Hospitality Acronyms, Phrases and Inside Jokes

3rd PartyIn front office terms, this is a paper that needs to be filled out by a credit card holder, authorizing the hotel to charge the card for another person’s room.

3rd PartyIn sales terms, this is a booking site that offers discounts to guests at several different hotels in any given market.

ADARefers to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The acronym is used in hotels when referencing the handicap-accessible rooms or the ADA kit that they keep at the front desk to set up a room for a sight or hearing impaired person.

AH&LAAmerican Hotel and Lodging Association.

BBCode for Bed Bug

BARThis stands for Best Available Rate, but it is usually the starting point before discounts are applied or offered.

BEOBanquet Event Order. The agreement between the kitchen and the client for food and beverage served at a banquet.

Block and ShoulderA Block is a set number of rooms that a group will book for a set amount of days. The days that the group will trickle in and out are called the Shoulders.

Bottom LineThe money left over each month after all revenue streams are counted and all operations expenses are deducted. This is what General Managers live by.

CMMSComputerized Maintenance Management System, like Coba CMMS

Code BrownA toilet is clogged.

CollateralPaper marketing materials

Comp RoomA Complimentary or free room

Comp SetA list of the hotel’s top Competitors in the market

CRSCentral Reservation System

CVBConvention of Visitors Bureau

DNDDo Not Disturb sign on a door. Housekeepers will write this code on their assignment paper for a room they could not enter to clean.

DNRA list of undesirable guests that the staff says Do Not Rent to.

EAP Employee Assistance Program. Free telephone counseling provided by the company for company-related stressors or personal stressors.

Early Check-In
If the room you reserved was used the night before your reservation then the hotel uses a Check In time to allow enough time for the guest to check out and the housekeepers to clean your room for you. You may always call the hotel and request an Early Check in, which just means to ask the housekeeper to clean the room earlier in the day, providing the previous guest has vacated the room.

EBITDAEarnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. This is a Bottom Line that removes the variables caused by huge assets or huge loans.

FIFO First In, First Out. Refers to the order food is placed in storage or on display. This method ensures that the oldest food is consumed first.

FlagThe brand name chosen for your hotel. The franchise company has different requirements for different flags and if your hotel fails to meet your flag’s requirements, they can change your flag to another, less-stringent one or remove it altogether.

FloorThe common areas where guests are and where staff is serving them.

Flow and Flex The percentage of revenue that made it through all of the expenses and was brought to the Bottom Line. If you achieved your Top Line Goal, then the number is a Flow. If you missed your Top Line Goal, then the number is a Flex.

FolioThe guest’s bill for room charges, taxes and any incidentals.

Full HouseEvery room is booked for the night.

GDSGlobal Distribution System. An on-line network where travel agents and third-party booking agents can book rooms at your hotel. Your hotel will have a GDS Chain code and different codes for different GDS systems, like Sabre, Apollo, Worldspan or Amadeus.

Huddle A short meeting held by the GM, usually every weekday, to handle quick issues and motivate the staff for the day.

IA and QAInternal Audit is performed by your management company-or an outside contractor for your management company-to ensure all operations are safe and all money is secure. Quality Assurance is an audit performed by the Franchise Company to ensure that your product is maintained and cleaned correctly.

IATA International Air Transport Association. It is a travel agent code that should be somewhere in a reservation if a travel agent booked it and it is the way that the system knows to pay the travel agent a commission.

Key (A Key)A guest room

Key (E Key)The Emergency Key or Key Card that overrides all locks in a room except the latch.

Key Bomb A trick that a Front Desk agent may use on an irritating guest. They will program two keys that expire after the first use and counter-lock the other key. The result is the guest getting locked out of their room and the Front Desk saying that it must have been “de-magnetized somehow.”

Late Check OutCheck out time is set up so that housekeepers have enough time to clean the rooms for the new arrivals. If your room is not already booked, the hotel may grant you a late check out and allow you to stay in the room past the check-out time, but you need to clear this in advance. The hotel has a right to charge a full night to your card if you are not out of the room by check out time.

Lock Out If the hotel staff needs to speak to you, they will make a new key for your room and dip it in your lock, effectively de-activating the key that you have and forcing you to come to the desk.

MinLOSMinimum Length of Stay. This is a restriction placed on a reservation that mandates the stay be for more than one consecutive night. This is used to prevent an irreplaceable dip in occupancy during an event.

