Hotel Operations Terminology & Glossary Part B

• Buyout:

An arrangement in which both parties to a contract agree to end the contract early as a result of one party paying the other an agreed-upon financial compensation.

• Business Traveler:

Those who travel primarily for business reasons (often on an expense account to defray the reasonable travel costs that are incurred).

• Business Plan:

A written document that details an owner/manager’s strategy for operating a hotel.

• Business-format Franchising:

A popular form of franchising in hospitality firms; this approach to franchising involves a franchisor selling a way of doing business to its franchisees.

• Business Definition:

A description of the business activities of a firm, based on its products and services, markets, functions served, and resource conversion processes.

• Bundling:

Combining individual products and/ or services into groupings that are sold for a single price, usually lower than the sum of the prices charged if the same included items were purchased individually.

• Buffering:

Techniques designed to stabilize and predict environmental influences and therefore soften the jolts that might otherwise be felt as the organization interacts with members of its external environment.

• Budget:

It is a plan utilizing resources of all kinds, including cash, tools and materials, and labor, to operate the hotel in its most effective manner.

• Bucket Check:

Industry jargon for a systematic examination of guests’ folios to ensure the accuracy of guest information. Bucket checks typically include rate verification, credit monitoring, and confirmation of departure date and guest room assignment.

• Brownouts: Partial loss of electricity.

• Broker:

An entity that, for a fee, lists (offers) hotels for sale on behalf of the hotels’ owners and solicits buyers for the hotels it lists. Used, for example, in, “I know that hotel is listed with Joe Johnson, a broker with Mid-State Hotel Brokers.”

• Broad Environment:

Forms the context in which the firm and its operating environment exist, including socio-cultural influences, global economic influences, political/legal influences, and technological influences.

• Broadband Communications:

A communications network that allows for simultaneous transmission of signals such as voice, data, or video.

• Break-Even Point:

The point at which a firm’s revenues exactly equal its expenses (costs).

• Brand Standard:

A hotel service or feature that must be adopted by any property entering a specific hotel brand’s system. Used, for example, in, “The franchisor has determined that ‘free local telephone calls’ will become a new brand standard effective January 1st.”

• Brand Proliferation:

Over-saturation of the market with different brands.

• Brand:

The name of a hotel chain. Sometimes referred to as a “flag.”

• Box:

Reservation term that allows no reservations from either side of the boxed dates to spill through.

• Boutique Hotels:

Sometimes called “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels,” they differentiate themselves from larger chain or branded hotels by their intense focus on the physical space through the design of their facilities.

• Bottom-up Selling Method:

A selling approach that seeks to sell an entity’s lowest priced items prior to the sale of its higher priced items.

• Bookkeeping:

The process of initially recording financial transactions.

• Booking Pace:

Often shortened simply to “Pace,” this term refers to the amount of future demand for rooms.

• Booking:

Hotel jargon for making a confirmed sale. As in, “What is the current booking volume for the month in the Food and Beverage department?” or “How many out-of-state tour buses were booked into the hotel last month?”

• Bonified Occupational Qualifications (BOQ!):

Qualifications to perform a job that are judged reasonably necessary to safely or adequately perform all tasks within the job.

• Bond(ing):

Purchasing an insurance policy against the possibility that an employee will steal.

• Board of Directors:

In publicly owned companies, a group of individuals who are elected by the voting shareholders to monitor the behavior of top managers, therefore protecting their rights as shareholders.

• Blood-Borne Pathogen:

Any microorganism or virus, carried by blood that can cause a disease.

• Block (Funds):

The amount by which a card’s available credit (if a credit card) or balance (if a debit card) is reduced; also called a “hold.”

• Block:

Rooms reserved exclusively for members of a specific group. As in, “We need to create a block of fifty rooms for Jan 17 and 30 for the Appraisers.”

• Black-out Date:

Specific days in which the hotel is “sold-out” and/or is not accepting normal reservations.

• Blackout: Total loss of electricity.

• Biometrics:

An individual electronic measurement of uniqueness of a human being such as voice, handprint, or facial characteristics.

• Biohazard Waste Bag:

A specially marked plastic bag used in hotels. Laundry items that are blood or bodily fluid stained and thus need special handling in the OPL are placed into these bags for transporting to the OPL.

• Bid:

An offer by the hotel to supply sleeping rooms, meeting space, food and beverages, or other services to a potential client at a stated price. If the bid is accepted, the hotel will issue the client a contract detailing the agreement made between the hotel and the client.

• BEO: Short for Banquet Event Order.

• Benefits:

Indirect financial compensation consisting of employer-provided rewards and services other than wages or salaries.

• Benchmarking:

The search for best practices and an understanding about how they are achieved in efforts to determine how well a hospitality organization is doing.

• Bell Staff:

Those uniformed attendants responsible for guest services, including luggage handling, valet parking, airport transportation, and related guest services. The tide originally arose because, in earlier years, the staff would come to the “front” (desk) to assist a guest when a bell was rung as a summons to them.

• Bell Captain:

The supervisor of the bell-persons and other uniformed service personnel; bb,: a proprietary in-room vending machine

• Behavioral Control:

A special set of controls used to motivate employees to do things that the organization would like them to do, even in the absence of direct supervision; they include bureaucratic controls, clan control, and human resources systems.

• Bed Board:

A board placed under the mattress to provide a firmer sleeping surface.

• Barista:

A barista (from the Italian for “bartender”) is a person, usually a coffee-house employee, who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks.

• Bargaining Power:

Economic power that allows a firm or group of firms to influence the nature of business arrangements for factors such as pricing, availability of products or services, purchase terms, or length of contract.

• BAR:

Short form of Best Available Rate.

• Banquet Event Order (BEO):

A form used by the sales, catering, and food production areas to detail all requirements for a banquet. Information provided by the banquet client is summarized on the form, and it becomes the basis for the formal contract between the client and the hotel.

• Banquet:

A food and/or beverage event held in a function room.

• Balance Sheet:

An official financial listing of assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity.

• Backup Systems:

Redundant hardware and/or software operated in parallel to the system it serves. Used in times of failure or power outages, these are often operated by battery systems. For example, a backup system to the hotel’s telephones would enable outside calling even if the main digital telephone system were to shut down.

• Backup Generator:

Equipment used to make limited amounts of electricity on-site. Utilized in times of power failure or when the hotel experiences low supply from the usual provider of electricity.

• Back to Back:

A sequence of consecutive group departures and arrivals usually arranged by tour operators so rooms are never vacant; bb., a floor plan design that brings the piping of adjacent bath into a common shaft.

• Backsourcing:

When firms bring an outsourced service or good back in-house, often because costs have begun to rise in contrast to the primary benefit of outsourcing.

• Back of the House:

The functional areas of a hotel in which personnel have little or no direct guest contact, such as engineering, accounting, and personnel.

• Back Office System:

The accounting system used by the controller to prepare the hotel’s financial documents such as the balance sheet, income statement, and so on.

• Back Office Applications:

Computer software designed for specific back office uses. Typical back office applications include accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll accounting, and financial reporting modules.

• Back Office Accounting:

The process of summarizing and documenting the financial activities and condition of the entire hotel.

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