Copthorne Hotel & Resort,
Bay of Islands
MCK Hotels Global 3
MCK Hotels New Zealand 3
COPTHORNE HOTEL & RESORT, BAY OF ISLANDS 5
About the history of the hotel 6
Build up 6
Strategical Build Up 8
Revenue wise 9
Target Market 11
Business Flow 12
F&B Department 13
What everyone had to know 15
Restaurant Manager 45
F&B Attendants 47
My work, any specialties 47
PM Reception 53
Night Audit 54
GM Job 55
MCK Hotels Global
The Millennium, Copthorne Hotels pls (M&C), the London-listed international
hotel arm of teh Hong Leong Group Singapore. M&C is a dynamic hotel group, which
operates a global community of hotels. It is the fortieth largest hotel group in the world
and is Singapore’s and New Zealand’s largest hotel chain. The Millennium, Copthorne
and Kingsgate Hotels is, global hotel company, comprising ninety one hotels in
seventeen countries around the world. In 2000 it was ranked as the fifty-ninth in the list
of “Britain’s Most Admired Companies”, an annual survey of two-hundred and thirty-
nine companies listed on the London bourse. 2002 Presented with “Preferred Hotel
Supplier of the Year Award” by RADIUS, the worlds largest travel management
company. 2003 ranked thirty-fifth largest hotel group in the world. Also have been
awarded the prestigious title’ Hotel Group of the Year’ by RAC.
Millennium Hotels is an emerging and exciting international brand introduced in
October 1995 with the launch of New York’s Millennium Broadway Hotel. Today there
are thirty-two Millennium Hotels in ten countries around the world. Millennium Hotels
are four star deluxe or five star properties in premiere locations in major international
gateway cities. The hotels serve international business and leisure travelers and offer
impeccable facilities and standard of service. Copthorne Hotels are four star properties in
major business locations or regional centers in the UK, France, Germany, New Zealand,
Malaysia and Singapore a well established European brand, Copthrone’s international
expansion started in 1997, and in 1998 the brand was introduced in Asia. Copthorne has
received a succession of major industry awards in recognition of its quality service and
distinctive style of operation.
In 1995 the CDL Hotels International acquired the Copthorne group of hotel, with
properties in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Millennium and Copthorne
Hotels plc was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. In 1999 Millennium and
Copthorne Hotels plc purchased the majority hotel interests of its main shareholder, CDL
Hotels International Ltd in South East Asia and Australasia, also the company acquired
the Seoul Hilton in Korea and Regal Hotels in the USA. In 200 as part of a capital
restructuring CDL Hotels International sold its shareholdings in Millennium and
Copthorne to City Developments Ltd (CDL). CDL Hotels International changed its name
and focus in the autumn if 200, to City e-Solutions Ltd, CES, a hospitality industry
solutions provider. Spearheading the strategy for CES is SWAN Holdings LTD
(SWAN), which is jointly owned by CES and Millennium and Copthorne, eighty-five
and fifteen percent respectively.
MCK Hotels New Zealand
New Zealand is not only the other side of the world, isolated from the main
Continents, it is not only an exotic Polynesian paradise, full with history and culture and
natural beauty, it is an aoristically well established country, basically living from tourists.
Aotearoa, the Land Of The Long White Cloud offers an unforgettable experience, the
unity in diversity, in landscape, in culture in economy, and in its people.
New Zealand has an unusual history of hotels and motels. In most countries of the
world hotels were developed earlier than motor hotels, motels, but in New Zealand
motels spread around before the first hotels became popular, so basically the big hotels
were developed from the earlier more successful motels, as foreign investors started to
see opportunity in investing their money in New Zealand. But because of this twist in
demand and history New Zealand has a really wide range of accommodation to offer.
The market is challenging. It is challenging because there are lots of motels offering
convenient accommodation on good locations and competitive prices all around the two
The hotels of the chain in New Zealand are leased and franchised. There are three
brands belonging to the chain and these are the Millennium Hotels, Copthorne Hotels and
The Kingsgate Hotels are mainly franchised and known for warm and friendly
hospitality for business and leisure travelers, marketed as true kiwi hospitality, and the
brand has traditionally dedicated conference team. In New Zealand Kingsgate Hotels
have been awarded by three stars, internationally they are about at the two, two and a half
Copthorne Hotels are located in big touristic areas, so they target leisure travelers,
groups on their superb locations, and they use the low seasons for conferences, not only
domestic conferences, but Copthorne Hotels have really strong international marketing as
well., they are basically in the middle range of the market. Within New Zealand they are
categorized as four star hotels, internationally more likely a three plus level.
Millennium Hotels can only be found on a few locations such as Rotorua,
Christchurch, Queenstown, where they offer luxury for discerning travelers. The
millennium hotels are four plus hotels in New Zealand, would be about four star hotels
The Manager Director of the New Zealand region is Mr. Tsang Jat Meng. Mr.
Tsang frequently visited our hotel, I can remember about three or four times, when we
were advised if working late night don’t be surprised if Mr. Tsang wonders around in the
empty kitchen making himself a toasted sandwich. He likes to feel himself home in each
and every hotel of the chain in New Zealand.
The Chief Operating Officer is Mr. Gordon Wilson, his responsibility to
coordinate through the work of Central Reservation, the work, and most of all the
budgeting of the chain in New Zealand. He preferred our hotel through the holiday
seasons, mainly Christmas and Easter.
The Divisional Managers are Mr. Matt Standing for Millennium Hotels, based in
Christchurch and also the Director of Human Resource in New Zealand, Mr. Scott
Wallace for Copthorne Hotels, based in Copthrone Central Christchurch, and Mr. Matt
Talpina for Kingsgate Hotels based in Kingsgate Rotorua.
The New Zealand Head Office is located in Auckland, 250 Queen Street. The
Head of the Office are Mr. Tsang and Mr. Wilson. The Head office deals with national
purchasing, central reservation (CRO), and international sales and marketing,
Information Technology and Help Desk, finance and payroll.
Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Bay of
The hotel has a premiere location not only in New Zealand, but I can say all
around the Globe. The building stands in Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, Northland.
Northland is New Zealand’s closest region to the Equator. Its climate is subtropical;
sometimes the region is advertised as “the winterless North”. There are over hundred and
eighty islands all around the bay, some of them deserted, some of them are in private or
government hands. This is a superb place to spend Christmas, since summer season starts
in November and finishes with March. In the summer the temperature gets up to 28 C
with a slight breeze from the ocean absolutely ideal for European tourists escaping from
the chilly European winter, but for New Zealanders from the Southern territories as well.
The Hotel is inserted, on a tiny Peninsula, between the bay the Waitangi River,
the Waitangi National Trust and the Waitangi Golf Course. From this Peninsula the
ocean view rooms have perfect panorama to Russell the Hell Hole of the Pacific, New
Zealand’s oldest town, and the first Capital City of the country.
Waitangi can be found about twenty minutes of walk, or three minutes driving
from Paihia, a well known and popular Holiday Resort, with regularly chartered busses
from Auckland, and a highly preferred stop of big International Cruise Boats. Waitangi is
about sixteen kilometers away from the closest domestic airport, which is in Kerikeri,
another historically significant town. For us Hungarians it is also interesting that in the
Stone Store, the oldest stone building of New Zealand, there are these boxes ’Doromb’
brought to New Zealand by a Hungarian gentleman called Zoltan Szilagyi in around
eighteen twenty to trade with the local Maori tribe, the tribe of Hongi Hika, who was the
most feared and well known Maori Rangatira, Chief. Waitangi is famous all around New
Zealand, and 6th February is Waitangi Day, Statutory Holiday, the whole country only
pays attention to what goes on in Waitangi. The reason is that 6th February 1840 in
Waitangi the Pakeha, European settlers, and the Maori Chiefs signed the Treaty of
Waitangi, where they accepted the authority of the British Crown, and till today this
Treaty is the basis of New Zealands legal life. Queen Victoria claimed sovereignty and
promised to the natives exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates
Forests Fisheries and exclusive right of Preemption from proprietors. The contents and
their meanings are again and again subjects of debates and protests. So the hotel is not
only situated on in the middle of beautiful surroundings, but also a historically significant
and for the Maori people Sacred ground.
Waitangi is connected to Paihia by the Waitangi Bridge over the delta of the
Waitangi River, the windows of the other water view rooms of the hotel open to this
sight with the bluff of Paihia and the houses of Haruru Falls in the background.
About the history of the hotel
The main parts of the hotel were built in some thirty-five years ago according to
the sign shown on the side of the main entrance. From the stories of the oldest and the
stories of guests coming back I have learned that at the beginning the hotel was run by
Maoris, if I remember well it belonged under the authority of the Waitangi National
Trust. The hotel ran basically ineffectively, needed refurbishment, didn’t have any pool
and had fewer rooms. Some ten years ago the Singapore based Copthorne Hotels bought
the Hotel, saw a good business possibility and from the highly unprofitable hotel with
hard work they made an investment that brought the most profit in a depressing times,
from tourism point of view, when everyone feared Terrorists and the SARS virus. This
could only be done by refurbishing the hotel about five years ago, and changing to
management that knew the importance of balancing out seasonality by conferencing, and
keep the hotel on maximum occupancy by inviting large number of tour groups. Without
the tight control of expenses, and the profit oriented Asian investors it could have never
been done and the hotel would never have to face the situation where the biggest problem
is to meet the ever-growing demand.
The Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands can offer hundred and forty-five
rooms. The rooms are located in six wings, three wings have direct view to the bay, these
are the odd room numbers in the one-hundred, Hibiscus, the two-hundred, Seaspray, and
the three-hundred, Seaspray, wings, the rooms of the six-hundred, Waitangi, wings and
the even room numbers in the Seaspray wings have view partially to the bay and to the
Waitangi River. All the other rooms have view to the green gardens with exotic bird life
and plants, in peace and quiet.
The hotel has seven suites in it, room number hundred nineteen, hundred and
thirty five, two-hundred and fifty one, three-hundred and thirty seven, three-hundred and
nineteen looking over the bay, and room four-and five-hundred and nineteen looking
over the gardens. The Waitangi wing hasn’t got a suite. There are few family rooms,
interconnecting rooms, and room number four-hundred and two is a room designed for
guests with wheelchair. The Seaspray and the Waitangi wings can be approached from
reception in the building by walking through the bottom section of the Waitangi
Restaurant and the Upper level of Seaspray wing is on the first floor above the second
half of the two hundred wing, to reach the other three wings, Hibiscus, Pohutukawa and
Kowhai wings, you have to go outside through the car park or the garden area.
The center area of the hotel is the Reception and the Restaurant with the Bar; they
are separated from each other by leveling. The guests walk into the building through the
main door to Reception.
If the guests go forward to the right from Reception they can get to the
Restaurant, but just before reaching the Restaurant they can turn left, go down three steps
to reach the Café Bar. They can also reach the Café Bar by going in the door left from
Reception through the House Bar, which was the original hotel and in the recent past has
been used mainly through the winter months, because there is a big fire place giving cozy
ambience to the room. The House Bar gave place to the huge Television screen that had
to be turned onto the Sport channel set on low, unless guests wished otherwise.
The Restaurant has four large sections that could also be divided into smaller
ones. The main section of the Restaurant is the so called Section One and Two together
with the Railings. This area is basically located around, to the front, left and right side of
The Rangatira Room (meaning Chief in Maori) was used as a function room
when I arrived last September. Shortly, by the beginning of the summer season, it was
turned into a part of the Restaurant by opening up its walls and building a set of sliding
wooden doors to give a better usage of the place and to give opportunity to be able to seat
more guests during the busy summer season, or to use only this part of the Restaurant in
the quieter winter season. Still closed down it can be used as conference venue seating
forty in Theatre style, twenty Classroom style, and can give space for fifty at a cocktail
party or forty at a banquet. The lower section of the Restaurant, as we called it
‘Downstairs’ was used for the guests staying in the two-, three- and six hundred wings to
get to their rooms, but when we were really busy, we did have to set up tables down there
as well. We could squeeze about six tables with about thirty two seats, but that was the
maximum. In the summer season we also used the outside area, basically for barbecued
buffet, to ease up the tension on the inside areas, and to still maximize the revenue
Straight to the right from Reception on the right side of the corridor the offices
can be found. The first door is the office of Maintenance and Front Office, next one is
Payroll and Administration, then the office of the General Manager, then Sales and
Marketing together with Conference Manager, the last door is the Food and Beverage
At the end of the corridor to the there are two doors, one leads to Treaty Room I
the one to the right leads to Treaty Room II, and the one on the right side of the corridor
leads to Treaty Room III. The Treaty Rooms are function rooms primarily, but when we
did the refurbishment of the Restaurant we had the Restaurant operating in Treaty Room
II and seated hundred guests. Treaty Room I and II can be opened into one large
conference venue for Cocktail Parties and big conferences or weddings. If needed for
example for catering, Treaty Room III can also be opened up towards the other function
rooms. Treaty I can seat hundred and eighty, Theatre Style, hundred Classroom style, can
give space for hundred and fifty pax for Cocktail party, and hundred at a Banquet, and
Treaty II seats hundred and fifty Theatre style, Sixty Classroom style, and can give space
for hundred and then for eighty pax at a Cocktail, or Banquet set up. In the mean time if
the two rooms are opened up into one they seat three hundred Theatre style, hundred and
sixty pax Classroom style, and three hundred have space at a Cocktail set up, or two-
hundred at a Banquet set up. Now Treaty II is the smallest venue from the Treaty Rooms
it can seat ten people Theatre style, ten Classroom style, and twenty people can have a
smaller Cocktail set up if wanted.
From the smallest to the largest function venue of the hotel, this is the building of
Waitaha. Waitaha is an architecturally separated building from the hotel, it used to be an
old pub, pizzeria, but after a little renovation it became the largest venue of the hotel.
Around this time of the year, in September the Warehouse company organizes a big party
for its good workers with a big feast, beer on tap. At this time we have about four
hundred people sitting in Waitaha. We advertise this conference venue as Waitaha
Conference and Events Center that overlooks the Waitangi Harbor with natural lighting
and superb views. WE refer to it as a Plenary Room that can accommodate up to five
hundred people, a Dining and Function Room where up to three hundred and twenty
people can dine in comfort, highlighting large dance floor. The space can also be used as
an Exhibition Hall, conveniently located close to the Hotel Treaty Rooms, where for
example conference sponsors can enjoy a light and spacious venue that will allow them
to get added value from their support, and what is really important that Waitaha has
drive-in access that allows vehicles up to two meters in height to drive into the building
for various purposes.
Store rooms, kitchen, fridge, maintenance and housekeeping are located in the
area surrounded by the six-hundred wing, the Restaurant and the offices together with the
In the garden area our gusts can use the tennis court, or the pools in front of the
one-hundred wing and the Café Bar, or the Spa Pool right in front of the House Bar.
The Hotel has another really important feature, and this is the wharf. The
Waitangi Yacht Club is just at the tip of the Peninsula, the hotel is situated in, and they
share a wharf with the hotel. Well, this wharf gives a better accessibility to and from the
hotel to other parts of this beautiful bay. Local Cruise and Ferry companies regularly
make a stop at this wharf, picking up and dropping off passengers, which is really good
for the hotel. This also gives possibility to organize a cruise, as a unique experience for
our conference guests, of course with snacks and drinks on board. Now this also gives
opportunity for the passengers of the International Cruise Boats to come and have a drink
or a nice meal on the land, in our nice garden section, if they wish so, and the floor won’t
be moving underneath of them for sure!
Strategical Build Up
The Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands is Managed Generally by Mr.
David Perk, Front Office Manager is Mr. Adam Clarke, Food & Beverage Manager is Ms
Deborah March, Executive Housekeeper is Ms Linda Kirby, Reservation Manager is Ms
Michelle Heather, Hotel Administrator is Ms Kaye Zimmerman, Conference Manager is
Ms Kate Claydon, Executive Chef is Mr. Evert Van Berkel, Purchasing Manager is Mr.
Aubrey White, Chief Engineer is Mr. Vaughan Davies, Sales and Marketing Manager is
Ms Vanessa Harris. The Manager of the Waitangi Restaurant was Mr. Glen Cook at the
time when I arrived, and from March was Shaun Dobbs till a week after I have resigned,
as far as I know right now Ms Deborah March and the Restaurant Supervisors together
are running the Waitangi Restaurant the Café Bar and the everyday Functions, the
Conference Manager Ms Kate Claydon helps as well.
Copthorne Hotels owns the Waitangi Motel as well, a totally different
accommodation type, which gives place for some workers of the hotel and for the public
as well, close to budget level. The Motel is managed by Janet Van Berkel. Also the Hotel
rents the buildings of Staff Quarters, situated on the other side of the Golf Course right
next to the hotel. This is run by Virginia and John Mokomoko; they also work in the
Hotel in Housekeeping and Maintenance.
The number of employees varies according to season. In low season mainly locals
are working in every territories of the hotel, but in the high, summer season mainly
foreign labor is employed in Housekeeping, Food and Beverages. There are two ways of
employing young foreigners in New Zealand. The government has signed agreements
with a few countries which is called Working Holiday Program. This gives the
opportunity from these countries young people, I think under twenty five, to travel and
work in New Zealand, for about two years altogether. During this time the backpackers
are travelling all around the country and they live from working here or there for a few
months, and then they move on. to apply for a simple working visa, but I had to
have a support from my school in a form of proof that I am doing my practical
experience and that my legal contact with my school will end later than the planned date
of departure from the country aside of an offer of employment.
I have a list of employees from the late summer season, at that time the hotel
operated mostly full house.
Housekeeping had the Executive Housekeeper, an Assistant Housekeeper, a
Laundry Attendant, a Room and Laundry Attendant, and twenty-three Room Attendants.
Front Office had a Front Office Manager, two Front Office Supervisors, two
Night Auditors, four Front Office Receptionists, a Night Porter, three Porters, a
Reservations Manager and a Reservation Assistant/Receptionist.
The Restaurant was run by Food and Beverages Manager, the Restaurant
Manager, two Evening Supervisors, and two Morning Supervisors. The Waitangi
Restaurant employed at that time twenty eight Food and Beverages Attendants.
In the Kitchen other than the Executive Chef, there was one Sous Chef, Four Chef
De Partie and six Commis Chefs.
In the Food Managing Department the Conference Manager, the Sales and
Marketing Manager and the Purchasing Officer have no employees. The Hotel Engineer
had a Hotel Technician, a Maintenance Supervisor and four Maintenance
Assistants.Administration Manager was working by herself.
The hotel showed it during the one year I have spent there that it can work as one
team. The first time when I saw it was at the refurbishment of the Restaurant. While the
new Attendants had training during the day, the Managers, and Maintenance have been
painting the walls of the restaurant. From the General Manager till the Maintenance
Attendant, everyone was involved. Later on I saw once that the whole Management
sacrificed one Sunday to clear out the Dungeon of the hotel. Throwing out what wasn’t
needed, through out all the rubbish. Also the whole hotel was working when the
Restaurant had to be transformed into a beach. Everyone has been decorating, and
moving tables and chares, and to be hones, I have never seen such a cool beach indoor.
Usually from revenue point of view Rooms Division is the most dominant in a
hotel, and Food and Beverages only come 30%, well in this hotel thanks to conferencing
and the large number of groups the Food and Beverages Department brings in at least as
much revenue and profit as Front Office. In the Food and Beverage Department the
Conferencing brings in as much as the Restaurant, but they do it in different times of the
year, so basically department wise they Revenue comes in distributed somehow evenly
during the year, while Room’s division does lot better during the Summer, and has some
difficulties during the winter season.
The Profile of the Hotel is basically a friendly resort type. Guests are coming here
to enjoy the water, to learn more about the history and culture of New Zealand,
sometimes to get married, to celebrate anniversaries, or Easter, Christmas, New Years
Eve or Birthdays, Waitangi Day. Sometimes they come for business, to play golf or to
take part in the biggest fishing tournament of the country. This is the place where doing
business, taking part in a conference can be relaxing and because of the good
entertainment and hide away type of environment deals, courses and agreements can be
more successful. The Slogan of the group of people working for the comfort of the guests
could be ’Everything is Possible’, because if needed they work extra hard to make the
organizers visions to come true.
In our Conference brochure we try to show our guests that wheter their visit is
business or pleasure or a combination of both, the service experienced will leave them
feeling refreshed and relaxed, and that the marvel at the fantastic views, playing golf or
lounge in our spa pools will get them inspired to reinvent. We try to explain them that the
natural outdoor surroundings are continued throughout the resort in a way that is purely
enchanting and that this is the place to get out there. We assure them that whatever their
requirements from small business meeting to large conferences and banquets, they can
rely on our facilities and the commitment of our people to bring it all together, and that
by Revisiting because there are so many things to do, so many things to motivate and
reward, and so easy to keep their delegates together if the chose Us.
The hotel is a small hotel and because of its size it is a lot friendlier and lot more
direct than a big city hotel. We all are in good relation with the drivers and tour guides
that come to us, we have great and tight connections with local activity providers, and we
can arrange an array of fun and memorable activities, by being specialized in arranging
bookings and ticketing for all regional on and off shore activities. This is truly a place
where people can forget their worries in their free time, just hang loose, and enjoy. Sit
back and relax.
I believe that in the ambience of the hotel there is a place of improvement, as I
mentioned it before to my Senior Manager and the General Manager also, I believe that it
could add lots to the ambience of the entire hotel and its area, and from that to the mood
of the guests, if the hotel would chose a different color for its outside. Right now it is
chocolate brown but something more vivid color would add a bit of exotica to the
building, especially if some Maori motives would be used to decorate the walls. To be
honest this chocolate brown reminds me of army building, and I believe is not such a
pleasant if a person would like to go and relax for a few days. As I experienced the worst
was in the Seaspray wing, where the corridor is very long, no windows, and no paintings
on the walls at all. I have learned that there used to be paintings, but unfortunately they
have walked out the door, but I have a solution for that too, why don’t they paint
something onto the wall, the wall cannot walk out the door so easily. I think as Cultural
Tourism and Eco Tourism reaches Center Stage the hotel should use its advantages of
being in such a lovely and culturally rich surroundings.