MODManager on Duty. Hotels never close so there is always a manager assigned to take calls and handle issues. This may not be the General Manager, but they are usually a member of management, but not always.

MSDSMaterial Safety Data Sheet. A 3-4 page report on each chemical used in a facility that includes its make-up, possible side effects to using it and how to treat reactions to it.

NoThis is not a term used by hospitality professionals unless they are not willing to do something. The point is, be nice to the hotel staff and they will always find some way to do something for you.

No Show When a room is reserved but the guest does not show up to use the room. Hotels can and will still charge for this if you do not cancel your reservation in time.

OC and VC Housekeeping codes to show if a room is cleaned for a current guest (Occupied Clean) or for a vacated room (Vacant Clean.)

OOO or OOS Out of Order or Out of Service. If a guest room cannot be used by a guest for maintenance reasons, the hotel will label the room OOS or OOO in the PMS system so that it cannot be rented. On a sold out night, an OOS room will cost the hotel money.

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A government agency that regulates safety standards in the workplace. OSHA requirements for chemical labeling, chemical usage, workers’ compensation reporting, HazCom and evacuation plans should be common knowledge for an entire hotel staff.

Pace and Pickup Pace is a report that shows the occupancy trends for your hotel based on last year’s occupancy and what is currently on the books for a future date or date range. The Pickup is the number of rooms actually booked when the forecasted day is completed. When completing a Forecast, your accuracy is based on your knowledge of your hotel’s Pace and Pickup Trends.

PAR Per Available Room. This number is used to maintain a standard amount of inventory on guest items regardless of the occupancy of the hotel.

PBXPrivate Branch Exchange. Used commonly in hotels to label the room where all telephone equipment is stored and kept cool. Often internet and television equipment is also in the PBX room.

PMPreventative Maintenance. A checklist of items set up on a regular schedule to keep the hotel in top shape and to catch issues before they affect a guest.

PMSProperty Management System. The program that is used to manage guest rooms and reservations

POR Per Occupied Room. Used to determine the cost per guest of an item that is consumed or used by guests.

POSPoint of Sale. Computerized cash register for restaurants or shops.

PTAC or VTAC Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner or Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner. These air units are used in individual hotel rooms as they are self-contained, meaning that the conditioner and the compressor are all together. PTACs have part of the unit is inside the room the other part hangs outside the hotel. VTACs stand upright and are usually in a corner part of the room behind a wall.

QIC Qualifying Information Checklist. Used by sales people to determine a solid lead and a potential for client discount.

ReclaimStained linen that has had an attempt at laundering and will be put aside to be bleached or specially treated later.

Room 313 Across the globe, the most haunted room in the hotel.

RPIPC Revenue Per Available Room Index Percent Change. There is another blog to help decipher this number but the main thing to know is that it needs to be a positive number.

Sleeper When a guest vacates his room with the intent of no longer renting it, but does not inform the hotel and the hotel continues to charge for the room.

SMERF Social, Military, Educational, Religious or Fraternal. A Market segment for sales people to rent out Banquet space or meeting room space with rooms.

SOP Standard Operating Procedure. A list of rules for any given situation in your company.

STR Smith Travel Research provides a report weekly and monthly that analyzes your position in your market. The report is called the STaR Report.

SWOT An analysis of your hotel’s position in the market by making a list of your competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses, your Opportunities to take business from them and their Threats to take business from you.

The 13th floorMost high-rise hotels will not have a 13th floor. It will skip from 12 to 14 for superstitious reasons.

TIPSTraining for Intervention Procedures. This is a common training course for teaching responsible service, sale and consumption of alcohol.

Top LineAll of your Revenues. This is what sales are responsible for and live by. It is not really up to them how the money is spent…that is in the GM’s hands.

Walk (A Walk) When a hotel is overbooked, the staff can Walk a guest to another hotel, meaning that they have transferred the reservation to a comparable hotel and are paying for at least the first night.

Walk (The Walk)When the Chief Engineer or a member of upper management walks around the entire building and in all halls and stairwells, usually looking for any issues with the property. This may or may not include a sampling of guest rooms.

You have a visitor in the lobby… no he didn’t give his name.
The police are here to arrest you but do not know what room you are in.

june mccreight author

June McCreight

June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.

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