Running a hotel is a juggling act, basically you need to manage reservations, deposits, check ins and people checking out. Over and above this you need to manage your POS (point of sale) system and integrate it into your customer invoices.
Then you need to manage your staff from your housekeepers to ordering stock and so much more. So the best place to do all of this is to use a good quality hotel management software program, giving you complete access to everything you need as and when you need it.
There are so many good hotel management software programs on the market; each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, so how do you know what to look for? Take your hotel into serious consideration what you do, what you offer and what you need from reports to orders and more.
With this in mind you are able to start shopping around and looking at the programs available on the market. Firstly reservations are a very important element. Without incoming reservations your hotel will close its doors, so you want to ensure any programs you purchase incorporate an easy to use reservation system which ensures you don’t overbook and have the ability to book your guests in with ease.
With reservations come deposits. Some choose to take the deposit there and then, while others prefer to wait until the guest arrives, taking full payment. If you take a small deposit to secure the booking, this will need to be reflected on the customer invoice. You will also want to have a way of checking to see which reservations have deposits and which are unconfirmed, enabling you to resell the rooms. This should all be easily accessible via your hotel management software.
When your guests arrive, there should be a check in sheet that they sign, before you hand the keys over to them for their room. This should be printed directly from the software, confirming their name, address, contact details and deposit paid. On here your staff can then add vehicle registration number and passport number, if necessary. This can be added to the program later when it quietens down and the staff has time on their hands.
During their stay, guest is hopefully going to eat in your restaurants and drink in your bar. More often than not, they will ask for any amounts to be placed on their room, for them to pay on departure. If you don’t have a good hotel management software program to do this automatically, it’s very easy for orders to get lost along the way. This means you lose money and your guests get to enjoy a cheap holiday experience.
The hotel software should integrate with your POS (point of sale) system in your bar and restaurant, enabling the person on duty to immediately transfer the amount directly to the room without delay. Then when the guest checks out, the amount is already allocated and showing on their bill.
It’s always advisable to choose a hotel management software program which offers reporting. This can be to see the upcoming bookings, the deposits paid, the current months sales, occupancy rate and it can also be used to see which rooms are in use.
These reports are not only helpful for your profit and loss statements, but they can also help housekeeping staff determine which rooms are checking out on that day and which of the rooms have guests staying. This ensures that all the rooms are cleaned correctly without any confusion.