Most of our customers are groups from basically Great Britain, Germany,
Australia and The Netherlands. They came with various travel agencies, like Journey’s of
Distinction (GB, AUS), Australian Pacific (APT-AUS), De Boer and Wendel (N),
Australian Scenic Tours (AUS), Collette Tours (USA), Off the Beat (GB), Studiosus (D),
Gebeco(D), AAT Kings (GB; AUS), Titan Tours (GB), All Ways Pacific (GB), C&E
Tours (D). Most of them do a two three weeks tour around New Zealand, and they either
start or end their journey in our Hotel. This is the nicest hotel up North, and because of
its significant location our hotel is s specialty in their trip. For continuos business we had
to make sure that we has as many satisfied travelers as possible from the groups. This
worked back and forth, if we made their trip unforgettable in the pleasant way, and if it
was their last station in New Zealand, they will take our, and the Travel Agencies’ good
name all around the world.
But these groups don’t come in the rainy winter time they prefer the so called
summer season, last year they started to arrive in September slowly, and they really
started to come around late October, November till about end of March, and the first half
of April. It still leaves good four to six months to fill up the hotel, pay the wages and
salaries, and pay the bills.
So, the other few months are flowing with conferences, functions. This is the time
of the big functions, basically local organizations and domestic conferences. The hotel
would love to try to attract foreign conferences as well, but Auckland is so dominant,
especially now that they opened a second large conference center with place for about
twenty-five hundred, thirty hundred participants, and the other one is just a little bit
smaller, big international conferences don’t really come to the Bay of Islands. It is also
far away from Auckland to the North, about three- four hours of driving. There is a
domestic airport about sixteen kilometers away, but it doesn’t really worth to fly from
Auckland to Kerikeri. We do have large conferences; the renovation of the building of
Waitaha gave a huge advantage, because the hotel could increase the size of the
conferences up to three-four hundred. We did have longer conferences, where three
hundred people had the hotel and its venues on their disposal; we didn’t have any other
guests. We had judges, we had the Warehouse Company, the Warehouse Stationary, the
Social Workers, and we had Touristic Conferences, Political Conferences, and the
conferences involving the future of Maoris and so on. We had conferences on daily basis
as well, or functions, but these daily conferences were also going through the busy
summer season, because although the groups had our rooms, we still had our conference
venues unused, so we had to utilize them somehow, so we had conferences coming from
Auckland or from Northland only for the day. We also had a few weddings in the
Weekends. The two large palm trees outside in the garden right next to the water have
been the witnesses of many promises.
Because of the Golf Course we always had some golfers coming together, having
a nice private tournament during the day and enjoying the sunset outside in the garden
with some food and drinks made especially for them.
Friends, who came to the Bay to compete in their private fishing contests, came
for a few days and we prepared the fish they caught during the day, the way they wanted
The hotel also targets New Zealand families in Auckland or in more Southern
territories of the country. While it gets really chilly in the South Island around Easter, the
hotels in the Bay of Islands with still acceptable weather try to attract with special rates,
and Children eat for free, or half price, or only pay as much as the number of their age,
families with school aged kids to come and spend the Holidays in the Bay and fill the
It is really hard to attract the first time tourists to out Hotel and to the Bay of
Islands. The reason is that most of them arrive to Auckland, and head to South right
away, because there are lots more to see then here up North, they think, because there are
way much more land. From Auckland a traveler needs to drive about good four-hundred
kilometers to get to the most Northern Point of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea and
the Pacific Ocean meets at Cape Reigna, in the mean time they have almost the whole
North Island and Completely the whole South Island to discover. So what they do is that
they rush down to Rotorua and Lake Taupo, to the Thermal Wonderlands, saying if we
will have time at the end, we can go to the North as well. Of course they can hardly make
it back to Auckland before they plane is due back to their homeland. The companies
working with tourists in the Bay of Islands have to market themselves twice as hard
sometimes on the international market as other, more Southern parts of the country, for
example Queenstown in the South Island for which the Lord of the Rings was the best
The main characteristic of the business flow is seasonality. The summer is the
high season, and the winter is the low. However, the hotel tries to fill up its empty rooms
during the lower season by hosting larger conferences, for three or four days. These
conferences are mainly domestic conferences, but there are a few international
conferences as well, coming from the USA or Australia.
As the business starts picking up, the tour groups start to arrive, the domestic
tourists don’t prefer this location, there are too many tourists around. Although to be in
the Bay of Islands at Christmas Time is a question of Prestige, just like be in Waitangi on
the sixth of February. After March, the Tourist groups are looking for destination in
Europe, but the Hotel has to expand it’s high season, so it attracts tourists and
conferences from Auckland for the weekends, for school holidays by special Holiday
packages, for example the Bunny Package for Easter. But the region have dug up an old
Maori tradition, at he celebration of the Maori New Year, the Matariki, to attract some
tourists, and it has been promoted first time this year, and would like to make a custom
out of it, maybe even a Festival. Then in winter comes the very varying Conferencing
season. When there is a conference in the hotel it is full, or close to full capacity, but in
two days the occupancy can sink down to eight percent. Then there are two big Festivals
arriving to Paihia mainly, but because of the new Conference Venue these two festivals
tend to choose this hotel and its venue against the other previous favorites. These two
festivals are the Country Rock Festival and the International Jazz Festival. These are
about a month apart. About around end of august beginning of September it starts to pick
up again, the early pioneers of Tour Groups arrive, and some bigger annual conferences
are coming to the Bay of Islands as well.
The Food and Beverage Department contains not only the Café Bar and the
Waitangi Restaurant, but Conferencing and the Kitchen as well. I believe there is nothing
this department can’t do, whatever the guests wish for they try their bests to fulfill the
expectations, and even exceed them. Basically everyone in the Department is cross
trained, can hop into any other roles if needed within their Outlets.
No wonder that Mr. Perks, the General Manager, likes to keep a close eye on the
department, because it brings big money for the hotel, a nine-thousand dollar balance at
the end of a summer evening is not unusual and if we add to these the price of
conferences and prices of breakfast and lunches and what guests spend in the Café Bar
during a day, we are just about at the prices of the rooms.
Usually the relationship between the staff is good, and the mood is generally good
at the workplace. The staff overturns pretty frequently, and during my eleven months I
saw lots of different people working there, and actually there was only one occasion,
when a person could not fit into the crowd. As Paihia and the area is being a small
community, everyone new everything about everyone else basically, no secrets could be
kept, but this happens everywhere around the world in small communities.
The Kitchen worked with varying number of staff, The Kitchen hands often
worked in Housekeeping as well, but of course the crockery needed washing during the
morning service as well, so there were other employees as well. The Attendants tried to
be in good relations with them, it was a kind of mutual help from both sides, to maintain
the efficient work. Chefs are chefs, they are creators, they are allowed to be moody, but it
was good to be in good relationship with the Chefs as well, because without their help
and goodwill, the Attendants could not perform as good as they could if everything went
smooth in the kitchen. The Chefs had to be flexible as well, because their job wasn’t only
staying in the kitchen, but Carving the Roasts at the Buffet, and Supervise the Barbecued
Buffets, cater for A’la Carte services, or TDH services in large numbers, sometimes for
more groups at a time, and in the summer most of the times the Kitchen had to fulfill all
these requirements at the same time. This needs huge discipline and organizational skills
from the Kitchen. Above all this, the Kitchen had to move out of the physical territory,
and make up the dishes at the back section of the Waitaha Building, which meant that in
big Shams they had to transport the big trays and containers of food, and had to dish
them in the back area as they were ordered. And of course they had to create dishes.
The dinner Menu has been changed twice, when I was there and there were
seasonal special dishes, such as the Matariki Menu (this is an old Maori celebration of
New Year, in June- July, and traditional spices – Kawakawa Rub and Kinaki Kelp - were
used for preparing the dishes, according to those who tried them the taste was superb).
The menus always contained a great variety of Entrées, Mains and Desserts. The Entrées
included Seafood in larger variety, Oysters, Calamari, Scallops, Prawns, Soup of the
Day, some salads could also be asked main and Entrée sized, there were platters for two,
like the Antipasto Platter, or something that was unusual in the very last menu we had
Duck Salad as Entrée. But because of the large number of v Vegetarians the Chefs tried
to make sure that they have Vegetarian options, like the Aubergine Steak, or the Filo
Pastry Parsil or Field Mushroom, or other mushroom dishes. Of Course there were
Entrées for Meat lovers, like that Manuka Smoked Duck salad (Manuka is a type of tree,
really nice taste when smoking meat with it, and the Honey made out of its flowers is
famous world wide), or the Thai Beef. The Beef Eye Fillet can never be missing form the
list of Main courses, especially that the Chefs are masters of making it. Whenever my
Guests ordered this dish, they were always satisfied, no matter how did they like it, blue,
medium, well done, or just trusted the Chefs, they were all positive about this dish being
a great choice. But if they didn’t like beef, they could order Succulent Veal Cutlets, or
New Zealand Lamb Loin, Venison (another lovely dish), Fish Paella, or Salmon, Tuna,
Monkish, Tortelli, Chicken Breast, or even Pork, or vegetarians could order vegetable
Frittata - Spanish Omelet. Side dishes varied, from Gnocchi, through rice, Potato of the
Day, Shoe String Fries, Side Mushrooms, and lovely colorful Green Salad. Ad come my
favorites, the Desserts. The Individual baked Pavlovas with Wild Berry Sauce and
Whipped Cream on top was my absolute favorite, but the Apple and Rhubarb Crumble,
or the Apple and Pear Crumble were also really good. The Dark and White Chocolate
Mouse I have never tasted, but the respond from guests were positive. In an another
Menu we had Sticky Date pudding, or another favorite of mine, a must for Chocolate
lovers is the Filo Pastry covered Moro – like Mars – bar with Chocolate Sauce, or we
also had Blueberry Bruleé served with ice cream, absolutely fantastic! (Yes, I have
gained a few kilos while I was there.)
The Waitangi Restaurant is a self-functioning business capable of offering well
presented stylish food and liquor with speed, flair and innovation. It should not be
expensive, pretentious or uncaring. Its customers are in-house guests and potential casual
diners. We have the ability to capture loyalty within our hotel guests and our local market
place by simply being the best at what we do. Vital to its success is its total offer, from
the friendliness and professionalism of its staff through to the ambience of its
environment. Messages if its style emanate from the music played and when the mood
the staff creates and the correct temperature of the room and the service provided in the
bar and the restaurant. The restaurant does not offer complicated, expensive food, but
simply cooked cleanly presented, value food for money. The restaurant offers a larger
than life experience from its plates and glasses to its dining tables. These were the words
introducing the culture of the restaurant at our big Food and Beverages Training at the
beginning of the season.
As I see the Restaurant is really a self-functioning business, it fulfills a center role
in the life of the hotel, by bringing huge amount of revenue in. The hotel have no
separated Conference Department, the restaurant staff have to fill in for the Conference
staff as well, as operating the restaurant in the morning, during the day, during the
evening and covering a large territory, especially at summer time.
The guests who order food or drink in the Waitangi Restaurant or in the Café Bar
are mainly in-house guests, or people not staying in the hotel overnight, so called casuals.
They can be locals or guests of other hotels or motels who have heard about our
restaurant and its superb views over the bay and decided to give it a try, or locals coming
in for a special occasion, or conference delegates either staying in our hotel or only
coming for a session of the conference.
The restaurant is in monopolistic situation over on this side of the bay, because
the only restaurants that could be competition for the Waitangi Restaurant in style and
level of service are over in Russell, only accessible by the ferry or a long and dusty road.
This Restaurant can offer a great range of service throughout the day. It caters for
buffet breakfast, for Tea and Coffee breaks at conferences any time of the day, caters for
lunches at conferences, or for schools visiting the Treaty Grounds, caters for lunch time
snacks at the Café Bar, and provides different style and sized Lunch Boxes if required by
conference, or in-house guests, it caters for A’la Carte, Buffet or TDH (Set Menu),
Barbecue Buffet dinners for the Waitangi Restaurant. In addition the Food and Beverage
Team can provide any of these services at basically any locations within the territory of
the hotel, in any of its conference venues, or outside. The Team can even cater for out of
the hotel territory, as I mean for boats and as well as it was done not so long ago
transporting all of our food and drinks and everything needed for a party over to a
location in Russell and at the end of the night transporting everything back, it can also
work as fully responsible party organizers.
What everyone had to know
Whenever someone first started to work in the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay
of Islands, they had to fill out an about hundred pages of Health and Safety Booklet,
where the hazards of the workplace were listed, and solutions were given to avoid getting
hurt, and everyone had to sign that they have read and understood the hazards and their
solutions as well. They have been shown some extremely hazardous places, like the stairs
going down towards the back of the Bar, the service area, and for example the corner by
the swing doors of the Kitchen. But hazards included running, spinning machines around
the kitchen, usage on knives, the steam coming from Dishwashers and so on and so on.
Also the attendants had to read their Personal Development Files, and signed heaps and
heaps of papers about understanding different policies about Health and Safety, Sexual
Harassment and so on.
Then later on every Attendant is getting introduced to the service methods, and
table set-ups. There are different set-ups in the morning, and different for the each type of
evening services. The morning set up includes cups at about the place of the water
glasses, and there are only side knives, main forks, main knives and dessert spoons are
placed onto the tables. Mr. Cook liked it set up as normally, side knives on side plates,
fork on the left side of the napkin, and knives and spoons on the other side of the napkin
in this order, and the napkin was standing in triangular shape. Mr. Dobbs liked it without
the side plate, and from the left the cutleries were in the same order, but placed onto the
quadrangular folded leaning napkin, at about the place where the fork would be in the
previous set-up. For the evening we always put side plate and side knives onto it, on the
table placed to the left from the seat, and the other cutleries varied according to service.
For A’la Carte service, the Attendants only had to place a main fork and a Main
knife down, with the folded napkin in the middle and add on cutlery as needed, but for
the Buffet service a Dessert spoon and Dessert (same as Entrée knife) was needed, as
well as a Soup spoon by the main knife. For Set Menu, Entrée fork and knife was needed
as extra to the Buffet set-up. Food service was possibly from the right, because at some
tables were by the wall or the Railings, and it was impossible to keep this order, and wine
service (later in detail) was from the left. For the evenings as standard Water glasses and
White Wine glasses were place on the table in this order from the tips of main knives. If
there was a Buffet on during the night every table except those of operating with Set
Menu, were set up as Buffet Service and right after taking and A’la Carte order, the
Attendants had to adjust the cutlery. For Lunches the set-up depended highly on the
menu, what kind of menu did the organizers order. For Barbecue buffet and for meals
ordered in the Bar, Rolled Cutlery was used.
Everyone working in the evenings had to know how to serve Side dishes with
meals, the bowl of side dish was placed onto a plate with Doily, and service cutlery, a
main fork with spoon or with knife was placed into the bowl. I placed the knife and fork
variation onto the side, because the chance of cutlery falling onto the ground was smaller
this way. Also another issue with A’la Carte Service is the Finger Bowl. Finger Bowls
had to be placed onto the table, when prawns were served, where the guest had to use his
or her fingers, and to wash the sticky juices down, the Attendants had to offer a bowl of
warm water with round of lemons in it.
TDH or Set Menu Service
It was used basically at big functions and with groups. The tables of TDH service
were allocated to different Attendants. All dockets had to be written the same way.
Previously the Attendants agreed in Seat Number One, and the other numbers at the
tables followed clockwise. The Menus were placed onto the tables under the napkins
previously, and when the guests sat down, they had a look at the menu first. The Dockets
of the Attendants were made up in a way, that the Menu was written on every set of
dockets, all three courses, with a little space ahead of the dishes in the same line, and
plenty behind, and the courses were separated by horizontal lines.
So starting with Number One the Attendant had to take the order of choices, and
recording it by putting the Seat number behind the dish that was ordered, and take the
orders for all three courses. There was a technique used to make the Attendants life later
lot easier and it was that they circled the Seat Number of the Ladies, but this basically
helped, when only one person was doing the TDH Service, for a table of fifteen for
After taking everyone’s order at the table, the Attendant had to collect the Extra
cutleries, for example taking away the Entrée fork and knife if the particular guest
ordered soup, and take away the Dessert spoon if the guest ordered Cheese Selection.
These all will help the delivery of dishes. So, after taking away the extra cutleries, the
Attendant has to place the order up in the Kitchen, by giving it to the Coordinator, which
is at big function the Restaurant Manager, at smaller ones and at groups it is the
Supervisor or an Attendant, after summarizing the orders at put the Cover Numbers
ahead of the Name of the Dishes. The Coordinator then gives the White one to the Chefs,
and works from the pink or the yellow one, the third copy is not needed. The Attendants
have to take the orders into the Kitchen table by table, so that the Kitchen can get ready
easier. Only after the food orders were in, could the drink orders be taken, and this gives
time for the Kitchen for preparations, and while waiting the guests can consume the
previously onto their side plates placed fresh bread-rolls.
When taking drink orders at groups, the Attendant always have to get a Room
Number, Surname and Signature to the bottom of the docket, to avoid any inconvenience
at the end of the evening. Hopefully by the time the drinks have been delivered, or even
before the first Course should be ready, and the Attendants are taking out the orders by
Numbers, by the Numbers of tables and by Seat Numbers. And this is when the
standardization comes in handy, everyone takes part in taking the food, out, and at this
point doesn’t matter who had taken orders from which table, unless the orders have been
mixed up, but it happens, unfortunately quite often, that at big functions of companies the
guests like to change their places, and it is really hard to track down who moved where,
and ordered what dishes.
Serving drinks was another issue. The guests in the Restaurant could order beers,
shots, glasses or bottles of wines, spirits, cocktails, coffees and soft drinks from the
Attendants. With the orders the Attendants had to go to the back Counter of the Bar, wait
in line with the other Attendants, and could only be served after the guests. Glasses could
only be carried on a tray, however there was exception, and placed onto the table from
the right, unless it was wine, and the extra glasses had to be taken away, this was usually
the White Wine glasses.
Serving wines had two ways. The guests could order only one glass of wine, or a
whole bottle. Of course the standard was to pour the Red Wines into Red Wine glasses,
however sometimes the Bar ran out of them, so politely had to ask the guest if it was all
right for him or her to pour the glass into White Wine glass. The guests of course had no
trouble with that, on the first place they wanted to drink.
Every kind of wines had to be served from the bottle in front of the guests. In
New Zealand it is a really unfortunate habit that glasses of wines are poured already in
the Bar, and by pouring glasses of wine at the table the Restaurant showed to its
customers, that they are not getting charged a lot for some cheap wine, but they get what
they have ordered.
So, after taking the order for a wine, the Attendant has to transfer the order to the
Bar, so they can get it ready for the Attendant, while the Attendant can place glasses onto
the table if needed. Grabbing a long ways folded Clean Serving Cloth placed along the
lower side of his or her left arm and covering the palm, the bottle needs to be carried to
the guest. The Wine had to be presented to the guest, possibly from the left, and has to
introduce the wine, by telling its full Name and Type and the Year.
If the Guest agrees, the Attendant can open the bottle, or pour already, if the guest
only ordered one glass of wine and there was already an opened bottle from the particular
wine. The procedure of bottle opening is the following: professionally cutting off the top
part of the wrapping, screwing into the cork, and pulling it out firmly, till the cork is
almost out, and then unscrew the wine opener, and help the cork out of the bottle without
any noise. From the left pour a little bit into the glass, and let the guest taste the wine, if
accepted, pour to the guest or starting from the left clockwise, to everyone who would
like some and finishing with the person who tasted.
If it is a large company, don’t pour too much into the glasses, because it doesn’t
look good, actually looks pressuring for another order, if the last person/s would have
hardly, or actually anything in his or her glass. If there is any spillage ask for forgiveness
and with an easy hand-move clean it away with the serving cloth. A bucket of ice had to
be offered for every bottles of white wine served.
The Wine list includes local, and New Zealand Brands, such as Australian
Brands. Some of the main wine growing regions are Gisborne, Hawkes Bay,
Marlborough, and Central Otago. Some good brands are Montana Wines, Stoneleigh,
Babich, Church Road, Tohu (local), Saints, Corbans, and Robard and Butler (AUS). The
Restaurant offered a wide range of types of wines, like Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs,
Gewürtztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Noble Semillon, and the reds Cabernet
Sauvignon Merlot, Pinotage Cabernet, Chambourcin (at the beginning of the season),
Pinot Noirs, and blends, like the Shiraz, and different Port wines. Some popular wines
were Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir with the Riesling on the side, Lawson’s
Dry Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Tohu Gisborne Chardonnay, Oyster Bay Chardonnay, Okahu
Estate „Shipwreck Bay” Norhtland Chardonnay, Montana Gisborne Chardonnay, Robart
and Butler Chardonnay, Church Road Chardonnay, Danzante Pinot Grigio, CJ Pask
„Gimblet Road” Hawkes Bay Merlot, Church Road Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet,
Babich Pinotage, R&B Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Tatachilla Breakneck Creek Shiraz (
a real tongue twister) and Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port. The prices of the wines
ranged from six dollar fifty a glass, till nine fifty per glass, and from twenty eight dollars
a bottle till fifty eight dollars a bottle.
Now the Restaurant had delivered bottles of Sparkling Wine in two ways. One
way was to the rooms with a package, and it was the duty of the morning staff, or at the
tables if ordered. As in room gift bubblies were delivered in a bucket of ice, and a white
serving cloth wrapped around the rim of the bucket, tightened at the handles. The whole
bucket was placed neatly onto a main plate with a small sized serving cloth, and it is
ready to go.
For serving at the table the Attendant had to organize a bucket of ice, with serving
cloth wrapped around as in the previous case, and a stand from the Water Jug room, by
the way the Ice Buckets were kept in the Bar in a good distance on the other side of the
Restaurant. After this the glasses could be changes from White Wine to Flutes, and the
bottle of bubbly can be presented the same way as an ordinary wine. To open the bottle
without popping it, and shooting someone’s eye out, the Attendants need to get the tinfoil
wrap off, and un-tighten the metal wires around the cork. Hold the cork in the left hand
and the bottle in the right, and twist the bottle slowly a bit, and by pulling the cork a bit at
the beginning to loosen it, later the Attendant has to hold it firmly and push it slowly
against the bottle as the pressure try to push the cork out, and at the end just let the
pressure out in s small space in the side. Pour as usually by serving wines.
