentation are a major part of this service.
Ryokan Traditional Japanese lodging facilities (similar to a bed and breakfast) featuring landscaped gardens, communal baths, and tatami mat floors.
Safety Deposit Boxes Individual boxes located either in a central, secure, and supervised location or in individual guest rooms, provided for the safekeeping of guest valuables.
Service Bar A relatively small bar where bartenders prepare beverages for servers to present to guests. Guests typically do not order or pick up their own beverages.
Service Charge A percentage of the bill (usually 10-20%) added to the guest charge for distribution to service employees in lieu of direct tipping.
Service Station A small work island located in a hotel’s dining room.
Serving The control point in which finished menu items are transferred from the production department to guests.
Shift Manager The manager in charge of a hotel during a period of time, usually a 6-8-hour shift.
Shoulder Season The period between high (peak) and low (off-peak) season.
Side-By-Side Suite A suite that consists of two small bays, each with windows to the outside.
Sidestand A service stand that holds supplies of condiments, tableware, ice, dairy products, and some beverages for easy access.
Sidework Setup and clean-up work that must be done before and after dining rooms are opened. Examples include filling salt and pepper shakers, and restocking server supply stations.
Silence Cloth Oilcloth or other padded material placed under a tablecloth in a restaurant to absorb noise.
Single Bed Also known as King Single in the US. A bed approximately 91 x 191 cm (36 x 75 in).
SkipperA hotel guest who leaves without paying.
Sleeper A vacant room that is believed to be occupied because the registration card or room rack slip was not removed from the rack when the previous guest departed.
Solid Mattress A mattress stuffed with cotton, hair, or some other material.
Sommelier A trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specialises in all facets of wine service. Their principal work is in the area of wine procurement, storage, and wine cellar rotation. They are also responsible for the development of wine lists and the training for the other restaurant staff. Working along with the culinary team, sommeliers will often suggest wines that will best complement each particular food menu item. A professional sommelier also works on the floor of the restaurant, with a responsibility to work within the taste preference and budget parameters of the patron.
Sous Chef The direct assistant of the executive chef and second in command in the kitchen. They may be responsible for scheduling, and filling in for the executive chef when they are off-duty, and will also normally fill in for or assist the chef de partie (line cooks) when needed. Larger operations may have multiple sous chefs, whilst smaller operations may not have any.
Spa Hotel A hotel that provides professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.
Specialty Menu A menu that differs from the typical breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu. Specialty menus are usually designed for specific guest groups or for special events. Examples include banquet menus, children’s menus and dessert menus.
Specialty Restaurant A theme restaurant that features certain types of food.
Split Service A food service method in which servers deliver courses separately. This form of service helps to maintain food safety and quality as each course can be portioned and served when it is ready, eliminating short-term holding in the kitchen.
St Julian the Hospitaller The patron saint of innkeepers, travellers, and pilgrims.
Star Ratings The star classification system is a common one for rating hotels. Higher star ratings indicate more luxury.
- No Category Hotels. These hotels include motels, cottages, bungalows and others with limited services. One Star Hotel
- Low budget hotels; inexpensive; may not have maid service or room service. Two Star Hotel
- Budget hotels; slightly more expensive; usually has daily maid service. Three Star Hotel
- Middle class hotels; moderately priced; has daily maid service, room service, and may have dry-cleaning, Internet access, and a swimming pool. Four Star Hotel
- First class hotels; expensive (by middle-class standards); has all of the previously mentioned services; has many ‘luxury’ services (for example: massages or a health spa). Five Star Hotel
- Luxury hotels; most expensive hotels/resorts; numerous extras to enhance the quality of the client’s stay (for example: private golf courses and even a small private airport).
Stayover A room status term indicating that the guest is not checking out and will remain at least another night.
Steam Tunnel Laundry equipment that moves clothes on hangers through a tunnel where they are steamed and de-wrinkled as they are moved through.
Studio A guestroom having one or two sofas that convert into beds.
Suburban Hotel A hotel that is somewhat smaller than a city centre hotel (typically 250-500 rooms), is usually part of a chain, and has bars, restaurants, and other amenities found at city centre hotels.
Suite A guestroom with a parlour area in addition to a sleeping room, and perhaps a small kitchen.
