Operational and functional departments within a hospitality business

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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. 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

Housekeeping department

This 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 ensure that cooking of foods takes place in a hygienic environment and the food safety rules are followed strictly and appropriately.

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 to 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.

Functional departments of a hotel

Marketing department

Marketing is about understanding and satisfying customer requirements profitably (CIM, 2019). 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. The article ‘Definition and nature of marketing’ provides more information on the concept of marketing.

HR department

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 of 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.

Purchase 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, 2019).

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Last update: 30 September 2019


CIM (2019) What is marketing? Available at: https://www.cim.co.uk/qualifications/get-into-marketing/ (accessed 25 September 2019)

Graduate Prospect Limited (2019) Purchasing manager, available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/purchasing-manager (accessed 27 September 2019)

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.