The Bar could offer a range of beers, New Zealand, Australian and European
Beers. There were two beers on tap and these were Lion Red (draught) and Mac’s Gold
(Lager), and bottled beers such as Steinlager, Lion Ice Beer, Speight’s 3 Star and Old
Dark, Monteith’s Original Ale and Pilsner, Black Black, Steinlager Premium Light, Macs
Ginger Beer, Brightstone Cider, Heineken, Victorian Bitter, Carlton Crwon Lager, Stella
Artois, Corona Extra, Beck’s. A few names from the list of Spirits are Jim Beam,
Southern Comfort, Coruba, Bacardi, Gorndon’s Gin, Bombay Saphira, Tanqueray,
Stolichnaya, Jose Cuerco Especial, Chantelle Napoleon, Johnny Walker Black Label,
Glemmornagie 10 Years, Drambuie, Canadian Club, Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, Remy
Martin VSOP and XO Special. Some from the liqueurs are Galliano, Amaretto, Sambuca,
Triple Sec, Cointreau, Dubonnet, Campari Bitter, Pimms NO.1, Vermouth Rosso, Bianco
Extra Dry, Ouzo, Tia Maria, Baileys, Kahlua, Suntory Midori, Malibu, Schnapps, Blue
Curacao, Créme De Menthe, Créme De Casis, Advocat.
But before serving anything at all, the Attendants had to be clear with the
procedures of taking orders. The appropriate way was to get a Service Plate, and place
the Docket-book onto it. When the guests arrive fill out the top row of the docket, with
the Table Number, the Number of Guests, the Date and the Name of the Attendant. The
time only needs to be filled out, when the taking of order has been done, and the docket
goes to the Kitchen and or to the Cashier. The Attendant needs to keep an eye on the
guests, and step in a good time, just when they should be about half we to order the food,
to ask the „What can I bring you to drink this evening?”, and the drink order goes to the
bottom of the main part of the docket.
After delivering the drinks and if the guests are ready to order their meal, the
Attendant can go up and take the orders. Entrée Courses go to the top, Main courses
under the Entrées, and a line between the two sections, and the Attendants usually don’t
take the Dessert orders at this point. Each line has to look like the following, the number
of dishes ordered, times the short code of the dish, for example Eye (MR) for a Medium
Rare Beef Eye Fillet, or Apple for the Apple and Pear Crumble, or GB for Garlic Bread.
The Attendant should not forget to ask for the Room Number’s of the guests, just
in case anything happens, and the Cashier does not have this information. Menus can be
taken away at this point, place the order on the White Docket for the Chefs, and put the
Yellow one onto the Rails, and give put the pink one into the slots by table numbers
behind the Cashier’s desk. Now the Attendant had to go and adjust the cutleries, and go
and serve the other tables.
If the Attendant had time, this adjustment of cutleries was a good opportunity to
talk to the guests, to entertain them. They loved the different Nationalities of the Servers,
and loved to chat about culture and life abroad and back home and such. About a couple
or five minutes after taking out the Main course the Attendant should go back and check
if the guests find everything all right, or if they need something else.
The Attendant can easily up-sell the Desserts, if after the main course takes
everything away that would remind the guests of the big feast they just had, and politely
ask them if they would like to see the Dessert Menu. A colorful explanation of dishes can
add lot to the results. After the dinner is done, the Attendant needs to ask if the guests
would like her or him to bring something else, or if the would like to see the bill.
If yes, then the Attendant needs to get the printout of the complete dinner from
the Cashier, put it into a Black Folder, and place at least two Mints besides (more only if
it is a larger company at the table) and a pen, in case the guests would like to sign it onto
his or her, or their room, and place the folder onto the table neatly, and closed, towards
the Gentleman, or the guest who was ordering, and leave them there.
Go back after a few minutes and ask them if he or she can take the folder away,
and thank them for the nice company. (This is also say “Thank You” if they have given
any Tips, but the Attendant should not look into the folder, just take it back to the
Cashier. In New Zealand and Australia tipping is not common, however even the local
Attendants were motivated by Gratuities.
The Policy of the Restaurant was that Cash tips could be kept by the Attendants,
but tips on dockets and Credit Card payments could only be received next day, and if the
amount that the Attendant received from tips during the evening exceeded ten dollars,
then ten percent went to the Kitchen, and ninety percent was audited as tip to the
Attendant by Night Audit.
Bookings were usually made through the phone, but sometimes personally. When
taking a booking the attendants had to make sure that they have noted the time of arrival,
the number of person, the room number, or if the were casuals, then some contact
number, and possibly find out what kind of service do they want to get.
Taking Room Service Order
A normal docket had to be filled out, but instead of table number the Attendant
had to put R/S indication that it was a Room Service, and necessarily the Room Number,
because without a Room Number the order cannot be delivered.
Because the flow of gusts depends so much on the season, the Restaurant has
absolutely different tactics in the lower season, than in the high summer season. First of
all in the lower season the restaurant only opened at half six, while in the summers the
restaurant had to be ready for the guests by six o’clock. This meant that the supervisors
and the early starters didn’t have to start at quarter past five, only quarter to six.
How to start the operation of the Waitangi Restaurant
First thing at arrival is to turn on the computers in the Restaurant and the Café
Bar. From the Cave need to grab a trolley with six serving cloths, 2 wiping cloths and a
pile of tea-towel. From the cave roll the trolley to the back of the kitchen, grab some
large blue bowls for changing fruits (peaches, apricots, pears, plums) on the buffet, and a
small bowl for refilling the Tomato Sauce.
Here we can find the fresh bread, in high season needed to grab eight packets of
white and eight packets of whole grain bread, place them to the bottom of the trolley.
Now had to roll the trolley to the bench in the middle of the kitchen by the huge can
opener, and place the bowls onto the bench, and had to pick up the room service orders,
that were placed outside onto the door handles by the guests by eleven o’clock previous
night, and collected by the night porter onto the rails.
Now roll a bit over, grab two plastic buckets for soapy water, fill one of them up
with soap, now from the other side by the end of the whitewash bench had to grab ten
heat proof plastic spoons and seven tongs, for the hot dishes on the buffet if we had them
out, and weren’t going with A ’la Carte orders for the hot dishes. Now we had to get two
big buckets from the area next to the black wash for the pantry which would help us
during service to get rid of the packaging of breads, milks, butters and Coffee and Tea
wastes while refilling.
As we arrive to the Pantry area have to unload the big buckets and grab the
ceramic containers of Orange-, Grapefruit-, and Pineapple Juices, that were prepared at
the end of yesterday’s service and check if they were filled up, and wiped down properly
(with staff turning over so quickly these things can happen), together with the bowls of
Peaches, Apricots, Pears and Plums covered with Glad Wrap, the bowl of Tomato
Sauce, also covered, the bowl of Individual Servings of Butters, the jugs of milks (two
Standard, two Trimmed) prepared and Glad Wrapped the day before.
Now we have a fourth Juice holder, but we have to fill it up in the Water-Jug
Room with icy-water, and grab four empty water jugs, for refilling the juices, and while
we are there, we have to turn the washing machine on. Now back to the Pantry we have
to prepare an Airport of Coffee and Airport of Tea for the Buffet if needed, and make
sure that all of the coffee machines are turned on, operation properly (by trying out in a
little cup). Also we have to fill up and turn on the water heater (stay with it in case of
overflow), it will help us when we have to rinse out the big pots during or after service.
Move with the trolley, roll to the service area, grab five side plates from the
nearby station for the milk and the Tomato Sauce in case of the person setting up the
buffet the day before forgot them. Drop off the Airports, if you have any at the closest
end (towards section two) of the buffet, and get the signs out from the middle of the
buffet from the first drawer on top, for the Tea, Coffee, Yoghurts and Milks. Put the Tea
& Coffee signs out, and keep the others on the trolley.
Now move on and place the juice holders onto their stands, and make sure that
their ceramic signs are placed correctly. Now drop off three spoons and three tongs at the
hot dish holders, also put down the six serving cloths. Probably the hot dishes are not out
at this time, so will have to come back at some point to organize them, unless Chef does
it, it depends on their mood. Now place the Tomato Sauce down at the corner between
the place of the hot dishes and the bread baskets, make sure it has a side plate underneath
and a teaspoon on the side.
Fill the breadbaskets up neatly with four bags of white and four bags of whole-
meal bread. The baskets are next to the big toaster. On the other side of the toaster place
the bowl of butter down neatly, and make sure the bowl of Vegemite (Yeast extract) is
out on the buffet as well. If it is not, the bowl can be found still sitting in the Cave.
By the Yoghurts and Fruits had to make sure that all the spoons are the same
color (preferably black) to meet Hari, the main morning supervisor’s expectations. The
bowls of Yoghurts were put out by the Chefs, they only needed spoons and labels,
Naturally Sweetened, Mango, Mixed Berry Yoghurts, another bowl of fruits could fit
before the Platter of Freshly Cut Fruits, and this was always a bowl of Apricots, then on
the other side of the Platter came the Pears, Plums and Pears in this order to watch the
colors. Every bowl needed a spoon and had to give tongs for the Fruit Platter and for the
Cheeses and the Sliced Meat.
All the bowls are placed and bedded into thick layer of ice, and giving enough
place for four side plates for the milks. Secure the plates and place the milks the same
kind behind the one another, trim to the right, standard to the left, so later on they can
easily be changed from behind the Buffet. Give them label as well, don’t mix them up,
the trim milk has a little bit lighter color, and the standard is more creamy don’t forget to
take the Glad wrap off. Now get the Glad wraps off from the bowls of Cereals and dried
fruits that were placed out by the previous shift at night.
While you are here put one bucket with soapy water with wiping cloth onto the
Station on this side of the Buffet, and take the Room Service orders and if they wanted
Yoghurts and Fruits prepare Dessert bowls as requested, and those cereals requested that
we don’t have pre-packed single servings.
While you are close to the computer put the ’Copthorne’ code to get into the
Cenacolo System. On the way back to the Kitchen at the other Service Station put down
the other Bucket with soapy water and cloth, and grab other crockery for Room Services,
three side plates for one person’s toast, five for two, cups and saucers if needed, cutlery
and napkins if needed as well. While being close to this side of the Buffet get the juices
required for Room Services (except Tomato Juice that comes from the Café Bar only).
In the Kitchen ‘drop-off’ any extra Utensils (Service Cutlery). Get Room Service
Trays from the top shelf of Pantry and organize the Orders and the Collected Crockery
and Cutlery, Toast-holders with Napkins, Fruit-, and Yoghurt bowls according to the
time they have been ordered for. On Docket-book make orders for the Chef about hot
dishes for Room Service, give the time, use the codes like Hash – Hash-brown, F/E-Fried
Eggs, Saus- Sausage, Bac- Bacon, Tom-Grilled Tomatoes, S/E-Scrambled Eggs etc, and
hand the white copy to the Chef, put the Yellow copy onto the rails, and the pink copy
onto the Room Service Tray respective.
Now, check if there is enough back up juices, bring out the cereals from the dry
store, check if there’s enough milk, if there isn’t bring some out of Chiller number One
and make some more Juice or use the ones already made in Chiller number Three. Get
the trolley that’s been used and put the four water jugs, a box of Individual Servings of
Butter, Breads, a tray with Copthorne paper for packing up extra bread at the end for the
Staff Room, and place the trolley by the Pizza Owen.
Now get Float from Front Desk along with the Keys. Count both Floats to be
hundred and Fifty Dollars, place more coins for the Café Bar, put the Float of the
Restaurant into the slot, and lock it. Check into Cenacolo and set the Menu onto
Waitangi Restaurant, and make sure that the Periods have been changed to Period One, if
not Change it by Going out of the button system and check in at the Manager with
personal Code and Change the Periods (it should be the Evening Cashier’s and the
Barkeeper’s job, but can be forgotten at a late night shift.
Now get the In House List check if the Night Auditor has highlighted the Room
Numbers of Prepaid Breakfasts properly and check with them if there is anything
unclear, or there are any specialties. Now need to cut off from the List before the Price
column, so if we are working from it during service, guests won’t see how much did their
neighbors pay for their room. As we have done it, need to take the Breakfast Sheets and
fill them out respectively. Make a list of the ‘Prepaid rooms’, and organize the sheets of
the In House List. Finally turn up all the cups in the Breakfast area. Now go and Open up
the Café Bar.
If you have time after opening up the Café Bar, you can get milks for the Room
Service Trays and cover them with Glad wrap, you can get the Marmalades and Butters,
Honey for Room Service, also the Jugs for Tea and Coffee onto the trays. Or you can get
a trolley and put buckets of Individual Servings of Jams to ease the refill of Jam
containers during and after service.
As the first guests arrive, turn on the Toaster and after checking them in make
small pots of Coffee and Tea to offer at table.
Open Up the Café Bar
The Float has been counted, got the Keys the Compute has been turned on, just
need to type ’Copthorne’ code and check into Cenacolo. Place the Float into slot, and get
the little black key from it, that will open the glass doors of the Liqueur and Wine
Cabinet. Turn on the lights in the fridge and open their doors with the yellow ’leaf’ and
silver ’dragon’ shaped keys and in the meantime shift the locks with finger. Open the
Spirit Cabinet, sink lid behind the glasses, if it doesn’t want to sink move the bucket out
from underneath, leave the lock up front. Need to turn on the dishwasher, and make sure
that the Computer, since you already checked the periods is set onto Café Bar, and not
onto Waitangi Restaurant, which is automatically done. Now place the Bar keys into the
cup next to Cashier.
Far all of this the early starter has about three quarter of an hour, so really needs
moving, needs to know the procedures correctly. In the busier seasons two or three
members of staff are needed to get the Restaurant started. Usually I had to arrive fifteen
twenty minutes earlier to surely get done with everything and usually to have time to
grab a cup of Tea, while waiting for the guests if everything has been done, of course
didn’t account on my timesheet for that. The hungry guests could not wait just because
my shift didn’t start in time.
How does the work flow?
During the morning the Breakfast area is divided among the Food & Beverage
Attendants working on the shift, someone needs to keep an eye on the Buffet, and
someone needs to take care of the Room Services. When the guest comes, they really like
to sit down to tables right away, like everyone knows who they are, and so many times
the guests believe that their room rates include Breakfast as well, when they don’t. So the
Cashiers job is not only checking in guests and make sure they pay for their breakfasts,
but to hunt these lost guests down as well.
A perfect Breakfast for two looks like this; they come down to the Restaurant,
and check in by the cashier at the Cashier desk, the cashier checks if their Breakfasts
were prepaid. If weren’t they need to settle the price of the Breakfasts ahead, by paying
cash or credit card transfer or signing cheque, or simply signing the amount onto their
room account if they haven’t checked out already, and pay for it when they check out
from the hotel.
They will be seated then by the cashier, because if we don’t seat them they all
would want to sit right next to the window, and none would sit to the other parts of the
restaurant, and because people get off from their seats to help themselves from the buffet,
it might cause that people would sit to those places, where other guests already sat, just
went away to the Buffet.
Our Couple in this example sits down to table fourteen, a nice table by the
Railings, actually our nicest table and they immediately be Greeted by a lovely Waitress
and offered Tea or Coffee. Now if it is summer season and we have the hot dishes out on
the buffet if they have no extra wishes they can just go, help themselves from the Hot
dishes or/and the Continental Breakfast, depending on what did they pay for.
During Breakfast their empty plates will be collected by the F&B Attendants, and
their cups of Coffee or Tea will be topped up automatically by the Attendants. If we are
in, for example, July and the hotel was almost empty for the night, or under sixty five pax
for Breakfast, we don’t put the Hot Dishes out onto the Buffet, but at the arrival we
advise to our guests to order their ‘Hots’ from the helpful Waiters and Waitresses, we can
make their ‘Hots’ fresh, as they order them, like a special A ’la Carte Service from us to
During Service the Attendants are busy with running, although till seven o’clock
not too many guests are coming to the restaurant, so this is the time to do some cleaning
around the restaurant.
On Mondays we had to wipe and refill salt and pepper shakers, clean kitchen
swing doors, dust the Railings, on Tuesdays we had to clean the coffee Airports, had to
wipe all Room Service Trays, wipe the Dinner Menus front and back, and Dust the big
pot or plants in the Restaurant area.
We had to clean and refill the jam containers every Wednesday, had to wipe
down the shelves above the fridge in the Pantry, had to clean out the fridge, and of course
restock everything, and dust the Railings again.
We had to vacuum the Cave and or sort out the linen every Thursday, wipe the
Menus again, and get the cobwebs off from corners, and clean away leaves that have
fallen down in the Restaurant and also in the Bars, and if were busy with the plants, we
had to dust them again.
On Friday we had to clean and refill the shakers again, we had to clean down the
stands of the tables and chairs, and had to clean down the doors and walls leading into
the Seaspray Wing, again we had to clean the Dinner Menus and Dust the Railings. We
had to Dust so much, because guests were frequently trafficking through the sliding glass
doors of the Restaurant, and left them open frequently, so dust and in the summer times
brigs came in from the garden area.
From seven till about eleven the Attendants were busy with attending the guests,
offering them tea or coffee, clearing away plates, re-setting tables as soon as possible,
because most of the times we had problem to have enough table for the demand,
especially from nine o’clock, and especially if it was weekend, or holiday time.
In the mean time someone always had to stay, or in less busier times keep an eye
on the Cashier Desk, and the Buffet: With the Buffet, we had to make sure that it had
enough plates, enough fruits, butter, bread, juices, milks, cereals etc. on it, and if did not
have then we had to refill them, or if they were ‘Hots’ or yoghurts, then let the Chef
know that we needed some more of them out on the Buffet.
The most frequent that I have come across in the mornings that we didn’t have
enough staff on duty, and this was the peculiarity of the last few months I have spent
there. It has happened frequently on the weekends, that we had about two staff less then
needed to cover the shift, and couldn’t even reach anyone to come in, especially not
those, who lived just across the road from the hotel.
The specialty of the weekends was that we hardly had any guests till about height
thirty, but the majority of the guests wanted to have breakfast after nine, nine thirty. Until
the food on the Buffet was out, we had to let every guest in. I do know that sometimes
some staff recommended other places to eat in town, if we had Walk-Ins, because of the
quality of the buffet food after a certain time the staff thought if a Goodwill
recommendation and an invitation for the next day at an earlier time would do better for
the Walk-In guests as well as to the hotel.
This would never happen in Hungary I believe, or things might have changed
since I have been eating out in Hungary, because my experiences were that businesses
are thinking about the here and now and even sell the goods although they know that they
are not in the quality they should be. It was a criticism from customer point of view.
Every Attendant have their own sections, but these sections are not really strict in
the morning, they help out wherever they are needed. If the guests didn’t want the Tea
from the pre-made pots, we had to offer them other kind of tees. The Restaurant had a
great variety of Regular and Herbal Teas. The Standard of serving Extra Teas was to
either give two small pots of hot water to the guest on a plate with doily, and put one
Teabag to one of the pots, and give an extra bag on the side, or give the Teabags on the
side of one pot of Hot Water, if we were about to run out of pots, because of the large
The Restaurant have no Decaffeinated beans, only has instant Decaffeinated
Coffee in individual serving sachets, these were served basically similarly to Teas, a pot
of hot water and sachets on the side, but if the Attendants did not have enough pots they
had to ask for the guests cups, and mixed the drink in the Pantry, presenting the drink to
Room Service in the Morning runs from six thirty till nine thirty. The menu
Forms are hanged on each an every Guest Room’s Doorknob from inside. One Slip can
order for two persons. The guests can chose from basically everything that they would be
able to chose from in the Restaurant, fruits, cereals, yoghurts, Danish pastry, toasts,
butter and jams, juices, coffees or teas, and hot dishes from hash browns through eggs
and sausages to pan fried fish. The prices are the same as in the Restaurant, $14.50 for
Continental and $22.50 for full Breakfast, and we calculate with a $3.00 Room Service
Charge. These prices include ordinary instant hot chocolates, teas and coffees, but Flat
Whites and Lattés etc that need to be made in the Bar are Extras.
The guests need to fill in the Room Service Cards and hang outside their doors by
eleven o’clock in the evening, so that the Night Porter can collect them and put them on
the rail in the Kitchen. The guests can also decide at what time do they want their
Breakfast to be delivered, and the Room Service Attendant of the day and Chef have to
keep the times in mind, so that every Room Service can arrive to the guests fresh and in
time. There is no problem if someone forgets to fill out the Room Service Card, because
Room Service can be ordered through the phone during Service. Any of the Food and
Beverage Attendants can fulfill this role; there were occasions when the Morning
Supervisor was the one running with trays to the rooms.
Every Food and Beverage Attendants needs to be aware of the procedures of
making different Coffees. This should be, the matter of fact unfortunately they were not
really. We had a Coffee Training not so long after I arrived there, two Representatives
from Piazza D’oro came and explained the how our machines worked, and showed us
how to make coffees. This was in the early afternoon hours and during the evening the
few of us tried our new knowledge out. Did everything as we remembered and tried in
the afternoon, but from the four coffees we made four of them were sent back with
This set back all of our ambitions in the territory of coffee making. Later on the
Supervisors after our complaints that we really should be able to make coffees, tried to
show us how to do them, well it was all nice, but we were clear about how to make them,
we just didn’t have the practical experience.
From my point of view Coffee Training should take place by supervising staff
how to make coffees, not to make it for them, because they will never actually learn and
feel for example the changes of milk at frothing. I just got back into the line of making
coffees not so long before I had to leave the company.
The Restaurant offered basically a standard variety of Coffees at the Bar. These
were Espressos, Long Blacks, Flat Whites, Cappuccinos, Lattés and Hot Chocolates. We
also offered Liquor Coffees, but they were only the stars of the evenings, never had to
make one during Breakfast. Espresso Coffee was when we fill up the Espresso Cup
(smallest available) with a double shot of Coffee, by putting enough ground Coffee into a
two piped demitasse cup and press it down till the thin line on the side of the cup. Now
place the demitasse cup under the filter nozzle and push the appropriate button which
indicated double shot, and then the preheated cup placed onto the saucer will fill up with
coffee, which should be rich brown and have a head called créma.
The Long Black Coffee is made similarly, but served in pre-heated Long Black
Cup, which is the tallest and skinnier than for example, a Flat White Cup. Fill the Cup
half way up with hot water and in the mean time fill up a single piped demitasse cup with
ground coffee a bit above the line, with pressing it down firmly and place the demitasse
cup under filter nozzle, and place the Long Black Cup underneath, in a way that the end
of the pipe is as close to the side of the cup as possible, because this way the créma is
going to by nice and smooth everywhere on top of the liquid.
A Flat white is made with a shingle shot of Coffee in a Flat White Cup, but
topped up with thickened milk where the maker has to make sure that the milk is not
boiling, otherwise it won’t thicken, and that it’s not frothing, because bubbles are not
nice in a Flat White, the milk is more like a cream.