Suite Hotel A hotel whose rooms have separate bedroom and living room or parlour areas, and perhaps a small kitchen.
Table d’Hote Menu French: ‘host’s table’. A menu that offers a full-course meal at a fixed price. Meals on table d’hôte menus are set by the menu planner and guests are given few, if any, choices. In some cases, two or more complete meals are offered on the menu, each with its own price.
Table Service A type of restaurant service in which guests are seated at a table and waited on by food servers. Four basic styles of table service are:
Table Skirt A piece of linen that covers the sides of the table.
Table Top Display A portable display that can be placed on top of a table.
Tableware Eating, drinking and serving utensils used when setting a table for dining. These can include:
- Cutlery, such as knives, forks, and spoons
- Hollowware such as cups, bowls and serving dishes
Theme Restaurant A restaurant distinguished by its combination of atmosphere, decor, and menu, all of which relate to a particular theme.
Third Party Booking Engine An Internet site that provides a booking engine where a traveller can search a large number of hotels for availability and reserve a room. The hotels are not affiliated with the site and typically pay a fee for the business that the site generates.
Tour Any pre-arranged (but not necessarily prepaid) journey to one or more places and back to the point of origin.
Tour Operator An organisation or individual that puts together travel tours and sells them directly to independent travellers or groups, or through travel agencies.
Tourism Development The long-term process of preparing for the arrival of tourists. This includes all the services and facilities that serve the tourist, such as planning, building, and managing attractions, accommodation and transportation.
Tourism Enclave A self-contained resort complex that caters to all the needs of tourists who arrive as part of a tour or other type of package.
Tower A guestroom floor configuration in which rooms are grouped around a central vertical core.
Traditional Lodging A type of accommodation where guests pay nightly rates for suites single or rooms and have full access to the hotels’ range of services and amenities. Rates begin at ‘rack,’ but vary widely, based on time of season and week and nearby attractions and events.
Transfer The transportation of visitors between their point of arrival and selected hotel, and back again on departure.
Travel Club A type of travel agency that charges an annual fee to its members in return for providing packaged holidays at reduced prices.
Turkish Bath Consists of one or a series of hot, dry rooms, where hotel guests can bathe and perspire freely. The rooms are controlled at different temperatures allowing the guests to move through increasing in temperature possibly followed by a plunge pool, wash and massage and in some cases, a cooling and relaxation room.
Twin Room A guestroom with two single beds.
Twin Bed A bed size used in the US, approximately 75 x 190 cm (30 x 75 in).
Underbar The primary working space for the bartender. The underbar is the area of the bar that is in front of the bartender as they face the guests and mostly (but not entirely) below the level of the bar itself.
Understay A guest who checks out before their stated departure date.
Upgrade To move to a better class of service or accommodation.
Vacant A room status term that indicates that the room has been cleaned and inspected, and is ready for the arriving guest.
Ventilation The process of removing air from or supplying air to an interior space.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) A system used in the hospitality industry to allow users to send, receive and share private information or encrypted data over a public infrastructure.
Voice Mail A system that is part of the telephone equipment, which provides for hotel guests to retrieve a messages left by a caller.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) The technology used to transmit voice conversations over a data network using the Internet Protocol. VoIP is also known as Internet telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband.
Wake Up Call A telephone call made by front office to a guest room to waken the guest at a time requested by them.
Walk-In Refrigerator/Freezer A large fridge or freezer used in high-volume kitchens for storage of perishable items.
Walked Guest When a guest room is not available for a confirmed guest (i.e. the hotel is overbooked), then the hotel helps the guest find alternative accommodation elsewhere. This is known as ‘walking the guest’ to another hotel. Each hotel has its own walk compensation policy that the manager will follow during this process. This usually includes paying for transportation to the hotel and covering any difference in the room rate at the hotel the guest was ‘walked’ to.
Waterpark Hotel A hotel that offers a large recreational water elements such large pools, slides, multiple pools, or other water related amenities.
Yield Management A strategy or process that hotel operators use to maximise their hotel room revenue by achieving the right balance between occupancy and room rates that generates the most revenue.
Zero Call A telephone call placed with an operator’s assistance. Examples may include credit-card and calling-card, collect calls, and third-party calls.
Zone Lighting Lighting designed to facilitate traffic from one space to another.