Cappuccinos and Lattés are made pretty similarly, single shot of Coffees, and
frothed milk, but the milk is more froth at the Cappuccino, and also on the top of
Cappuccino in the cup the maker has to sprinkle some Chocolate powder. The Latté has
no Chocolate on top and is served in a thick glass.
Hot Chocolate is made by steaming milk to almost boiling and using hot, but not
froth milk to dissolve a spoon of drinking Chocolate in the Tall thick glass (different
from latté), and add the foam part of the milk on top, sprinkle with Chocolate powder.
All Coffees are served on Saucers on a piece of Cocktail Copthorne Napkin, with
Coffee Spoons, and two individual servings of Piazza D’oro Sugars, in case of hot
chocolate we don’t give sugars, but garnish the hot drink with two pieces of Marsh
Mallows. The kids love it! The drinks need to be served fresh, and as they are not part of
any of the Breakfast Packages, together with the bill to sign in the black folder.
After service everyone has something to do. The ten minutes Breakfast Brakes are
from about nine o’clock, the Attendants are following each other according to the time of
arrival, usually one going at a time, the Minibar Attendant as well.
After the Restaurant is closed, everything needs to be taken away, cleared and
cleaned, set up for lunch, or dinner or in the quieter season for next morning. By the time
the Attendants are finished with their breakfasts, they can read on the white board at the
door from the Kitchen to the Service area what their duties will be for the day.
There are always people setting up the Restaurant, or ’Doing the Pantry’ or the
Cave, or washing and Polishing the Glasses, Polishing Cutlery or Clearing away the
Crockery from the Back bench, which means to place the plates to their places that are
coming from, clear them away from the Kitchen hand.
All the condiments (milk jugs, sugar bowls, sweeteners, jams) need to be taken
away from the tables, cleaned if necessary and refilled. The sugars need to be sifted, the
bowls washed and dried, the jam holders if they are clean need to be refilled, the milk
jugs need to be emptied and washed, and the plates where the jug, the sugar bowl and the
sweetener are placed need to cleaned, and covered with a clean small sized cloth or a
medium paper doily. If the cloth or the doily was messy, soaked with milk, or had jam all
over it had to be changed to new one. We only used doily if didn’t have enough cloths.
The Sweeteners had to be checked as well, because they were in paper sachets, and if
some milk spilled on them we couldn’t use them anymore.
If the Restaurant wasn’t set up for Breakfast right away, then all these condiments
cleaned and refilled had to be placed into the Cave to their places neatly in order. The
refilling of bowls of Cereals and dried fruits belonged to the duties of the Attendant
doing the Cave. The Attendant had to collect the five bowls of cereals and the three
bowls of dried fruits. The bowl of Cereals only had to be cleaned out occasionally, but
the bowls of the dried fruits had to be washed every day. They all had to be toped up to a
reasonable level, because if they were too full the guests would of only spooned the
contents to the side or to the ground and then these would of been wastes, and the cereal
area on the buffet would of needed frequent cleaning during service. After refilling the
cereals and fruits from the Dry Store, the bowls had to be Glad Wrapped and placed on
the highest shelf in the Cave, above the Sugar Bowls. The Attendant should not forget to
top of the Bowl of Vegemite. It used to be a crucial point.
In the Pantry the Attendant had lots to do. They had to grab a trolley to get the
Juice Containers, the Bread Baskets, the Tea and Coffee Pots, the bowls of Butter and
Tomato Sauce, the bowls of Fruits and the jugs of Milks. The Juice Containers had to be
refilled with the Juices, and wiped down from the outside, placed into the fridge. Once
every week they had to be washed out as well. The Container of water had to be emptied
and placed into Water Jug Room till next use. The bowl of Butter had to be topped up
and placed into the fridge. Two times two new jugs of milks had to be prepared and
covered with Glad Wrap and the type had to be indicated. The Fruits had to be topped up
from Cans from the Dry Store, and place into new bowls, the old ones had to be washed,
the Tomato Sauce as well had to be put into new bowl, but topped up from the Plastic
Can of Sauce in the Kitchen. They all had to be Glad Wrapped and placed into the fridge
on the top shelf. The Bread baskets had to be emptied, and the left over of breads was
placed onto the tray with Copthorne paper left in the Pantry by the morning starters, and
the whole set of spreads and tray had to be Glad Wrapped and taken into the Staff Room.
The Baskets had to go back to their place, underneath the Chef’s bench in the Kitchen.
The Pots used for Coffee and Tea had to be emptied and rinsed out, wiped down with a
cloth from outside from water and tea or coffee drops. The Tea and Coffee Machine had
to be flushed out, underneath the saucer had to be washed out as well. The number of
Room Service Trays had to be thirteen, so if their number was under, the Attendant had
to make up more, by taking clean trays, placing a piece of Copthorne Paper on top,
placing a doilies saucer with sachets of salt and pepper, or real salt and pepper shakers,
two pieces of Rolled Cutlery, and a Card that Thanks the Guests for using our Room
Service, and politely asking them to place their trays outside the door, when they are
finished with their meals.
The Pantry has a storing part as well, where we keep the Rooms Service Rolled
Cutlery, the Teabags, the Decaffeinated Coffee Sachets, the Nestle Milo Hot Chocolate
Sachets (like Nesquick), the individual servings of salt, pepper, cereals. These all need to
be neat, and the box of Rolled Cutlery need to be full. Rolling Cutlery is done this way;
take a paper napkin (about 25 cm x 25cm), and place a knife facing to the left diagonal in
the middle of it. Place a spoon and a fork on top of them in a way that the bottom of the
three would be on the sample place and the top of the knife would be in the top corner of
the napkin. Fold the left corner of the napkin on top of the cutleries, while keeping the
cutleries tight in place on top of each other, then fold up the bottom corner of the napkin,
and wrap the right corner around the cutleries to the direction of the left. This way the
cutleries will look like a tourist in a Mummy-Sleeping-Bag.
When all of these are done, the attendant needs to top up the fridge. Top up the
containers of juices by making some more from the Orange Juice. For a ten liter
container two small containers of concentrate is needed. Empty the first container into
the ten liter one, and rinse it out with water into the big container, then fill the big one up
with water half way, and shake it well, with the cap on. Then empty the other
concentrate, top it up to the top with water and shake it again. The Fridge needs at least
two ten liter containers of Orange Juice, a big container of Grape Fruit Juice, and
Pineapple Juice, but these can be found in Fridge Number Three, pre-made by Kitchen.
There should be about five boxes of Tea and Coffee Concentrates in the fridge
also, the Attendants refill the smaller Tea and Coffee Machine from there, by shaking up
the boxes of concentrates, pulling out the little pipe and place it into the machine by
lifting up its top and sliding the box in. To get these concentrates the Attendant needs to
go out to the Staff area to get into the fridge where the Kitchen keeps its ready to use
stock, like pizzas bases and these concentrates. It is usually under the big fan in that
fridge. The milk containers need to be topped up as well, four containers of Standard and
four containers of Trim Milk as well, rotated from the back to the front. The Milks can be
found in Fridge Number one, occasionally check the Expiry Dates of milks in the fridge.
Make sure that the individual servings of butter are placed back into the fridge in the
Pantry, and if there is any un-opened box of these butters, then put the box back into
fridge number one.
Also check if there are enough butters cut for the evening, because if there isn’t
enough, then the Attendant needs to cut some more and for that needs to get a block of
butter from fridge number one. Four pieces of butters are placed into every holder. The
pieces of cut butters are triangle shaped and come from cutting a square off from the end
of the block of butter and then cutting the square into four by its diagonals, then by
placing the pieces spread out like a fan, then put the holders onto a tray and back into the
fridge in the Pantry.
The Pantry is still not done, because the buckets of waste is still there, most of it
is packaging and leftovers from coffee grounds these need to be emptied out the buckets
need to be washed out if needed, and placed by the Black Wash area onto the floor. Now
put the milk jugs from the wash back onto their places, the shelf underneath the Room
Service Trays, and put back the Teapots as well. Clean the benches in the Pantry and the
Pantry is done.
Washing and Polishing Glasses and Cutleries
The glasses and water jugs are getting washed and polished in the Water Jug
Room, unless the dishwasher is broken in the Water Jug Room, or the Supervisor states it
otherwise, then the glasses and jugs are getting washed in the Café Bar. Although these
machines are called washers, they don’t wash the glasses only sanitize them, so lipstick
marks and tough messes need to be washed by hand. After the cycle of the machine is
done and the button indicates that the washing has been done, the door can be opened,
but with caution the temperature and pressure is quite high in there, and one can easily
burn him-, or herself. While the glasses are still warm they need to be polished with dry
tea towel so they will shine. If the Tea towel is wet, soaked then tiny little fabric pieces
will be left on the glass and that is not only un-esthetic, but un-hygienic. The ready
glasses are put back to their place, Breakfast usually only needs water glasses that go
back into the cupboard underneath the right side of the Buffet, and the water jugs that do
not need to be polished are going back into the Water Jug Room onto the selves.
The Cutleries however are washed by the kitchen hand, and then polished in
warm, almost really hot water in a plastic bucket, and polished with the help of a Tea
towel. Then they need to be organized into four slot gray cutlery holders, in the morning
there are only one types of spoons, dessert spoons and one types of forks, main forks, are
used, so they don’t need sorting. However there are two different knives, entrée and main
knives that need to be sorted. All of the Cutleries are going either back into the drawer of
the Service Station, or onto the tables, but only if they are needed for resetting. There are
two drawers in every Station, a three slots in every drawer. The cutleries are situated this
way from the left: Entrée Forks, Entrée Knives, Soup Spoons, Main Forks, Main Knives,
Dessert Spoons. The Tea Spoons are situated in little baskets on top of the Stations.
Clearing away Crockery means basically: clear everything away from the Kitchen
hands bench and put them back to their places. Side Plates, Saucers and Cups are going
into the bottom of the Service Stations. Dessert Bowls are going into the third door from
the right underneath the Buffet. Main Plates are situated on the right side of the Middle of
the Buffet. Entrée Plates are situated in the third and fourth door from the left underneath
The Buffet is set up by the Cashier or the Supervisor in the Mornings
At lunch time the restaurant operates from it’s Lunch Menu that include battered
fish, Pizzas, Pannini’s, Fires, Soup of the Day, Bread Selection, Ploughman’s Platter.
This could be ordered as Room Service, or ordered from the Café Bar, because at most of
the times the re-setting and cleaning of the back area was not done by lunch time, but in
the Bar area there were plenty of space for guests who wanted to have lunch, and in the
summer time it was all extended by the outside, garden area. The Guests receive rolled
Cutlery and plates if requested from the Bar, and could order drinks as well, everything
was posted and cashiered in the Bar, hopefully in Period two, but a lot of times the Bar
staff forgot to Change the Period. If they have forgotten to change the period they had to
wait till the guests, whos account was opened in the Computer settled the bill, because
period could not be changed without Cashing-up, closed accounts were the requirements
of Cashing-up. The service of Lunch was more direct, even less „fancy” then the
breakfast. It usually didn’t mean big Revenue and large number of Guests in the Bar.
On the other hand if there was a conference, or formal lunch in the Hotel for a
large number of people, usually the Restaurant was set up for that (the cleanings in the
background were not completely done). These lunches could be pre-paid lunches, where
everything went onto a Main Account of a Conference, or the guests were paying
individually. If it was pre-paid, then it depended on the deal the conference made, what
type of food were included, and what type of drinks, if there were anything else, but
water. These formal lunches last till about two or the latest two-thirty, and this was about
the same time, when the Café Bar closed its second period.
Cash-up was done in the Café Bar, for In-House guests’ lunch that ordered and
consumed their food in the Bar, and for the Formal Lunches the Cash-Up was done in the
Restaurant. It wasn’t unusual in the winter season that either the Café Bar or the
Restaurant did not have Revenue in the Lunch Period.
After Lunch of course the Back and Front of the Waitangi Restaurant had to be
cleaned, Vacuumed, Re-set for dinner, or in winter time maybe for Breakfast, and the
Café Bar had to be cleared and cleaned and Vacuumed, every glasses polished, Coffee
Machine Flushed, ready for the evening.
The Evenings were different from the mornings. The Pre-Service duties wee
distributed more evenly. There were more things to do in the main season, so I describe
that first. The following duties were distributed among the staff on duty; make a Tea and
Coffee Trolley up, make a Breakfast Trolley up, Check if there is enough Orange Juice,
Check if there is enough Milk in the fridge, fill up the water jugs with ice and water, and
place them on the tables that will be in use, put the pre-done butters on the table that will
be in use, do some more butters as back-up, if needed, check if there are enough room
Service Trays, if not, prepare some more, check if the A’la Carte Section is topped up, if
not, do it, put thongs and other utensils out onto the buffet (if there is buffet service), then
put buckets with soapy water and cloths onto the Service Stations, prepare Service Cloths
and Service Service Plates and Trays onto the Service Stations, get pen and Docket book
ready, and when the guests come, prepare pots of Coffee and Tea.
The Tea and Coffee Trolley contained Cups and Saucers built on top of each
other and Teaspoons on the side, all ready, if the Attendants need to serve Tea and
Coffee as part of the Buffet dinner, they could get it to the guests as soon as possible,
especially if they are working with a group. The Cups and Saucers are going onto the
middle and lower level, because on the top there will be the Milk jugs, Plates with Doily
or Cloth, three Sachets of Sweetener, Sugar bowls, and a bucket with a container of milk
sitting on ice.
The Breakfast Trolley contained the jams, the leftovers of Milk jugs, Sugar
Bowls, and plates for the condiments, the bowls of Cereals and Dried Fruits, three pieces
of Tongs, four Plastic Spoons, a small sized tray (brown plastic), Bread Baskets, and
Three Pieces of Copthorne Paper.
These two trolleys were placed behind the wall that’s covering the Entrances of
From Water jugs the large tables needed two, tables that were made out of one
piece, and not two tables pushed together needed only one jug. The jugs had to be placed
onto side plates, preferably on the middle of the table.
Butters were made two ways while I was there. At the beginning the Kitchen
Prepared trays of Butters with a Bag, and it was cooled till stiff in the fridge, and placed
into butter holders by knife. Now the new restaurant Manager changed it, the butters had
to be cut into triangles, and placed into butter dishes, and in the winter season the
morning staff had to do it.
Service plates were Main plates with the smallest white cloths on top, it was used
for Writing Docket on them, and not only by holding the docket book in the palm of the
Attendant. Usually four or five per Station was enough. Service Trays were silver shining
round trays with the middle sized white cloth on top, and it was used basically carrying
glasses to and from the tables about five per Station was sufficient.
The A’la Carte Section is situated in the Kitchen. As the name of it tells us it has
something to do with A’la Carte Service. Well this Section contained Cutleries, some
Saucer’s Side Plates, round and oval Plates with Doily, Oyster forks, Stake Knives,
folded Service Cloths. This was in that corner of the Kitchen, from the Service side,
where the Attendants gave the orders to the Chefs, and where the Chefs placed their
ready dishes underneath the heath lights or on the other side of the corner was the cold
side. These utensils and crockery’s were needed to serve side Vegetables, or after placing
the order of Steak or Seafood dish with Oyster could easily grab the necessary equipment
to run and efficiently change cutlery, or serve the dishes.
After doing the Pre-Service duties everyone had to check their assigned section, if
all the settings were all right, if there was a change in the set-up of table, for example to a
table of four a company of three was expected, and one setting had to be taken away, or
check properly from which table till which table did the Attendant have to work if the
Section two of the Restaurant was divided among more Attendant.. Till the arrival of
guests everyone could fold some napkins, and delivering Room Service if needed.
Along the Railings and the walls usually FIT’s were seated, and the Groups were
seated in Section Two or One or in Rangatira Room. The FIT’s could chose from Buffet
or A’la Carte service, while the Groups either had Buffet or Set Menu, TDH service.
Those who are working with Groups have a tough job, they have to manage large
number of people, but not large number of tables, and the groups usually comes together,
or fairly together. This means that they all want to be served at once; they all want to
order drinks at once. It is easier if the tables get filled up quickly, because then the
Attendant can take the drink orders at once (usually getting signatures right away for
every order), and can bring the glasses or bottles of drinks from the Bar in bulk. It means
faster service, but requires more and closer attention from the Attendant.
Whoever ordered their drinks, already go to the Buffet and help themselves from
the Entrées and the Soup, and most of the times the Attendants cannot even finish taking
and delivering drink orders, when used plates are pilling on the tables. This is the time,
when if there are more Attendants working with the Group, then one of them starts to
clear the tables, and the other one keeps taking the orders. Because the Entrée selection
includes Oysters, and its shells are not consumable, these shells are also on the Entrée
plates which makes clearing away the tables harder, the Attendants have to run more
The rule we learned in school, that only five plates can be carried, and the plates
can not be placed into each other, does not apply here, if everything works out well, the
Attendant can clear away a big table of eight by one round. After finishing with drink
orders, just keep clearing the table, till the guests get to their desserts.
It is a really good point by the guests if the Attendant recognizes that they try to
figure out which cake is what, and goes to help them, explains the flavoring of the cakes,
and if the Attendants tell the story of the Pavlova Cake, which is basically made out of
Egg-white, baked, then covered with whipped Cream and decorated with fresh fruits and
syrup, and was made for honoring the Ballet Dancer Ms Pavlova.
The other reason to pay attention by the time of dessert, is that most people like to
drink their coffee with their desserts, and some of them just like to drink it afterwards. So
when the Attendant sees that the table is about the middle or the end of their desserts, Tea
and Coffee can be offered. This is a Memory Test, to remember who ordered what. The
easiest is to ask them in order, and if they start yelling in, just decide an order by which
the Attendant can remember, and let them know that the Attendant would like to hear
their order in a specific order.
I usually did it by non-verbal communication by looking into the eye of the guests
and repeating the order, and counting on my finger behind my back, and only
remembering of those who asked for Tea. I brought all the cups out, and then the Tea pot,
and filling up the cups of Teas, and then all the others had Coffees. If someone ordered
Decaf Coffee, I brought those out together with the Tea Pot. If someone would like to
pay cash for their drinks, they can do it at the Cashier, or the Attendant can present the
bill, because the Attendants have to give the White slip of the docket book either to the
Chefs, or to the Bar, the Yellow one onto the spike by the Cashier, and give the Pink one
to the Cashier. The groups are usually staying long at the tables, but when they are gone,
the Attendants can brake down the tables, and start resetting them, after the permission
and orders of the Supervisor.
It happens, that the groups order a higher standard of service, Set Menu. When
getting ready for the group, the attendant have to make sure that the Menus are on the
tables, one for every guests, and that the proper crockery and in case extra cutlery are
prepared in the Kitchen, and put wherever the Chefs want them. At TDH services it is
usually not one person managing the evening, but two or three, so Usually one starts to
take Drink Orders, and the other two starts to do the food orders, but it is not unusual,
that all three of them only take the food orders first, so that the kitchen can start to
prepare the dishes, and then the Attendants start to deal with the drinks. Later on, as the
Entrées are ready, they start to deliver the dishes in the previously agreed order. This
order stays the same all through the evening. Before the desserts, the Attendants need to
bring the Dessert Cutleries down, from the top for every guest. The Tea and Coffee
Procedure and the drinks are the same as by the other Group dinners. Clearing away,
when the whole table is finished with their meal, then serve the next one, and when the
guests are gone brake down the tables after consultation with Supervisor.
For those who are working with FIT’s the job is a bit different. While at the
groups the Attendants main job is to serve the dishes, at the A’la Carte, the Attendant has
to sell the dishes in order to be able to serve them. The Attendant needs more product
knowledge, and more, better selling skills. Basically the Attendant has to be a smart
entertainer. It is not a bulk job; it is real so to say attendance.
To do his or her job well cannot be in a bad mood, or in a bad shape. Really has to
pay attention to every detail of the guest. Offering a good wine, the guests might only
wanted a glass each originally, but there is a possibility that they buy the whole bottle,
especially if the Attendant offered the wine, and they have never tasted it before. After a
good selection of wine, and especially if it is white, the offer of ice-bucket, selling the
dishes will be easier.
The guests like if the Attendant has good tips for them, for example if they are
asking about portions of breads, a good answer is „If you want to make sure you have
place for our delicious desserts, I would just share one…”. This means that the Attendant
didn’t sell bread, for about three and a half dollars, but has a greater possibility to sell
another dessert, which costs nine dollars and fifty cents. Now this is the art of selling.
The Attendant has to make sure that there are no problems with the meals, that the
guests like them, or if they need something else, like another glass of wine, or freshly
ground pepper, some more water, or something like this. After the bill has been
presented, and the guests are gone, the Attendant has to make sure, that the table is
getting re-set as soon as possible, so that it can be resold. Not unusual in the summer that
a table is resold about three times an evening.
Working with FIT's means that the Attendant might have to do two different style
of service at the same time, because the FIT’s have the opportunity to dine from the
Buffet. In this case the attendants to keep an eye on those tables at all the time, because
the guests can just walk away from the table to the Buffet, and can easily walk out of the
Restaurant, not necessary intentionally, without paying, and then it is the Attendants
responsibility to find them, and make them at least sing the bill. The Restaurant has
plenty of Entrances and Exits, so unfortunately it is pretty common that guests just walk
out of the Restaurant without paying.
After service everyone has to take part in resetting the Restaurant, cleaning out
the back area, polishing glasses, and cutlery, restocking of Pantry, and tidying of Cave
can only come after resetting of the Restaurant with Crockery and Cutlery. Someone has
to distribute the Condiments, someone else has to clear away the Service Stations, a few
people are doing cutlery, a few are on glasses, someone has to do the Pantry, someone
else the Cave, someone is vacuuming, someone else is dusting off the chairs, someone
takes the bin of dirty cloths out for the laundry, someone re-sets the Buffet, someone puts
the Service Crockery away. Blowing out candles and cleaning out candle holders.
When everything is turned off, the Attendants can sign out, and go home. Usually
the Bar stays open till later.
Functions needed the biggest flexibility from everyone. Kate the Conference
Manager was responsible for bringing the business in, and making the deals with the
organizers, and we the Attendants and Supervisors are the Executive Branch, the ones
carrying out the work in practice. This department almost works like a Party Organizer
Company, but it is an integrated part of a hotel. There are five different venues of the
hotels. The Treaty Rooms are used for Conferences, and need servicing during the
brakes, like clean glasses, more candies, full water jugs, , clearing the rubbish away, and
for the brakes still they need Tea and Coffee Buffets with snacks, sometimes they need
lunches, and usually they have dinner either on own arrangement, or in the form of a big
functions, a Cocktail Party, or absolutely a formal dinner.
These dinners can be organized in the Treaty Rooms, but not necessary if the
Conference continues next day, but there is the Rangatira Venue, a part of the Restaurant,
or Waitaha, where large number of delegates can dine at once. For the Conferences
during the day, usually only one person is needed, this person can get the Tea and Coffee
Buffets ready by time, and refresh the rooms while the delegates are having a break, and
then brake down, or re-set the buffet if needed. The Conference Sheet tells everything,
what is needed for the Venue, at what time do the delegates brake, what is needed for
their brake, and till when the Conference lasts. This is broken down by days. After
Conference, the Room needs to be re-set according to the next day’s requirements, or
broken down, and everything placed back to its place, to the back of Treaty Room one,
and/or to the Function Store Room.
The evening Functions require usually lot larger labour-force and preparation, due
to the number of guests. These functions are usually not under one hundred people, and
the hotel has to give a special experience to the guests visually, by tastes, and service
wise as well. Basically the Venue has to be ready by start; it means everything is ready
from the decoration and set-up through the Bar and the Attendants to the Kitchen and its
Staff. During service everyone has to make sure that the guests receive what they want in
time and in good quality, that nothing can disturb they evening, and that no one who has
to pay leaves without some sort of payment, if only a signature and room number is left,
that is all right as well. It is easier with Cash Bars, where only Credit Cards and Cash can
get Alcohol or any other drinks. The food is usually inclusive, and sometimes the
organizers buy a specific number of bottles of wine, or they say that the first drink is for
free for everyone, but the guests have to pay for everything else. The food is either Buffet
type or TDH type, the Buffet is lot easier on the Hotel and less formal for the guests of
course. The job is not done, till possibly everything is cleared away from the Venue.
Everything has been Escorted back to the Hotel, or to the Function Stores, and the
Kitchen and the Restaurant.
There are special functions that are fun even for the staff, these are usually big
Company events, where the workers are honored for their good job from their
Management, or they are on Team Building, but sometimes Weddings could get pretty
enjoyable even for the staff. Braking down the Venue could also be lots of fun, especially
if no one else wanted the decoration.
The Barbecue worked in the outside of the Restaurant, and in the summer when
the weather allowed it, the Restaurant tried to ease up the tension on the tables of the
Restaurant, and utilized it beautiful garden area. A Barbecue grill was set up outside and
a Buffet, where for a little bit less then the Buffet in the Restaurant the guests could have
the same relaxing feeling that they have at a home Garden Party, but they didn’t even
have to work anything with it, just enjoy it. A Clearing Station was set-up for the
Attendants with necessary buckets for scrapes, and buckets with soapy water for used
cutleries. Some Cups and Saucers with milk and Jugs and Sugar bowls etc were there
too. This whole stations set up upon the stairs just outside the Old Bar. My problems with
this service were the unhygienic circumstances, where the flying ashes fell into the food
and onto plates, and for me biggest thing was that the guest saw while eating how the
Attendants were scraping the leftovers into kitchen waste. Also they could watch how the
Attendants prepare the Cups and Saucer, how that the milk jugs were standing outside
where the ashes were flying and then the Attendants have to serve the milk for the Coffee
in them. I just imagined how disgusted I would be, and what kind of opinion I would
have if I would get the same kind of service somewhere, especially in a four star hotel.
And I didn’t even count that running up and down those bumpy stairs is especially
The Barbecue operation required some preparation, the Attendant had to set up
the whole Buffet, together with the Chef, had to transport the Crockery, had to Roll the
Cutlery, Set up the Clearing Station, and doing the clearing of plates, serving of guests,
taking orders, delivering bills, and at the end of the day the Attendant had to clear
everything away, pick up rubbish in the barbecue area, brake down the Buffet.
The Barbecue shift started at quarter to five and usually finished at the same time,
or even later then the normal Restaurant shift.
The Café Bar was open from the early morning till the Evenings, but its main
roles were serving Lunch, and later drinks during the evenings. The Bar Attendants were
selected from the Food and Beverage Attendants, and didn’t necessarily have to have
Liquor License, because it was the Duty Manager responsible for that. The Bar always
had to have a jug of icy water and clean glasses available for anyone placed onto the
counter, because the hotel is are responsible host. Children could not buy any kind of
drink by themselves, and weren’t allowed to sit by the counter. The fines are huge, so
these were taken pretty seriously. The Bar had to serve the guests up on the front, and in
the back counter it had to serve the Attendants coming with orders from the tables of the
Restaurant. Because of the bad design of the Bar, even two people could hardly work
there at the same time, but they needed at least three during the summer time to be able to
meet the demand. The Bar Attendants had to arrive by two thirty in the afternoon and
stay there till a basically undefined late hour, usually later then than the Restaurant, till it
was profitable to keep the Bar open, if it was four in the morning, it was four in the
morning. Stocktaking and Restocking was originally the tasks of the Bar, but lately they
only did stock taking, writing together what has been consumed during operation, and
Restocking, was passed onto the Morning Shift of the Restaurant. I haven’t worked in the
Bar, only hopping in for half an hour, while the Bart Attendant went to have his or her
Cashiering is different in the evening and in the mornings, and because of the
complexity of tasks in the evening I would like to start with the evenings. If the
Restaurant operates with a separate Cashier and it is not the Supervisor who is Cashiering
then the Attendant doing the Cashier Shift has to arrive at quarter to five, to get
everything ready by the time the Restaurant opens for Dinner.
The first thing to do was to check if the computer is set on Period Three and on
Waitangi Restaurant Outlet. Then the Cashier needed to check if all of the Float was
there, which meant at the beginning hundred dollars, later on it had been increased to
hundred and fifty dollars. The Cashier had to make a printout of it from the calculator,
but it only assured that if there was anything missing at the end of the night they knew
that it only could disappear during the evening and not before. The next thing was to
check the In House List if there is anyone with Voucher for Dinner Bed and Breakfast
(DBB), because if there was the dinner and the drinks had to be posted separately.
After that the Cashier had to take care of the Group Sheets. Every Group Sheet
showed the Name of the Company they are travelling with, and Group indication of the
Tour, showed the Arrival Date and Departure Date, and the Estimated Times for the
Arrival and Departure as well, showed the Total Number of pax, Also showed by what
time do the bags need to be out of the rooms, that was important for the Porters. In the
next row it showed Group Number, which was a reference towards Front Office, and the
Folio Number which showed the Account, where the Cashier had to post every Group
Costs. The details of Drivers and Escorts were shown, the Next Destination of the Tour.
They could also request Wake up Calls collectively, but usually it was on Own
Arrangements. Another important information was in a comparatively larger gray box on
the right side, that gave detailed description about the charges, for example a Group
DBB, which meant that every member of the tour group has paid previously, so we don’t
need to post to the Guest’s individual accounts only those items, that they ordered as
extra, for example a Bottle of Wine, or a Bowl of Ice Cream. We just referred to the
member of the group as Pre-Paid. This Grey Box contained the information about the
driver and the escort, if they are Vouchered, or if we just had to post their meal at cost
(for ten dollars fifty cents) to Staff Discount Account, or we had to post their meal onto
the Group’s Main Account. This Box also included if the Group stayed in the hotel for
three nights, but only paid for two dinners ahead, and which night’s dinners are going to
the Groups Main account, and which night’s dinner goes onto the Guest’s Individual
The second half of the sheet showed the meals by dates and types (B/F, Lunch,
and Dinner). It also showed how many pax are paid on what Cost, how much is the tax
for that, how much is the cost per person including tax and how much needs to be posted
for the individual meals in total. The same is done for the Rooms per Nights. At the tight
bottom corner there is a Total figure that should be at the end of the stay on the Group’s
Main Account. Also shows in the left bottom corner if there were any persons from the
group staying in the hotel Free of Charge (FOC).
A complete list of the Group was always attached to the Group Sheet, where we
always had to check if there was the same number of guests as shown on the Group
Sheet. It was amazing how many times there were discrepancies between the actual and
recorded number of guests. When the Checking of each Group Sheets were done, a
docket had to be made up, with only the number of guests, the date and the Name of
Cashier put into the top row. The Name of the Group had to be indicated in Detail in the
main sector of the docket, then in the next line the Number of Guests Times the Price
Including GST per Guest, and to the bottom the Folio Number (FN).
If there were guests on different rates, or the Driver’s Meal At Cost had to be
posted somewhere else, a new docket had to be made with the same descriptions, but the
Folio Number was either the Name or the Account Number of the Main Account. If there
was plenty of time till opening and there were no uncertainties about the Group Sheets,
these Group Charges had to be posted to the Accounts respectively, and the printouts had
to be stapled to the dockets.
How to Post Group Charges?
In Cenacolo a green little window is asking for the Cashier’s individual password,
and each password levels have different authorities. Attendants cannot void anything,
only Supervisors and Managers, so the Attendants have to be very careful with what they
are doing. So, after the system accepted the password can the Attendant get into the lists
of Cheques open and closed in the system of the Outlet. To open a new Cheque the
Cashier need to press the symbol of „New” on the Touch-screen, then the computer asks
under what Table Number do the Cashier want this Cheque to be registered, and for how
many Covers. For Groups the Table Number is usually one, and the Number of Covers is
the multiplier of the Price per Person. After this the computer asks what Type of Guests
are recorded in this Cheque, what type of account is it going to go to? It can be In House
Guests (FIT), Casuals (Walk-Ins), Corporate, Tour Groups. Then the Cheque is opened
and items can be added to it.
The Items are in Folders indicated by the buttons in to top row, on three sides, and
by touching the signs of each Type of items can the list be viewed underneath the name
of the folders. One folder is Group Dinner, and in this folder there could be found the
Abbreviation of main Tour Groups coming to us, an the rate they usually dinning for, but
there are so called alternative groups, that only come once in a while and the rate varies
by booking, so for these groups there is a button where the name of the group and the
Price per Pax can be determined as needed, by the Cashier. These buttons don’t keep the
information only till the time it has been transferred to the Cheque. Now after all theese
information has been put onto the Cheque, the Group Charge can be Posted. About at the
middle section of the lower part of the buttons on the screen there are options for settling,
or Posting the charges from the Cheques to Individual or Main Accounts, or other
options like different Credit Cards or Cash or even Cheque. At the situation of Groups
the Cashier has to choose the Permanent Account button, which means posting to Main
Account. Then in a little blue window the computer asks the Account Number, where the
Cashier manually has to put the digits of the Folio Number into the system, and
underneath the Folio Number the computer searches for the name of the account, which
is the specific indication of the Travel Company and the Group Identification, so the
Cashier can double check if she is posting to the right account. If so, then just need to
press ”OK”, close the Cheque and ask for a Printout.
There is a tiny Printer that is connected to the Cashier’s Computer and located
just right next to it. It works with a special paper and print about ten centimeters wide
strips. So, if the Cheque has been closed, on the printout there will be beside of the Date
Time, the code if the Cashier, the Cheque Number Table Number and Number of guests
together with the detailed consumption that it has been posted or settled by posting to
such and such Account, or by such and such Card or Cash. Well, in the case of Group, it
shows that it has been charged to such and such Account Number. This strip has to be
stapled to the Docket made up previously, and the Number of Guests had to be indicated
again, will be useful at Cashing-up, and the Complete name of the Group. When it is all
done, the docket is kept in the slot indicated with „Groups”, underneath the Cashier’s
After the Group charges have been done, the Cashier is almost read to open.
There are only a few things left to do, like putting out all the menus needed during the
evening, consulting with Supervisor about any specialties of the evening, special deals,
like some of the wines have special rates if the Restaurant want’s to get rid of them, the
Cashier also needs to know about dishes unavailable, and Soup or Pasta of the Day, and
when we had the Potato of the Day. The cashier also needs to check if the Table
Numbers on the Table are the same then on the Floor Plan, if not then change one or the
other. Customarily the table numbers along the Railings are staying the same. The
Supervisor previously allocated different parts of the Restaurant to different Attendants,
and recorded it on the Floor plan. The Cashier’s other job with the Floor plan is to have a
look at the table bookings, and try to manage who should sit where, at what time, and try
to make sure if someone booked a table that when they arrive, a table would be waiting
for them. All the booked tables are getting colored with the note of Estimated Time of
Arrival, and Room Number. Make sure that the desk is tidy, that everything is turned on,
and that there are enough Mints placed out, along with docket books for the Attendants,
Pens, Black Folders for Presenting the Bill, and enough Cash Trays, for Change.
During Service it is the Cashier’s job to answer Phone Calls, handle Room
Service Orders, Table Bookings, to Great and Seat Guests, explain the Menu for them,
draw their attention to Special Deals. These tasks can all be fulfilled by other members of
the team, but no one else has the right to handle the Cash Box and the Computer, only
exceptions are Supervisors. The Cashier needs to make sure that every item ordered by
every table has been put into the computer correctly, and that the bill has been presented
in time, and the Cheques have been closed by settling the bill, by signing it onto Guest
Rooms or Paying by Card or Cash or Cheque. When paying by Credit Card, then the
Cashier has to select the type of card, like Visa, Master Card etc, then in a blue window
the computer asks for the ten digit code of the card that is written on the front of it, and
the date of expiry, and the amount of purchase. After typing in, the Chattier has to swipe
the card through the Eftpos machine, and the machine will ask for the amount of
Purchase, and the type of the card, if it is a Debit, or Credit card (most cards are Credit,
however there are exceptions), and when pressing enter on the Eftpos machine, the
system will or will not authorize the transaction. If not, then try again, making sure
everything was all right, and if it accepts, then the Eftpos machine will print out two
receipts, one for the customer and the other is for the Cashier to keep, and handle it as
Cash, locked up.
This is the point when the cashier can close the little blue window, because the
transaction has been done, the Cheque can be closed. Printouts of closed individual
Cheques had to be stapled to the orders on pink docket slips, and placed into the slot of
the type of bills indicated by; Group, Room Charge (R/C), Cash, Tips, Room Service
(R/S). If some of the Attendants get Gratuity from the Guests, the Cashier can insert it
into the Cheque, by selecting the Gratuity button, typing in the correct amount, and now
can select the method of payment. But this only happens if the guest did not pay by Cash,
because there is no record of Cash Tips.
In Cenacolo, the Cashier has the freedom to save on paper and work, by if there is
a table of four with w couple and two single guests, and they want to pay individually,
the ordered item can get Seat Number, by selecting the item, and pressing the Seat
button, where the computer will ask, that under which seat number do we want to put the
item. If this has been done out our table of four, for example the items ordered by the
couple were number one, and the items ordered by the first single were number two, and
the ones ordered by single two were number three, the Cashier can ask the computer to
make Printouts by Seat Numbers. The Printout can be for a specific seat or for all of
them. This makes the presentation of the bill easier, and still when the Cheques has been
closed, the final printout can be only one piece of paper, where we saved about fifteen
centimeters of papers, in case of three seats. This is a really useful tool especially when
we have large groups, and everyone only orders one drink. In the case of a group sized
thirty we can save one and a half meter of paper. That is a lot, so I believe this is a really
handy tool, although sometimes it needs more attention from the Cashier, but the Cashier
was trained to do her job, because she is capable of these.
Another useful tool is the Sum divider, which means that if two or three families
are sitting at a table and they decide that they all want to pay for half or the third of the
price, the Cashier can easily do that. These buttons are located under the specification of
amount, when the type of posting has been chosen (Room Charge, Credit Card, Cash),
when the computer is either asking for card Number or Room Number. If the guest want
to pay a part of it by cash, any amount and pay the other part some other way, that can be
done too, because the computer will record how much have of the bill have been settled,
and will calculate how much is still due out. These tricks will only make the Cash Up a
bit harder, if someone else would do it, but because it is usually the cashier that does it,
usually she remembers of these tricks, where and how they happened.
When all the Cheques have been closed for the evening in the Restaurant and the
Room Service, and the Supervisor gave permission, the Cashier can start to do the Cash-
up procedure; this is sometimes around ten, eleven o’clock in normal conditions. Usually
starting with the Room Services the Cashier needs to print out the Reports of the evening.
The Reports can be reached by Exiting from the Restaurant Outlet, and going into the
Room Service as usually, and then select the Reports Icon, a Printer on the bottom of the
screen. Now a gray window comes up, and before doing anything, the Printers have to
change by selecting the Printer button at the bottom right corner. The Printer needs to be
changed to Konica, which is the big printer in the Office of the Managers. Select Konica,
and then press Ok. Going back to the big gray window, where there is a list of reports.
The following Reports are needed. Cashier, Audit, Cashier Audit Detail, Checks
Open Report, Gratuity Cashier Detail, Flash Report, Void Reasons. Now, after selecting
the individual reports the computer will ask, except by the Flash Report, which period we
want to see.
If the Cashier doesn’t answer the computer will bring up everything that has
happened during the day, but the Cashier in the evening is only interested in Period
Three, so have to type in „P3”. After that the reports will appear on the screen, and by
selecting „Print”, the information will be transferred to the printer. The same procedure
needs to be done at the Restaurant Outlet, but the Printer doesn’t need to be changed at
the beginning, the computer will remember, but will need to be changed back to the
original setting. Some Cashiers in the morning used to forget it, and it was a pain when
the printouts were not appearing at the cashier, but in the Office on A4 papers. The
Reports need to be collected, and an empty Cash-Up sheet needs to be taken from file
alongside with the A’la Carte Sales Sheet. The later one is a recent thing, and the
Cashiers didn’t have to do it earlier. Arriving back to the Cashier’s desk again, sort out
the Reports by Outlets.
Take the Cashier Audit, where the Type, the Code and the description of
Payments can be seen on the left, and the amounts on the right, with subtotals and a big
Total at the bottom. The Types can be Cash, Credit Card, Room Charge, Permanent
Charge, Discount, Gratuity (Tips). Put these data into the Cash Up Sheet (Waitangi
Restaurant Balance Sheet) respectively into the Column of Cashier Audit Report. After
this the Cashier needs to take all of the dockets stapled with the Slips showing that the
Cheque has been closed and keep them as they have been selected earlier. Take the
dockets from the slot of Cash, and add the Amounts of Purchase together with the
calculator, and staple the Add strip to the whole lot of dockets. Now take out all the coins
and bank notes from the cash box, and count them as well, and note that in what amount
you have each type of notes and coins at the left bottom of the Balance Sheet in the Cash
Summary. Add them all together, deduct the Float the hundred and fifty dollars, there are
usually no tips taken, and the amount of Total Cash should agree what was the total on
the add strip and what the Cashier Audit said. The money without the float goes into a
secure money bag, or if there is none, then into an envelope. The amount that we got at
the Cash summary goes to the „Actual” column and the Cash row, and a Variance need
to be indicated.
Now take the Eftpos Charges, these are the dockets left over from the slot of
Cash, and take the receipt from the Eftpos transactions that have gone through, check if
all of them are there, and if each amounts are identical to the ones in Cashier Audit, if
more than one people paid with the same type of card, then make up and add strip and
staple it to the dockets, put them aside. Place the Eftpos receipts were the Cash money is.
Should not forget to check the pile of Tips, there might be dockets from Credit Card
Transactions. Again put down in the Balance Sheet the actual amounts and if there was
any Variance. Follow with the Room Charges, again, don’t forget the pile of Tips, and if
there were tables where seats were paying by different methods. Then count those with
Discounts if any, and Permanent Charges. Make a Subtotal, then check the sum of
gratuities, and deduct it from Subtotal to get Total. At most of the times there is no
Variance, but it can happen that the Cashier had to time to check the Float and something
was missing before, because the morning cashier made a mistake. These things happen.
If there are any discrepancies, the Cashier can always check the Cashier Audit
Detail, where each and every closed dockets are shown by their type and their docket
number, but this Report also show the table number and at Room Charges the Room
Number as well, as the Account number with the Covers, the server and the Amount of
Purchase. If everything was all right, move on to the top part of the Balance Sheet. Box
of Total Covers (from dockets) is the next part. When the cashier closes and account
usually writes some notes onto the top of the printout. This will show the type of the
account (in case the dockets get mixed up) and the number of covers circled into the top
corner on the right. While calculating the Totals of Purchases, the Cashier has an
opportunity to take a note of the Number of Covers as well. If the cashier does it so, then
at this part of the Cash up the cashier has an easy job, because the recorded data only
need a sum, and the number of covers of Guests in Restaurant (In-House), the Packages
(if there was any, important in the morning), of Tour Groups, of Room Services, of
Casuals (Walk-ins), and Kids can easily be Totaled, and this part of the Balance Sheet
takes only five minutes.
For the last part of the Balance Sheet the Cashier needs the help of the Flash
Reports of the two Outlets, and the Cashier Audit of the Room Service Outlet. This is the
Sales Report. Food Revenue comes if the Cashier adds the items in the W Rest – Dinner
part of the Food Column together with the same items on the Room Service Flash
Report. The Beverage Revenue comes almost the same way, but taking the Beverage
Column on the flash reports. To get the Average Spends the Cashier needs to divide the
above two Revenue figures by the Total Number of Covers. To get the figure for the row
of ’Restaurant” take the Total figure from the Cashier Audit of the Restaurant, and to get
the Average Spend, divide this figure by the Total Number of Covers. To get the Room
Service figure, take the Total from the Cashier Audit of the Room Service Outlet. Now
add the row of Restaurant and Room Service together, and the Total (Incl. GST) should
equal to the Total, that was the Subtotal Less Gratuity, but it includes the tax. To get the
Total excluding tax, the Cashier needs to divide this amount by 1,125.
The cashier can complete the Balance Sheet by subtracting the last two amounts
from each other. Never forget to write the Date and the Period on top, and to sign each
and every Reports, and making detailed description of Gratuities on the Gratuity Cashier
Details. Put the pile of Room Service dockets onto the Room Service Reports, and fold
them in make sure the add strip is on them, and do the same thing with the piles of the
Restaurant dockets and the money bag, and fold them into the Restaurant’s Reports. Sign
the Balance Sheet, organize the money box with the Float, and ask the signature of the
Supervisor. After that, take it to the Duty Manager or the Night Auditor, if it is past
eleven o’clock. Sign the Book of Floats and the Book for handing in the Cash-Up. Give
back the Green keys. When it is done clean out the area of the desk, Change the Period of
Room Service and Restaurant onto Period One, and shut down the computer. Put away
the Menus and anything else that have been taken out from the Desk and brought back,
take away the Mints. If the Cashier is the last one staying in the Restaurant, then the
Cashier has to make sure that every equipment except the Coffee Machines have been
closed down, and the lights have been turned off in the back, everything is tidy, same up
front, and then the Cashier has to sign out, and ask the Duty Manager to sign the
Timesheet. This is a rear occasion, but happens. That was all about the Evenings.
Morning Cashiering is a bit simpler in a few ways.
If the First Attendant arriving to the Restaurant did not have time to check the In-
House List, and open up the Café Bar and the Cashier’s Desk, then the Cashier has to do
all that. Basically the Cashier’s task in the morning is to check who has their Breakfast
included in the price of the room and make sure that if someone did not have the
Breakfast included, are not prepaid, then make sure that they pay for what they are
having. Also the Cashier has to open Cheques for extra Coffees, and has to handle the
Room Service Orders, and Charges.
The checking of the contents of the Minibars in each room happens in the
morning shift. There are usually three or four, usually girls, working with the minibar,
and only one of them per day has to check all hundred and forty-five rooms. Usually they
come in the same time as they would start they simple waitressing morning shift, but in
optimal situation they go to do the Minibars around nine thirty. When they get
permission from the Supervisor to go, they can have more options, it depends what they
prefer. If they wish they can go and get the Housekeeping Checkout Report from the
computer, can be found under REPORTS / HOUSEKEEPING - CHECK OUT LIST in
the Libica main system. If they don’t wish to use it, if they just decide to go and knock
on each and every door, it is their freedom to do. But what every one of them needs to do
is to get the set of Master Keys (six pieces of keys set on the long chain) from the
Administration Manager’s office, by asking her or the Duty Manager to open the big
brown box. As they have the key, they need to get the Minibar Sheets along with the
Credit Card Sheet and the Minibar Request and Restock Sheet on the clipboard from the
wall of the Restaurant Office, and also grab the Green Keys from the Cashier, to get into
the Light Store by the Purchasing Officer’s office.
As they go into the Store Room they find the Minibar trolley there, with the
Minibar Diary on top. As first thing, they need to check if there is any note left by the
Minibar Attendant from yesterday’s shift like she didn’t discover for example a peanuts
missing in room three hundred and six, but the guests declared it and paid for it, so it still
needs to be replaced and not put onto the next guests account, because it has already been
accounted for. If anything like this happens, the next day shift needs to keep it in mind
when restocking and accounting on the computer for the Minibars Items that have been
used. So if indicated by the Diary the Minibar-girls needs to check and adjust the stock of
the trolley. Check if they have enough from the notes for the Privacy Requested Rooms
and or replacements of the blue Minibars Slip for those rooms, where the guests have
used them (Just keep an estimate reasonable amount).
Next step is to start to roll the heavy trolley all around the hotel and knocking
onto each and every door, except the Privacy Requested Doors, for them we have a nice
little note saying that because the requested privacy the hotel could not check their
Minibars, and if they wish their Minibars to be serviced please contact the Restaurant or
Front Desk. Now the girls need to slide this little paper through underneath the doors. Of
course there are guests who think it is funny to put their signs out onto other doors, and
this is when the Check Out list comes in handy, because the Minibar Attendant can call
up Reception and ask the Receptionist in person if they know anything unusual about the
room, or if there could be any reason why a Privacy Requested sign could be on that
particular door. Most of the data are put into the system by us humans, and as humans we
do make mistakes.
The proper check of a room looks like this: the Minibar Attendant checks if the
room has a Privacy Requested status, if not, then knocks on the door, and announces
herself with „Good Morning/Afternoon, Minibar”. Now listens for any movement, or
answer. Answers can be „I am coming” or „Could you come back in five / ten minutes
please?”. Now they can wait for the door to open up, or if they need to come back, they
just go ahead with their work and come back soon to this room and try checking again. If
there was no answer they can try again, and they can enter into the room after the third
try. Well, because of the large number of rooms they need to cover, and the time pressure
from management, usually the Minibar Attendant enters into the room after the first
Now in the room the contents of the Minibar are usually in or on a cabinet. The
items that need special temperature are in the fridge and the others are somewhere close
to the fridge.
Next, in the fridge there should be one bottle of Lion Red Beer, one bottle of
Mack’s Black Beer, two bottles of Mac’s Gold Beer, all for five dollars and fifty cents.
There should also be one mini bottle of white wine, Montana Chardonnay for seven
dollars and fifty cents, a mini bottle of Lindauer Brut bubbly for also seven dollars and
fifty cents. In the fridge there should be one bottle of Diet Coke, two bottles of Coke, two
bottles of Orange juice, one bottle of Schweppes Lemonade and Tonic and Ginger Ale,
two Kitkats for three dollars each. Now there should also be a Lift Plus Energy Drink,
and two bottles of Pump Water, four dollars per bottle.
Other Minibar items that do not need refrigeration are two packets of Chips, one
piece of Cookie Time Chocolate Chips Cookie, two packets of Honey Roasted Peanuts,
for three dollars by packet. There are mini bottles of spirits, a bottle of Rum (Coruba or
Black Heart), a bottle of Gordon’s Gin, a bottle of Jim Beam, a bottle of Johnnie Walker,
a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka for seven dollars a bottle, and a mini Baileys for eight dollars.
In every Minibar there should be a mini bottle of red wine, Montana Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot for seven dollars fifty cents, and a Reviva hangover pill for seven dollars.
If we count these amounts together we get a sum as high as hundred and twenty
one dollar and fifty cents. Now if we multiply this by hundred and forty-five we will get
seventeen thousand and six hundred and seventeen dollars and fifty cents. Because of this
huge money, the Minibar Attendants have to make sure that all stock in Minibars are still
valid, and won’t expire in a month. Yes, in a month, because if they are taken out from
the Minibars a month before expiry, the supplier takes it back, gives us fresh stock,
because they can still sell the stock given back, to Shops, Supermarkets where the stock
changes over more frequently.
So, when the Minibar Attendant checks the room, she checks if everything is on
its place and unopened, and also checks the date of expiry on Peanuts, Chips, Orange
Juice, Cookies, and Kitkats. If there was anything missing then she records it on the
Minibar Sheet, where in the rows she can find the name of the different Minibar Items,
and on the top row, she can find place for the Room Numbers. So she puts the number of
the room onto the top row, and then underneath of it in the same column she makes a
mark about the number of items missing by each and every items row, that has been
named in the first column and been found missing or damaged. Then in the bottom
section she makes a note of the total amount of money that needs to be accounted for in
If the Minibar Attendant finds unusual things, for example she has been checking
the rooms for three continuos days before and finds that for example in room number
two-hundred and sixteen no one has stayed in the past three days, and by today the
Kitkats have gone missing. She needs to register this situation in the Minibar Diary for
herself to know why are two extra Kitkats missing, and where does she need to account
for them at the end of the day, and for the others to watch out for that room as well, and
for the Management so they can try and go after it, what has happened, or if there was
anything like this reported in other rooms and other days the management could find a
pattern and an answer why and how did those Kitkats disappear.
When finished checking all the hundred and fourty-five rooms, the Minibar
Attendant needs to fill out the Minibar Requisition Form, to show how much stock did
she have to use during the shift, and the total amount of money shown on the Requisition
Form needs to be equal to the one shown as Total on the Minibar Sheet. If these two
numbers agree, then the trolley needs to be restocked.
The par levels of the trolley are the following six bottles of every beers, six
bottles from both wines and four bottles of Lindauer, need eight bottles of Coke, Diet
Coke, Lemonade, six bottles of Tonic, Ginger Ale and Lift Plus, I used to put eight
bottles of Orange Juice, eight bottles of every spirits and twenty bottles of Pump Water.
There should be four boxes of Reviva in the trolley alongside with twenty packet of
Peanuts, ten packets of Chips, eight Cookies, twenty Kitkats.
In the Store Room the Minibar Attendants have to keep an eye on the back-up
stock, draw the Purchasing Officer’s attention it if any of the stock was running out to
order some more, always leave a clean Store Room behind themselves.
Here comes the Computer work. First of all there is a need for the Minibar
Postings done by Front Desk, because Guests when they check out before ten o’clock
they are asked if they had anything from the Minibar, because the Minibar Attendants
have no chance to sort out all the Minibar Postings by ten o’clock, so as a help, Front
Desk tries to do a part of it for them. So, how the Attendants do it, is that they log onto
Libica with their own personal codes, go into Night Audit, and requesting a Posting
Journal, where they have to give the code of the Minibar Postings, which is BV02, to
only view those postings that are relevant for the Minibar. If the list is too long they just
make a printout. The Posting Journal will show the Name of the Guest, the Room
Number, the Description of Items (been accounted for) and the Amount of Money the
room or sometimes the guest has been charged. This list needs to be compared to the
Minibar Sheet, and if these two agree then the Attendant puts a tick by the Room Number
on both sheets. If they don’t then the situation needs to be investigated by the Attendant
when she has to make the new Minibar Postings.
Making and Checking Postings
In Libica system the Combined List shows the Room Numbers, and the status of
the rooms, if they are Arrivals, or Departures or Staying. Sometimes those who already
checked out cannot even be found on the combined list, and in this case the Attendant
needs to require with the Room Number a list that shows the name and arrival and
departure Details of everyone who have stayed in the room in the past few months, and
from that list the Attendant can get to the details of their Accounts. The Accounts can be
visible if the Attendant double clicks onto the row of the room in any of the lists. Then
the complete Name and Address of the guest the Check-In Time and the Check-Out
Time, the Name of the Receptionists Checking In and Out the Guest, the Number of
Days spent at what Rate in the hotel, who made the Reservation, the Credit Card
Number, Expiry Date, Type that is responsible for the Room, sometimes Nationality etc.
Above the main panel there are icons, and the Money Bag icon will lead to the list
of each and every postings made to the account, with Posting Code, description of
Consumption or Payment, Time of Posting and the Code of the hotel Employee who
made the Posting. As the Attendant gets this list, has a few options depending on the
situation. If the Posting has been made incorrectly, it is the Attendants responsibility to
take an action by sending out a letter that will let the Guest know that the hotel found
some outstanding Minibar Charges, which letter is not really convenient if the Guest
already has declared items consumed by departure, but is necessary if we had absolutely
no information from the Guest about the status of his or her Minibar. This letter basically
says that we have found such and such items in such and such value outstanding, and if
the Guest will not contact the hotel within a week, the hotel will Charge their Credit
Cards but if this letter gets sent out the Attendant has to record the Details of the Guest
and the Consumption on the Credit Card Sheet and has to sign at the bottom. The other
possibility in these cases is if the deal is over less than three dollars, the Attendants
usually just put the amount onto the Minibar Monthly Disputes Account and in the Notes
section describing shortly the Room Number the items and why did the value of the
items have been accounted among the Disputes. For all those charges where the guests
are still In House Postings needs to be made into their Money Bag by INSERT-ing the
values with a note of detailed consumption, and the Minibar Code BV02. If the Guests
have Checked Out already note of their Credit Card details needs to be made, and if there
is a New Zealand resident Address in the system, a letter needs to be written where we
ask them to contact the hotel within seven day, unless their credit cards will be charged
for the values of the items found missing, and unpaid and their Names, Addresses, Items
Consumed and their Value, the Credit Card Number and Type reliable for the Charges of
the Account need to be registered on the Credit Card Sheet/s. These letters need to be
printed onto letterhead paper and the Attendant need to sign it above the Restaurant
Manager’s Name by ’PP Name of the Attendant’. In the mean time all of those charges
that could not be posted to any on the In House Accounts have to go to the Monthly
Minibar Disputes Account with specific descriptions. If these charges have been made
and the letters have been sent, the Attendant has to go to the folder of the already sent out
Minibar letters, and needs to put the copy of the today’s letters to the date one week from
now, and check if there is any letter at today’s date. If there is, the Attendant needs to get
the Credit Card Sheet of the date one week ago, and charge the Credit Cards of those
guests whose letters were still in the folder, which means they haven’t contacted the
hotel, which means they authorized the hotel to charge their Cards by the amount
specified in the letter. The Attendant needs to charge the Credit Card of those Guests,
who do not have New Zealand residential address, because the hotel does not send letter
to other countries and continents, the procedure of the hotel is to charge their cards right
Now the Attendant has to go to Reception, because Credit Card Charges of
Minibars can only be done at Reception, because the if they would be done in the
Restaurant, they would pop up in Cenacolo, the Food and Beverage System, and they
need to be in Libica, because that is the system that put these charges onto the Dispute
account a week ago. When Charging a Credit Card, after asking permission from the
Front Office Clark, the Attendant needs to press and Enter, then choose Purchase, then
type in the Amount of Purchase, then press Enter twice, because there is no Cash taken
out, then the Attendant has to type in the ten digit Number of the card, then the Date of
Expiry of the card, and the type, which is Credit Card, and wait for acceptance. If
accepted, the first receipt with a Note of ’Minibar’ and the Date goes onto the spike at
Front Desk, and the other one goes on file together with the copy of the letter sent out,
and with the date and Room Number on the back.
When the charging of Credit Cards is done, the Attendant needs to go back to the
computer, and take off the successful charges from the Minibar Dispute Account with a
Negative posting and description, for each and every Credit Card Charges, and go into
the Guests Accounts by Query and add the amount and Description to their Money Bag,
by Inserting with the BV02 Minibar Code, and in the same time to take it off as well, by
Inserting with ’P’ ’F2’ pressed together, and selecting the type of card that has been used,
specify the same amount as a step ago, description is only ’C/C’, which means the
Account been settled by Credit Card.
Put every pares respectively on file, and put back every tools that has been used,
and checking the Minibars would be over, but in the last couple of months a new practice
came in place, where the Porters do not collect the Room Service Tray from the Pantries
and the Corridors. Sooner or later every Room Service Tray would reach the
Housekeeping Pantries, unless the Minibar Attendant collects them. So I already reached
my point, the Minibar Attendant at the end of her shift has to go around and collect all
the Room Service Trays from the Pantries and from the Corridors. Collecting the Trays
have two practical reasons, one is that they are needed for the other shift, and that if any
food leftovers are staying in the Housekeeping Pantries the bugs and rodents will appear
inside the hotel. I believe it is all fair, I only have one thing to note, and that is in second
year in school from Front Office Management we learned that anything left in corridors
is everyone’s business, not only selected peoples within the hotel, and if we see anything
on hallways, corridors that doesn’t belong there, especially if it waste that looks and
smells disgusting, whoever is walking there first has to take it away.
The Restaurant had two different Managers while I worked there. When I arrived
it was Mr. Glen Cook and later on if I remember well from March it was Mr. Shaun
Dobbs. Their job was to basically coordinate the work if the Restaurant, to manage
Revenue Costs, Rosters, Supervise Shifts and Events, Take part in Training, Designing
Menus, taking part in business with Groups, Conferences. They were basically
responsible toward the guests with the image and the flow of Dinning, having Breakfast
or Lunch. They had to give directions to Supervisors, and they were responsible of
behavior of all staff. They had to take active part in the life of the whole Hotel not only
as Managers, but as Managers or of the largest Department next to Room’s Division. He
had to be aware of everything going on within, and in the closest area of, the Hotel. The
Restaurant Manager held a monthly Staff Meeting where they let us know what is going
on in the Hotel and especially in the Food and Beverage Department. Mr. Cook decided
with the Food and Beverage Manager Ms March that they are going to chose the
Employee of the Week with the help of the Supervisors, and this employee with the
company of one person will receive a free Buffet Dinner, so the staff can experience how
does it feel to be a guest in the Restaurant where they work. As Mr. Dobbs started, pretty
shortly he changed the table set ups to a simpler and less time consuming way. The
napkins were leaning in quadrangular shape in the middle at the evenings and underneath
the cutlery in the mornings. We didn’t put citrus fruits into the jugs of water anymore, to
reduce costs; we simply served tap water with ice. The staff didn’t have to use service
plates to write in their dockets anymore, they could grab anything, actually I saw tem
most of the times using their own palm to hold the docket-books while taking orders. Mr.
Dobbs did some good changes in the conferencing, mainly in decoration, and he prepared
little cards for taking orders, where printed the menu onto the left column and put the
number of guests into the tom row of the matrix, to make taking orders more organized.
He basically did some organizing jobs, but frequently left the Restaurant without
Supervision at the end of shifts in the evening, and at the beginning of shifts in the
morning, and could not manage the Roster properly. As I have learned later, when
resigned and spent my holiday I have heard in Auckland that he disappeared one night
and sent his resignation in by fax. This has happened a week after I have left, and as far
as I know right now the Food and Beverage Manager and the Supervisors are the ones
running the Restaurant.
Supervisors are responsible for everything that happens in their shift. Most of
them have their Duty Managers License and well, so sometimes they are the one
responsible for everything that happens in the entire hotel. But mainly they have to make
sure that the restaurant is ready for the guests and that every staff knows what to do.
Other than that, they have to make sure that they utilized every labor and equipment
resource to the maximum in order to keep the service on high quality and profitability
level. First of all when they arrive, they have to make sure they have got all essential
information to run the Restaurant smoothly. They have to know if the previous shift
could not finish any of the daily jobs, they need to know if there is any item on the menu
unavailable so they can pass it on onto the Attendants, or if someone who is supposed to
be on called in sick, and if there is anyone to replace that person. The Attendants have to
talk to them about sickness, and they have to keep a Diary of Sickness and Lateness.
They are also reliable for the connection with Tour Groups, when a group arrives; the
Supervisor needs to meet the Tour Guide and needs to double-check the times of visit to
the restaurant and the style of service requested and possible. Usually the Supervisors
and the Tour Guides are in telephone contact, but details can be changed even at the very
last minute, mainly with time, that they don’t want to came for breakfast the next
morning at eight thirty, because they have managed to get a deal on a day trip that leaves
at eight o’clock, so they decided to have breakfast at seven thirty. As practical part, they
are responsible of setting the lightening, and the music before service. The Hotel has a
wide selection of CDs, and the Supervisors have the authority to get to those CDs,
however the Attendants, and probably the guests also, get bored of the songs. Another
task of the Supervisors is to allocate pre-service tasks to Attendants, in the mean time
they have to allocate the service area and service tasks as well. If they don’t have enough
people on shift, then usually the Supervisor is the one Greeting and Seating the Guests. If
it is not so busy they even do Cashiering. During Service they basically keep an eye on
everything, try to fill in, help out if needed. They are the one dealing with serious
complaints. If the complaint is easily fixable, and the Attendants can manage it, they just
need to know about it, to pass it forward to Management. They are the ones giving the
orders to the Attendants what to do, how to serve, and have to give detailed description
of the shift, how did the guests like their food, where there any complaints, if there was
any staff issue, or service issue. The Supervisor is the one giving permission for brakes,
and has to make sure that everyone had the appropriate length of brake/s, and that
everyone get back from their brake in time. The Supervisor is the one signing out After
Service Tasks to the Attendants. There is also a Supervisor Check List for their shift, that
they have to complete, and that makes sure they have checked that everything is in order,
equipment turned on or off (depending on the time of the day). At the end of the day they
also have to complete a Productivity Report, where they have to record the Revenue from
different units of the Restaurant with and without GST (service tax), what kind of Guests
did the Restaurant deal with, FIT’s, Casuals, Corporate, Conference, Tour, Room Service
and how many of each together with the total number of covers, and average spend. Also
have to record that that how long did the staff work, and how much did it cost for the
company. This is done every day at the end of shifts. The Supervisors also have to Attend
Meetings, They have to attend the weekly Supervisor’s Meeting, also the weekly Food
and Beverage Meeting, the Staff Meeting and also if they are working in the morning
they have to attend the Daily Ten O’clock Meeting. On these meetings they get
information about what kind of events are coming up, for what kind of goals do they
need to push their department, and basically they get to know everything what goes on
hotel, and department wise, and among the staff. SO the Supervisors have crucial role in
the operation of the Waitangi Restaurant, and it is really important to have trusts worthy,
fair Supervisors, who know about every detail of the operation of the Restaurant.
The job of the Food and Beverage Attendants is to basically attend the guests, an
do whatever they are told to do. They have to arrive to work in time, in proper Uniform,
with wine opener, they have to know the menus, the wine list, and other drinks, they have
to be updated about dishes on the buffet, dishes that were unavailable for the night, the
Soup of the Day, Pasta of the Day, or Potatoes of the Day, they had to be familiar with
the short codes of dishes, the correct procedures of different types of service, and wine
serving such as serving bubbly, they all had to be aware of paying methods, and different
roles within the Restaurant, they had to be able to work different shifts, although some
Attendants had oblige the Restaurant that they could only work nights, or particular days.
The Attendants were responsible that the guests had a unique dining experience. But the
Attendants had to take part in Pre-Service, and Post Service duties, and had to be able to
work on Functions, had to know the set up of different seating styles, had to take part in
skirting, such as decoration, and braking down the place after a big function with party
and after a conference during the day. The Food and Beverage Attendants had to be able
to work from two thirty in the afternoon till three, sometimes four o’clock in the morning
if needed. The Staff had to transport equipment, and all necessities for Food and
Beverage operation from one location to another. They had to be able to work inside and
outside of the Restaurant, and the Building. There were occasions when the location of
service wasn’t even at the territory of the hotel, but on a boat, or once there was a dinner
in Russell, when everything had to be transported to and from the location. Basically they
had to be flexible to the maximum. The Attendants have to accept the orders of
Supervisors, and Managers, and bringing up any issues at the Monthly Staff Meeting.
My work, any specialties
I was employed as Food and Beverage Attendant. I have started with the
evenings, and also did some functions. I was always happy that I could be at such a
beautiful location, and for a long while I didn’t even care about how work was going,
how much was I working, or how was I treated or just anything about it. I was happy to
work, and I wanted to do my best at all times. I was paying attention to everyone who
tried to teach me something, and I learned pretty easily who should I really listen to, and
take advises from. They tried me out with groups, with larger number of groups, which
was really hard work, and usually unthankful, because it wasn’t personalized service, it
was basically bulk thing. As I have been working hard, I moved myself kind of “up”
within the Attendants, and I started to get A’la Carte Tables, and I was mainly used with
groups if it was TDH service. On a few occasions I was the one serving smaller groups
all by myself for TDH, and to be honest I think I was successful, especially when there
was this group of fifteen if I remember, and although they had A’la Carte I basically
served them according to the standards of a TDH Service. The Host of the group was
really satisfied with me, and although I was on my break when they have left, they
Gentleman sent a fifty dollar note for me. I got it from one of my Colleges in the Staff
Room, and I hurried back to the Restaurant, and the host couple was still there chatting
with my Supervisor. I thanked him pretty much, and I could not hide my surprise, but he
said that he works in hospitality back home in Costa Rica, and if anything happens to me
I should just call them, because they need Waitresses like me over there. As I heard it
later it was a record tip that I got, but their words were the real present. From that
moment on, and it was on the fourteenth of October last year I know it for sure, I took
more pride in what I was doing, and tried to get better and better, and learn more and
more. I have been asking the Restaurant Manager to put me into training, and to train me
for more and more jobs within the Department.
I am not a loud person, and for me the biggest difficulty was to be dominant over
a few really naughty colleagues of mine. I knew I cannot be bossed around, I could of
never been, and when people tried it they had to learn that I can lose patient after a while.
It was really hard especially at the beginning of summer season, but I was getting better
of it every time. I felt really irritated though when I felt somehow put aside. When I felt
like someone doesn’t want to deal with me, tried to avoid me. There was one occasion
when I was told that I am going to be the coordinator of a TDH service for forty-eight
pax. I had really bad set of staff to work with, to be honest. One of them has been
working for the restaurant on and off but for a long time, and she had really bossing
around personality, and somehow she could not accept my superiority above her the big
old staff, and no matter what I have said to her, she didn’t do it. I told her to take a
particular dish to a particular seat-number; she grabbed another dish on purpose and told
me that she is going to take that to such and such seat instead of what I said. After the
third incident Chef came to my help and told her to behave. And there was this other guy,
totally hopeless. I told him to take two cakes to such and such seats, and he grabbed two
fruit salads and started to walk away with them. When I asked him what did I tell them to
take, he said two cakes, and then I asked him, so what did the two fruit salads did in his
hands he took the whole thing personally.
For a while one of my Supervisor, although I was getting already the good works
from others, was putting me into sections where I absolutely didn’t get any work, or if I
did it was just simple staff, or group. She did it to me for about a month, and then I
started to get into her attention, by always arranging the Sachets of Sweetener at the
condiments on every table in a nice spread out way, instead of the ugly thrown around
style, how everyone was doing it. I haven’t signed out till I checked that every table had
exactly three Sachets, and that they were placed properly. She said that I was
perfectionist, and she started to give me credit. Later on I still kept organizing these
Sachets, and showing others that if they should do it the same way. It was good with staff
coming after me, my problem was with the old staff, who absolutely didn’t give a dime,
just came there to get paid. These few months around late October and then November
were my lowest times there. After all that I really started to focus on what I went there
for, and how to achieve my goals.
I became a Cashier in the evenings. I really liked it because finally I had to do
some work, as I though myself, because I had to use my brain for figuring out things, to
learn the tricks of the computer and Cenacolo. In the busy times I proved to be doing all
right. I hardly had any mistakes, and my dockets were printed out in time, hardly missed
any guests walking out. I paid close attention to my Balance Sheet, that it was all correct,
and to leave a tidy work.
I have been Cashiering at a few weird nights. Just before a big storm has arrived
my computer could not post anything. It could add up bills, but could not settle them. We
called the Front Desk, and they said that they have problems as well, so the Help Line
(within the chain) was called, and after about an hour they found out that the memory of
thy system, or the main computer, I don’t even remember anymore, was full and some
memory had to be freed up to be able to operate normally. At the end, the entire problem
has been solved, and I could finish the shift as usual. At another time the Eftpos machine
was broken, later at another occasion the docket printer connected to the computer. All
these things were just helping me to train myself for instant problem solving skills.
After this, and when the new Manager arrived I was placed to the morning shift,
and pretty soon I was trained up for Minibar. That was a hard job, the trolley was heavy,
and I always had the feeling that I was the only one in the team concerned about the
whole thing. For me it was amazing, what amount of money is there that the Minibar
simply cannot account for, and is a loss. I was especially surprised, when I discovered
things are disappearing from rooms, where no one stayed for a while.
I have been telling to my boss, but didn’t seem to be too passionate about it, so at
one afternoon I created an Excell file, where we could record these Mysteriously
Disappearing Items, and the details about their disappearance. I showed it to the
Restaurant Manager, and he Up-dated it, made it a bit fancier, and we started to use it.
Another so called “invention of mine” was that for an easier track of expiry dates,
whenever I have opened a new box or packet or whatever, I placed a note into the diary
for the date if its expiry and another one at a month before the expiry. Well the other girls
doing the Minibars didn’t care about it all. We got as far, as at one day I had a complaint
from a guest that the packet of chips that they had in their room expired in January and it
has happened in June!!! Then I checked a few Expiry dates myself in the rooms, and I
decided to take the time and make a list of what and in which room has expired, and
when. The result was absolutely shocking!!! Every room had something expired in it, in
the total amount of over three-hundred dollars. I didn’t even go to the Restaurant
Manager with that, because I already knew he wasn’t too interested in it, because I have
been telling him for a while that the expiries are in an extended amount, but probably in
brought one ear and out through the other, so I went straight to Ms March. She was
shocked as well, and initiated immediate actions.
In the last few months I was working a lot, even more than in summer season. I
was always called in if something has happened, and it did, because the staffing level was
badly managed. At this time I was working evenings, mornings, whatever and whenever
was needed. It was really tiring and also annoying after a while, when I had no Day off
during the week and I was working instead of those people who were out all night
partying, and then couldn’t come to work the next day.
The hardest part was when I was starting up the Restaurant early in the morning,
and went home for three hours and then had to do an evening shift for someone, and then
have an early start the next morning again, and so on and so on. But I have done it,
because I knew something the others didn’t and this is that the Restaurant and the Hotel
has to go on, the people have to be served, no matter what goes on in the life of those
working in the Hospitality industry. As the say in the USA, “The Show Must Go On”.
I also have worked with Conferences in the morning and in the evening. I liked
the Christmas parties and the Weddings the most. The Christmas parties had such a
freed-up atmosphere, that is indescribable, and it was great fun to work there. I have been
there when we had three-hundred and fifty guests having dinner in the Waitaha building,
I was there when we had the Wedding of the Tour Guide and the Bus Driver, I was also
there when we had to transform the Restaurant into a sandy beach for a Beach party
atmosphere but inside the building for a huge conference that took over all of the rooms
of the hotel, I have been serving snacks at a boat cruise for Northland Judges, and got to
drive the twenty two meters two levels boat, I was there when we had all the Sales and
Marketing Managers of the chain with possible customers had a great night with a long
party, I was there when for a conference a great New Zealand actor Mr. Rawiri Paratene
playing a part in the Oscar Nominee The Whale Rider movie, was invited. I was also
there, when the Prime Minister, Mrs. Helen Clark was staying at the hotel and lots of
other big New Zealand personalities at the Waitangi day, the big security and higher
ambience was something indescribable.
So, altogether I have learned a lot about a hotel, and about leading as well. I know
how it feels like to be on the other side, not only as server, but as employee. I believe I
can treat people better now, I can relate to their problems better, and I know what kind of
work is behind a nicely done bed, or the food that has been placed onto my plate in front
of me. I know how much work is needed before and after a party for two hundred. I
hopefully have learned some tricks for increasing Revenue, and just managing cost and
sales, but I have also learned that when a Manager gets a pile of paper full with numbers,
behind every fraction of a number there are peoples lives and hard work, and it has to be
I have also learned that it is nice to have great ideas about the future, the future of
for example a development, but to get there to be able make it real, lots of hard work is
needed, and might not necessary only from those whose immediate interest, or idea it
was, but mainly from Ms. A and Mr. B working down at the end of the line.
I also have learned a lot about myself. I have been to abroad for a longer period
before, but this was the first time, when I was completely on my won, and when no one
helped me. I arrived to New Zealand with enough money for two weeks, at the beginning
( I know now that I could of lived from that money for at least six weeks), and I didn’t
ask for any financial support from home. I have learned that I can work, I am able stand
onto my feet anywhere around the world now, I am not so afraid of the Adulthood, and
being alone, being independent. I know I can reach anything I want.
Other jobs I performed
I had the opportunity to help out for one day at the Housekeeping department of
the hotel. When I arrived at eight o’clock in the morning the Executive Housekeeper, Ms
Linda Kirby, was in the middle of preparing the daily worksheets for the girls, so I gave
her a hand. Basically she worked from the Housekeeping Check-Off List that she printed
out of Libica. Each girl got a section e.g. first half of the ground floor of Seaspray Wing
and the whole Waitangi Wing. IT meant fourteen rooms, thanks for low season. On the
worksheets she marked which rooms were Check-Outs (C/O), and which were
‘Stayovers’ (S/O), and if they were doubles (D) or Twins (TW). So we spread the pre-
prepared worksheets, allocated them among the girls by writing their names onto each
sheet, and putting the appropriate set of Master Keys onto them.
My next job was to fill out the Roster for her for the upcoming week. Basically it
was putting data into pre-done Excell file, but it needed some updating, so I have done
After I was done with that I got one of the two big Housekeeping Master Keys,
which opened all of the rooms of the hotel and my assignment was to go through all the
Vacant Ready Rooms, and inspect them in the one-, four-, and five-hundred wings. If
they were all right I had to circle them, and put down if they were done as Doubles, or as
Twins. I started with the five-hundred wing followed by the four-, and then the one-
hundred wings, because the first two were literally empty, but the last one was a busy
one. Still that I knew that there should be no one in those rooms I knocked and
introduced myself as Housekeeping at every door, to avoid unpleasant surprises. When I
walked into a room I checked all the lights, if the electric clock was going or not,
checked the cupboard if the cups and glasses were all rights, wrapped in plastic, checked
if the bathroom looked tidy if the bathtubs had plugs, if the cover of the beds were done
neatly all around. I found three light bulbs out, 2 glasses that had no plastic wrap around
them, and room number one-hundred and eighteen did not have glasses at all, plenty of
rooms were missing plugs. I left notes on my piece of paper where I found anything not
in order, and I notified Maintenance about the light bulbs. While I did this the Executive
Housekeeper did the same thing in the other side of the hotel in the Seaspray and the
Every day Housekeeping prints out the Arrival List (Detail) arranged by room
numbers for the next three days, be requesting e.g. first from „04/06/04 to 04/06/04”,
second „05/06/04 and third 06/06/04. This way the Executive Housekeeper is able to
arrange special attentions to those rooms that are due to arrival, and can prepare those
rooms which won’t be occupied for a while as well to meet the needs of being occupied
or not being occupied.
When I got back from the printer to the Housekeeping Office, Linda was on the
phone. One of the girls didn’t come in, and called in that she can’t make it to work from
their farm. So Linda had to call up another girl and call her in to work. She lived in a
neighbor town, so till she got to the hotel, we started to clean her rooms. My job was to
make the beds.
Every Housekeeping Attendant works from trolleys. These trolleys contain what
they need to get the rooms ready. The trolleys need detergents, which can be found in the
office, and the detergent holder are in plastic buckets also in the Office, every girl grabs
one, fills the holders up, and goes to work. The detergent with the „R2” symbol is an All
Purpose Cleaner, „R5” is an Air Freshener, the „R3” is a Glass Surface Cleaner, and
„R1” is the Toilet Cleaner. The plastic bucket also contains a bottle of Jif (like Ajax), a
Toilet Brush, sponge and Spich brush and a bottle of Jeyex to get the brown spots off
from around the bathtub. The trolleys are kept in the Pantries at every wing, in the long
ones there are even two of them.
There are Single, Double Queen sized (QX) and King (only in the Ensuites) sized
beds. The double beds are two single beds zipped together, while the Queen sized ones
are just one piece of furniture. The beds are pushed up against the wall, so first I had to
remove them. Bend the knees, go down totally, and pull the bed out a little bit. The beds
roll on tiny wheels that are a bonus. If I couldn’t pull them out enough I could just push
them out with my knees, if I stood against the wall. The new set of sheets needs to be
selected previously outside of the room from the trolley. So there are two sheets and
three to four pillow cases for every bed. The beds are either stripped by the Laundry
Attendant or the Room Attendant has to do it, if so then the dirty linen goes into the blue
linen bag on the trolley. Sometimes the attendant has to split the doubles into twins, or
put the twins together into doubles, but it is not that hard, because of the zips. The singles
have blankets, the doubles and queens have duvet-s, so when changing bed sizes, the
Attendant have to get rid of the top cover/s and the blankets or the duvet, fold them up
and place them into the back of the Pantry. To dress up the bed the Attendant has to start
by spreading the first sheet neatly, straighten it out, and tuck it under everywhere and use
the Hospital Tuck at the corners. It is not some kind of Nip and Tuck, but pulling the
corner material in the line of one side of the bed, and by using the other hand the material
gets tucked underneath the mattress in a flat triangular shape on the other side of the
corner.. Now the second layer of sheet can be spread and straighten (make sure that there
are no big visible marks), and leave this one a tiny bit longer by the head. Now on top of
it comes the Duvet or the Blanket. The Duvet has three wings at the bottom and the sides,
the seam goes underneath, no seems are on top, and the tag of the blanket goes
underneath, and the bottom by the feet also. Because the girls work in pairs, and the one
vacuuming is not the one, who did the whole room ,the girls leave the bottom corners of
the bedcovers folded back up, to indicate that the room has not been vacuumed, and the
one who does the vacuuming is the one tucking these ones in. But the head of the bed is
still not done. Put the pillows into their cases, and it is easier if two corners at the shorter
side are held together, and tucked into the far corners of the pillow case. Getting done
fast, is being efficient, where getting done means do the job properly.. Now the top of the
Duvet or Blanket gets folded back, and the top of the second sheet is folded onto it. Place
the pillow/s onto it, and flip the pillows together with the two layers of different covers.
It is easier with four hands, but not impossible with only two. After that it was done, push
the bed back to its place, and make sure that the sides look neat, Guest Comment Card
can go on top of the covered pillows, and the beds are done. I have done the beds in all
fourteen rooms, I got really tired by the end, and really hungry, but for an experience it
was all right. I finished around two o’clock that afternoon.
I hopped in for someone at the Motel too for cleaning, and actually it was before I
have done the Experience at the Housekeeping in the hotel. Somehow all the Cleaning
ladies called in sick, and a group of golf players were due in for that day, and Chef asked
me previously if I would help his wife out cleaning the rooms. Why not, haven’t done
anything like that before. The Motel had self serviced rooms, where the workers of the
hotel stayed, and had so to say business rooms, where tourists stayed. I started the first
room with Janet, the Manager of the Motel, but she had to run to meet some guests, or I
don’t know, so basically I had done the first room by myself, and asked her to check it.
Done the bed, the same method as in the hotel, I cleaned the services from dust in the
rooms, then I did the bathroom. I put Toilet Cleaner into the bowl, and let the detergent
some time to work, and till then I cleaned the shower cabin with all purpose cleaner,
changed the math and hanged new towels up, scrub the Toilet with the brush, and flush,
clean the seat with all purpose cleaner, then cleaning out the sink in the Bathroom, and its
area, the mirrors, put out new hand towels, new soap, and new shampoo and conditioner
into the shower. I have done the Kitchen area, clean the surfaces, wiped out the
microwave, empty out the water jug that heats the water, restocked the tea and coffee
sachets, shake out the toaster, cleaned the sink and its area, placed out new tea towel, and
put the pots and crockery’s and such away into the cupboards. Cleaned down the
Television, and the remote control in the Living Room, and this was the time when Janet
came back, showed me how she likes the cups to be placed, and that I have to move the
TV and dust underneath, and check the light bulbs, and how to fold the towels properly.
Through the next two rooms we did together, I did the Bathroom and Kitchen area, and
she did the living room and bed room area, and helped with the Kitchen, and after that
even Chef came to help, and the three of us finished up the rest pretty quickly. In the
mean time a load of clean linen came form the hotel and we had to empty the linen bags,
and fill them up with the Motel’s dirty linen. WE were done a bit after one o’clock in the
afternoon, and that was the official check-in time of the Motel, as it is at every
accommodation within New Zealand.
I have done two PM Reception shifts, as Trainee, and with the Receptionist on
duty we went through the PM Checklist. We counted the Float in the till, and the phone
cards. Mike, my Colleague checked the e-mail and the Reception Diary to exchange
information. We checked if there was any conference on, but there wasn’t so we didn’t
have to deal with that, but most of the times delegates come to the Front Desk first and
ask for direction. We checked the Flash Report, for anything unusual, and checked the
Telephone Manage System if it was working or not.
Then we had to check the Cash Card Account, it is used for posting charges of
Postcards, or other small purchases, this account is like a room that never checks out.
Telephone Default Account had to be checked as well. PM Reports had to be printed;
these were the Arrival List (Detail) and the In House List (Detail) along the Reserved
Special Report (although these don’t show in room bubblies, because they are part of
packages). We were supposed to make sure that the Porter had the keys, but there were
no porters on. When it was getting darker the lamp at the Canopy had to be turned on in
Then we deal with group check-ins. Envelopes with keys were made up (a sticker
on it with the Room Number, Name of Group and Name of Guests, and the key inside of
course, and it had to be checked against the new Arrival List, and the keys could not be
handed over, before the group has checked in, and Restaurant had to be called to check
the times of meals. Then we had to check if all Arrival Group Accounts had the Transfers
set up correctly.
Our next task was to Post and Balance guest and Management laundry dockets.
Laundry Docket Number must be added to comment line of Posting, and had to get
Porter to Distribute it, or nothing better, we had to do it ourselves. When Restaurant or
Bar would of brought any Balance Sheet, we should have to put it right into the safe, but
because the latest rule was that only the Duty Manager could do that, and Mike wasn’t
the Duty Manager, these Balance Sheet didn’t even arrive.
We had to print the Credit Checklist, and highlighting any balances over seven-
hundred and fifty dollars, and advise to Front Office Manager by e-mail to follow it up.
Report had to be filed in Credit check Folder. We had to photocopy all Arrival Vouchers
and attach the Original Copy to Registration Card.
The next task was to Complete Board to Ledger for Arrival Rooms. Room rate
had to be correct check rate wizard against notes line, Address had to be entered, if New
Zealand Resident had to be linked to history. Vouchers had to be attached to registration
card and details had to match. Undefined codes hat to be corrected, transfer details had to
be lodged correctly. Track codes had to be correct. Full payment details had to be
entered, if a room had no method of payment specified, it had to be followed up, and had
to be made a No Post, until details received.
After that we had to print registration cards for arrivals, and print envelopes for
group arrivals for the next day. Hotel e-mail and fax were checked by us for guest’s
messages or late reservations.
Before signing out Diary and notes for Night Audit had to be made, if there were
any wake up calls coming in we had to load them into the system. Balance Sheet and
Banking without and with Eftpos had to be completed. Counting the Float again, and
signed add strip had to be placed in till, and Shift had to be closed before eleven o’clock
in the evening. The so called LTI had to be changed to Period Three, as soon as Shift two
was balanced. We had to check if Cash Card Account was zero, and the same with the
Telephone Default Account, hen just had to wait for the hand over to Night Audit.
The Balance Sheet looked like the following. From the left to the right in the
columns there were Different from of Revenue, then the Actual Amount of them, then
the amount showed by LTI, and if the actual amount was under or over. In the rows there
were Cash (A), Cheque (B), Paid Out(C) a Subtotal (A+B-C), then the Eftpos and the
four Credit Card Charge types, and the Subtotal was the sum of these.
As I have learned there are rate levels as guides for selling rooms, and this is what
Mike used when determining the rate of a water view room and a garden view room for a
walk-in Couple. They wanted to see the rooms, so I took them there. While explaining to
them the hotel I asked them which room they want to see first, and they answered that
they only want to see the water view room. I knew at this point that if I wanted them to
stay with us, I had to show them the view of the room. It was in the One Hundred wing,
and it has the best suit, and actually the room with the nicest views. So I opened the door,
I told them where the main amenities are, and I told them “But let’s just go outside and
have a look at this great view”. After arriving back to the Reception they said that they
want to have a look around in town first. From the desk I could see their car and it was
standing there for a good five minutes after they got in, and then they drove away. About
twenty minutes later they were back and bought the room. This was the first, and
unfortunately because of the shortage of time, the only room I have sold for hundred and
nineteen dollars in the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Island, so far.
I have spent about three nights with Leilani in Night Audit. These were the most
fascinating night in my working life (although it is not too long). After taking the shift
over from the PM Receptionist and checking for e-mails and messages, we checked the
Computer Center in the Administration’s Office. The Data of the day had to be stored on
tapes. Two-hundred dollars of Petty Cash had to be checked, and the Float of the Hotel
had to be counted. It was kept in the red box in the tresor. After that I had to settle the
three Eftpos machine, by asking Totals and asking for Settle. In this way the strip will
show the short descriptions of every transaction made from the particular Eftpos machine
on that day, and the machine will be clean and ready for the next day’s transactions. This
comes in handy if one of the Credit Card Receipts gets lost, because there is still a proof
that the transaction has been made.
Then we had to check all Cash ups, from the Reception, from the Restaurant, and
from the Bar. It meant that not only the Balance Sheets had to be correct, but all dockets
had to be there, and made correctly, according to the orders etc. This was a real time
consuming part. Through the PMS System we downloaded the Cenacolo onto the Front
Office’s computer and worked with that if something was wrong. The Tips had to be
assigned, and put aside for the right people. With handling Cash and such, we also had to
do a so called Banking. All foreign exchanges, and Cheques, and any cash Revenue had
to be sent to ANZ Bank during the morning shift, but the Night Auditor had to get it
ready, by specifying every type of payments put into the big ANZ money bag.
These were those things that took up our time till about one, one thirty. I couldn’t
make notes as frequently as I wanted, because I was actually doing whatever Leilani told
me to do, so I only have some partial and incomplete notes. I do know that once we were
occupied by creating new Permanent Accounts in Libica, by inserting into the Combined
List, and filled out the windows with the specific codes, and basically it meant that I
created (with a bit of help) those main accounts that everyone used in the hotel for a
month. That was a great experience for me. We always had some kind of problems with
the so called X-codes. X-codes were supposed to balance zero, but they have never did,
and all discrepancies had to be forwarded to FOM for follow up. These X-codes are
transfers from one departmental account to an individual account, through a holding cell.
We also had to update the accounts of packages, and in the so called ‘six pack’ window
we had place those accounting lines into among the ‘non-showable’ pack, which ones we
didn’t want the guest to see, when checking the Account at Departure. I do remember
when we had to ‘Roll the Date’ and had to wait till all the data were transformed for the
next day, and it took so long. One of our last duties were to make Performance Reports,
if I remember well they were called BOI, and DRR. They both showed the Revenues
distributed by Departments, and or events, together with costs, and about force and so on.
Once Mr. David Perks had some job for me: to pass my empty hours on. I had to
make a Group Occupancy Forecast for the summer of 2005 and 2006. I had to work in
Excell, and just simple coloring in squares, where one square meant one room available
per day. So on the horizontal axis; there were the rooms, and on the vertical axis there
were the days of summer.
From the Computer at the Front Desk Mr. Perks printed out the Group Arrival
List that was thirty-two pages. It showed (from left) the Code of Group, Name of the
Travel Company, Name of Contact Person (who made the reservation), Contact
Information (Phone Number, Address, E-mail), Date of Arrival, Date of Departure,
Number of Rooms Blocked, Number of Rooms Un-picked (un-allocated). These
information are organized by Date and it also shows the Rooms Blocked in Total for the
time spent in the hotel. To get the amount of rooms blocked per night I had to divide the
figure of Number of Rooms Blocked, by the nights spent in the hotel. So for example if
they blocked seventy-five rooms and wanted to stay from the 4th of December till 7th of
December, then the Number of Rooms Blocked by nights was twenty-five.
So I had to go through all thirty-two pages and check each and every group that
how long do they wan to stay and how many rooms do they want per night. Once I had
done that, I had to make a color chart in Excel, under Shared Drive, Front Office, Group
2005-2006. I had to color in the blocked rooms per night, and I could not break up the
block horizontally, because it would mean that the members of the groups have to move
from their room to another one during the day and that would be absurd. There was only
one company whose bookings I had to ignore and that was the C&E Journey’s of
Distinction. The purpose of my whole work was to determine that for how many group of
thirty staying for four nights can the hotel accommodate in that season, because this
company wanted to increase its number of large groups coming to our hotel. This
company paid big role in the financial success of the hotel in the past, and by wanting to
duplicate its number of nights spent in our hotel would mean an even bigger business.
So, the General Manager, Mr. Perks, wanted to find out how many of these large extra
groups can the hotel accommodate. Us; being a small hotel, facing with huge over
demand during summer period, and facing sometimes two to eight percent occupancy
frequently in winter need to utilize the summer season possibilities to the maximum. I
have done this Forecast, it took me three days, but I believe maybe this method ought to
prove to be beneficial for me.
I was in good relation with the Chefs, and everyone working in the Kitchen, so it
meant no difficulties for me when Ms March told me that she has a job for me. There was
a big promotional conference coming up in our hotel, where sales and marketing people
and future big customers, and as in room gift they needed hundred and fifty chocolate
dipped dried apricots, and chocolate dipped dried papayas.
I arrived to the Kitchen, Chef was there, he explained what do I need to do, we
prepared large trays with backing paper on top of them, got the ingredients ready, the
dried fruits, a big cooking chocolate, and Almond flakes and Pistacios for decoration.
The Chocolate was melted in a bowl in the microwave, and I started dipping the apricots,
because they only needed to be dipped half way, so it was easier. The papayas were a bit
harder, because I had to poke them onto a stick, dip them into the chocolate and take the
stick out, and the melted chocolate filled up the hole of the stick. I decorated half of them
with almond flakes, half of them with Pistacios. I had to make a bit more than needed,
because the Management was cleaning out the Dungeon, and during the break they
preferred snacking, and came into the kitchen and stealing bits from them. In the mean
time the Restaurant Manager asked me if I could work from six thirty, because someone
called in sick, and he could not reach anyone else, but he was still trying to reach another
girl. Of course he couldn’t so, when I finished at five thirty I got into my car, drove
home, jumped into my uniform and I was ready to work, and I even had time to grab
something to eat. And that was my great Kitchen Experience.
During my stay I made interviews with the Managers of the Hotel. I thought it
would be interesting to see how the different Department Heads see their job and their
department, and how would they react for the same questions concerning the overall
performance of the hotel. With my questions I try to get to know the professional
backgrounds of the Managers, what was their opinion about their Department when they
took over their posts, what kind of changes did they take in progress while they have
been there, what do they think what are the strengths and weaknesses of their
Department. I was also interested what were their duties, what were they responsible for,
what were they most frequent problems in contact with day to day business, how
satisfied were they with their employees if had any, what did they think about the co-
operation within and outside of their Department. I had managed to arrange interviews
with the General Manager, with the Food and Beverage Manager, the formal Restaurant
Manager, The Conference and the Marketing Managers, the Chef, the Housekeeping
Manager, the Front Office Manager and the Reservations Managers, and the
Mr. David Perks the General Manager has started as a Primary School Teacher,
and then changed and he was an Assistant Manager of a Pub back in the United
Kingdom, the Manager of a twenty bedroom Country Inn for two years, and moved up
into a four star hotel, where he was Assistant Manager, but it was already in New
Zealand. IN the Hotels he was Front Office Manager, he was Assistant Manager, Project
Manager at Quality Hotels, and has been General Manager for about two and a half
years, and has been to the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands for about eighteen
months at the time of the interview.
The General Manager’s main duties and responsibilities include Financial
Control, that his team has to full up the hotel preferably all the time, he takes part in
Human Resources, especially from the legal side of it, and has to make sure the
employees are satisfied, and he is basically responsible for each and every employee of
the hotel. He has to take part at meetings, within and outside of the hotel; he takes active
role in the life of Paihia and the Tourism Associations within the Bay. He also has to
report to the Regional Managers, to Mr. Wilson and to the Central Office.
As he said the Hotel has lots of history in terms of Ownership, Location
Management, but the time he arrived to the hotel he saw that no problems have been
solved in contact with service, and finance, and basically the hotel wasn’t well managed.
The product that the hotel could offer was really poor; there have been no refurbishment
in the rooms, old worn down furniture. There was a lack of operation system, and the
hotel was run by waiting for the seasons to run it, which is the old fashion way, waiting
for better weather, and there was no attempt to try to bring off-season occupancy up a bit.
And of course the hotel had horrible marketing, although this hotel had the best location
all over North from Auckland.
When he got into office he had to set Systems in place in the Front Office, had to
organize, and rebuild Reservations, had to deal with Marketing, and had to get clear with
all the risks of operation, had to introduce and do lots of mainly financial forecasting, and
put conferencing ahead on the importance rank, basically a big job was to transform
Waithaha from a former pub and storage space into the biggest Conference Venue in the
Bay, and the hotel’s own marketing had to become more aggressive, and try to fill up the
hotel as much as possible, and he had to step out of position to be able to carry out all of
these, and create Team work.
As he believes the strengths of the hotel are its unique location, the ambience of
the whole place is so relaxing and there is a highly committed management team at the
head of the hotel, and they all know the bad history of the place, and have learned from
it. As weaknesses he rolled up the still seasonal pattern of business flow, which makes it
really hard to manage staff and costs individually and in connection as well, another
problem is that there is not enough room for the demand, which is a really risky situation.
The Food production and presentation needs further development.
Right now the hotel is in a test case situation, because by showing up profit, the
investors have more willingness to give money for further developments, but after the
developments the hotel has to show that it can bring in even more money. Right now the
hotel is considered as a potential jewelry of the chain.
However there are still problems that come up frequently, like the shortage of
skilled staff, fitting everyone in who demands it, and try to keep everyone happy who has
any contact with the hotel. With the Employees he only has day to day issues, he thinks
that the demand towards themselves; the employees should be higher sometimes, but
overall the staff are fairly efficient.
He sees that the co-operation within the departments of the hotel is lot better than
it was, although still needs improvement, like solving the maintenance and laundry
problems of the Motel.
His opinion about the interaction within the whole chain in New Zealand is that it
is way too centralized, through Corporate Office, but in the mean time the infrastructure
is not consistent. It all influences the brand image and the investments as well.
Ms Deborah March the Food and Beverage Manager worked twelve years in the
banking industry, when she moved to hospitality, completed Polytech course, and
became a Waitress, and then worked her way up to Supervisor and Restaurant Manager,
and then Food and Beverage Manager. She has been with this hotel for eighteen months.
When she took the department over, it needed guidance, prioritizing, and the
completion of paper works, that haven’t been done for years, and she had to form the
different outlets, conferencing, restaurant and kitchen into one team.
She set up communication channels, she set up check-lists for the completion of
tasks, organized regular meeting at different levels of service, and she prioritized tasks by
days, and basically developed the three individual Departments into one Department,
whit one team. Also she introduced the shift reports of Supervisors.
Sham, as F& B Manager has financial responsibility, budgeting costs and sales,
purchases, wage costs. She is responsible for the rotation of stock, the level of stock, she
has to oversee the whole operation of the outlets, she has to ensure the regular meetings
on every level, and she has to ensure the staffing level and basically managing the
operation of the Departments. In order to improve Revenue flow, she has to put pressure
onto improving the Food and Beverage side of Conference operation of the hotel.
The Department has a really strong team, overall the knowledge of staff is on
good level, the Revenue level that the Department produces makes further developments,
like the restructuring of the Old Bar, possible, the HOD’S, Head of Departments talk, the
communication between them is good, and they could set up Smart Menus. As
weaknesses she brought up the Buffet, it needs modernization, in equipment and
processes, communication can be a problem sometimes in a certain degree, and that the
service level is not constant due to the seasonality.
As I mentioned it earlier, the Food and Beverage Department has great
importance in the life of the hotel, it is on the same level as the Rooms, and this is quite
unusual, but advantageous.
The biggest problems at operation are communication, training and staffing level,
and all different type of time factors.
I did my interview with her at the time of the change of Restaurant Managers she
said she had her ups and downs with the satisfaction employees, at that moment there
were too many uncertainties, and the changes brought instability. This was also the time,
when most of the Backpackers were leaving. As she said there is certainly a place for
improvement in the kitchen, and she felt a bit frustrated about the communication brake
down between conferencing and Restaurant, but as I know it this has changed rapidly
with the new Restaurant Manager.
She believed that communication with Reservation needed improvement, but the
relationship with the Front Office and Front Desk became lot better than it was earlier.
I also did an interview with Mr. Glen Cook, Restaurant manager, not long before
he left. He started as a Barman, then he became Duty Manager, he did a three-year course
at the Polythec to be Hospitality Manager, in the mean time he was a full time Chef, he
had done a Manager Program with the company and then he came to this hotel, that was
two years ago.
When he took the position over, the business was very seasonal, good business in
summer, very small in winter, this meant lots of challenges, budget and staffing level was
on very preliminary level, regularity was something really big difficulty.
He had to make structural changes, like the development of Rangatira room, he
had to increase the standard of service, introducing procedures at order taking, wine
serving, and glass carrying, for example. He introduced the TDH system, and worked on
the renovation works of the Waitaha building, which meant big new business for the
As he sees the Restaurant has a high Revenue and Profitability level, which also
come from the fact that this restaurant is a market leader on this side of the Bay. Also,
tour groups do guaranty a certain amount of business at once. Unfortunately the
Restaurant is too small to seat the amount of customers of the summer season, and it is
unable to meet all of the customers needs, faster service delivery is needed, and the high
turnover of staff doesn’t help either.
His responsibility was every action of every staff member in the Restaurant, he
had the responsibility that the Restaurant met the expectations of any guest, he had to
organize staff, business, groups, menus, he had to lead supervisors. He also had to
manage time sometimes he had to manage the time of thirty seven people, which was a
great challenge for him every week. He had to attend meetings about staff, management,
Events, and unfortunately he sometimes had to do counseling with selected staff
As he saw the Restaurant was in the right direction with company goals, and
actually the Food and Beverage team was leading ahead, and bringing the other
departments along the way.
The most frequent problems he came across was staff reliability, the turnover of
staff in general, the dining tame at night cases restrictions, certain menu items are
sometimes unavailable, all the tours want to dine at the same time, and from the cost side,
he found problematic, that the hotel had to hire equipment (forks, knives, jugs, glasses)
He believes the Supervisors should delegate more duties instead of doing
everything themselves, and teamwork needs improvement and to set minds for excellent
service, not only to average.
He saw it at that time that the blame game among the departments of the hotel
was not a team building environment, communication played crucial part and the
understanding of different priorities of different departments.
Mr. Every Van Berkel came from Holland and he was our Executive Chef. He has
started the business fifteen years ago and completed a five years cooking school, and he
also got teacher’s degree, he moved to new Zealand Ten Years ago, started as Sous Chef
here in New Zealand, and then worked as Head Chef in Taupo and has been in the Bay of
Islands for two and a half years.
The kitchen was unorganized when he took it over, had no staff, and had bad
reputation, basically it was like a fish and chips shop.
He put Rosters into place, he stocked the fridge and freezers into order, he
introduced cleaning Rosters, increased staff level, and organized the training of new staff,
and built out a more structured hierarchy, and totally redone the profile of the Restaurant.
Introduced the A’la Carte service, introduced the Kids Menu, along with the Night Owl
Menu and Barbecue and Lunch Menus. The Number of covers increased and catering for
more and more conferences is not a big deal now.
His responsibilities involve creation of Menu, Roster. He has to place orders to
suppliers, manage food costs, the cost of sales, staff cost, Training, and has to meet the
The Kitchen has a strong team, the A’la Carte standard is more challenging, more
expensive, and well the Buffet is a Buffet, but there are provisions for further
development of this side of the operation. The weaknesses of his department are the
ignorance and attitude of staff, the standard of cleanliness, the variety of standard of
dishes, there are two different teams working in summer, and making short cuts, and
some of them are too close friends. He has to face time and people shortage, and needs
bigger and better equipment, and maintenance of old equipment causes problems.
The Kitchen does fit to the business needs, brings in the profit, but is still too
small for the demand.
He sees communication as a huge problem, along with the lack of respect both in
front and back of house, he has troubles with two specific suppliers, and last minute
changes in Menus for TDH-s or any other decisions from Management.
He believes communication is a crucial part at the co-operation between
departments, decision making without consulting is not a positive attitude, and he
believes people skill need a bit of work within Management. Management should not
freak out in a bad month, this come and go, they should try to work to make the next
He has good and bad opinions about his staff. They have good initiatives, some
have even too much, sometimes being very good friends hinders them at the workplace.
He is missing the professionalism, as he said “people never listen”. The staff came from
different backgrounds, from different nations, using different systems, and this causes
difficulties sometimes, so he has to evaluate them according to the systems they have
The Executive Housekeeper, Ms Linda Kirby was my guinea-pig for these
interviews as living under the same hood. She has twenty five years of experience in the
hospitality industry, started as Culinary for Handicapped People, and she attended many
Hospitality Training Schools. She has been working in kitchens, in housekeeping, in
different roles, she has been Relief Manager in the Waitangi Motel for six months, She
has been in Management Program, and has been Front Office Manager as well, in this
hotel, she has done Chef course as well, and then she decided to try out something
different, and she has been doing Housekeeping. She has been for eight years at this
When she took Housekeeping over, the payroll cost was down, the department
was understaffed, there was no leadership, it was unorganized, the Attendants needed
someone to talk to, they needed to be respected, and there was a huge need of training.
So, she updated Health and Safety procedures, she had to bring the Personal
Development Folders up to date, she had to manage the room and Laundry Cost, the
Room Supply cost, she has to get the good management of time of Supervisors and
Her team has a good spirit, a “can do” spirit, but the girls should still take more
pride in themselves, and Time management always needs improvement, and sometimes
the department can be a little bit unorganized.
She has to do Wage analyses, Cost per room sold reports, she has to be able to
manage from high to low occupancy in short period of time on the Roster, she has to deal
with Rostering, with Health and Safety Policies, with PDP Folders, with Human
Resources within the Department, she has to manage the Timesheets, has to do
continuous training, has to attend Staff and Management meeting, she has to deal with
Laundry Cost Management, with Linen and Purchasing, Stocktake, and Room Supply
As everyone knows dirty rooms cannot be sold, but to clean rooms in time, no
matter what is a hard thing to do, so time management is a main point in housekeeping
for the everyday operation. As long as having the information work can be done quick,
and these girls are the bests within the chain in New Zealand. It would be good to have
an own computer to be able to see the changes of Occupancy Level, and would have to
She feels some kind of distance keeping by the General Manager, Front Office
I also had the opportunity to interview Mr. Adam Clarke, Front Office Manager.
He has started as Porter in Queenstown, then he became a Corporate Trainee, then he
worked for Mercure Windsor, then he became Duty Manager and later Front Office
Manager in 2002. When he took over the Front Office, the systems and procedures were
not efficient, there was no time pressure.
He introduced streamline procedures, moved tasks around a little bit, and created
more efficient working environment.
His responsibilities are the ruining of Front Office, staffing level, budgeting, and
problem solving, he has to process account for charge backs if they need to be chased up,
he manages Vouchers, and forecasts for each month for Revenue, Accounts and Groups.
His team is guest focused, and willing to please the guest, has good situation
handling abilities, and great local knowledge, although new staff in the summer usually
has less experience. The department is really good at selling packages, and is good to
turn a phone call into a selling situation, and they recognize the ups and downs of
They come across the problem of over demand as well, and still try to keep
everyone happy, and it is hard to make sure that the right people are working at the right
time within budget.
With the co-operation within the department he said there are clear lines of
responsibilities, there are no doubling ups, the Front Office is focal point of the hotel, it
is an information center. HE saw that communication with Housekeeping was hard, and
resulted in lots of compromising.
He was positive about his staff, they are getting more responsible, and they are
motivated, personal development is important for them.
Michelle Heather Reservations Manager started as Bar Tender in the United
Kingdom, and worked in Restaurant for a year, then moved into Reception, became a
Duty Manager, the Reservation Assistant, then worked for the Head Office in Auckland,
and been in the Bay of Islands since September 2002.
When she took Reservations over it wasn’t managed well, but wasn’t too bad,
although the Travel Agent’s Commissions were not done, and it needed a year to get
So she put Travel Agency procedures into place for Commissions, designed
Group Cover Sheets, she introduced the two weeks priorities, and Summaries for Groups,
and introduced Occupancy Management.
Her everyday duties are now to fill up the hotel, to deal with sales and marketing
to certain extend, she has to take part in relocating guests if needed, she has to deal with
Yield Management, she needs to keep contact with companies involved, she has to
perform reports towards Head Office, she has to determine roading rates, and has to be in
contact with Travel Companies.
She thinks that the hotel is easy to sell, and her experience in different systems
helps a lot, and also the relations with the General Manager and the Front Office
Manager also brings her work forward. She would need another computer for her
Assistant, and would need more time for day to day things, and to have the opportunity to
train people properly.
She has problems with communication with the Wholesalers over the United
States, and in the United Kingdom. Reception does not put the name of Travel Agency
into Reservation Field when taking reservations makes her work lot harder, and there are
difficulties with computer replications from Head Office to her.
She felt at that time that Restaurant kept a distance with Reservations, but other
then that in a little hotel like this there are good relations between departments, but there
is always place for improvement.
She has good communication with the other hotels within the chain via e-mail.
She believes Reservations fit into the overall business aims of the hotel, but there is
always place for improvement, as she said diplomatically.
Ms Kate Claydon has started as Restaurant Supervisor, when she arrived to the
company, for three months, then she became Restaurant Manager for two years, and she
took over the Conferencing in last August.
The tasks of her job are to manage Proposals, Confirmations, Events Sheets, Re-
confirmations, Meetings and basically the carry out of conferences. Her daily routine
looks like ,she keeps her accounts updated, she needs to reed over the messages from
contacts, and basically her List to Do includes proposals, follow ups of conferences,
confirmations, trying to get new business, make sure that she has all information for
running the conferences effectively. She has no staff responsibilities, she has to make
sure that the conference business of the hotel grows steadily, she has to build
relationships, and has to keep the accounts paid in timely manner.
The Conferencing department, as working together with the Restaurant has a
good operational structure, but there is no support person, there is no Conference
coordinator, so there is a little bit of staffing issue.
Conferencing is a large component in the hotel’s business, it is the Winter Fill up,
and it grows to be half of the business.
Her biggest problems are that the rooms of the hotel are not enough in summer, it
is also really hard to get deposits from organizers, and she has to chase them for
payments. The co-operation with the departments involved in conferencing is quick and
I also did an interview with ms Kaye Zimmerman, Administration Manager. She
has been working in the hospitality industry for ten years, started as Room Attendant,
then she has been Night Auditor, she has worked in Reception, Front Office Supervisor
and Duty manager. She has been with this hotel for five years.
Her job includes Payroll, Managing Data, general administration Duties, Human
Resources and Health and Safety, she has to manage the Account Receivable. She deals
with Guest Comment Cards, all Hotel Cheques, she deals with all legal and formal
aspects of Staff Quarters, she deals with Letters of Complaints, she is the one issuing
Uniforms, she is the one dealing with the Water Bill, and also keeps all the training
She usually deals with data for a day, she enters the Time Sheets into the
Computer and sends it to Head Office, and she issues Gift Vouchers.
She introduced controlled systemization, and the collection of Outstanding
Payments, to be on their backs all the time.
She tries to keep everything up to date, but it is a vicious circle, tries to keep the
data perfect, and it is hard to find time for everything.
She regularly attends Health and Safety Meetings, and data banking of Cheques
Received. As Duty Manager she is responsible for the Alcohol License, accountable for
the Safe, and its count, and in case of fire she is the Head of Fire Warden.
Her biggest difficulty is to get paperwork of staff files back from Head of
She is satisfied with the co-operation within the hotel; everyone is easy enough to
I made my last interview with Vanessa Harris Marketing Manager. She has
studied at Polythec, did the three years course in two years, she has worked at a Travel
Agency, then she was Manager at a Café, then she became Receptionist, worked at
Reservations then became a Duty Manager, then she moved to Sales and Marketing.
It was a brand new position at this hotel when she took it over; she had to set up
everything with the help of the General Manager. They started to promote the Packages,
Holidays, special Catering and try to increase the winter business. She set up procedures,
and tried to make her position interchangeable with the Conference Manager, so that if
one of them is away, the other can take over. After five months she thinks the position is
settled, the systems are in place, she has done a Sales and Marketing Plan.
On an average day she check’s her connections, she checks about any special
tasks, she checks if the send outs on stock are enough, checks for any urgency rolls, and
she has little projects, like designing flyers, or helping at conferences, talking to possible
customers, she has to deliver computer reports, that her job, and the money invested into
marketing is profitable.
Her most frequent problems include budget constraints, the Corporate Office
controls the money, and from the money available she cannot get the best resources.
From her previous experiences the co-operation is fairly good, information form
her department travel around well, although sometimes there are confusions of the
different packages, the communication is good.
The intentions about the co-operation within the chain are good through
Corporate Office. Most hotels have similar target market, and actually this hotel fulfills a
driving role, its ideas are mind freshening for most of the other hotels within the chain.
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