Common Mistakes in Hotel Folio Management and How to Avoid Them

Common Mistakes in Hotel Folio Management and How to Avoid Them

You just checked into a swanky hotel for a much-needed vacay. As you’re kicking back in your plush robe and slippers, the last thing you want is to get slapped with an incorrect or overinflated bill at checkout. Nothing spoils a relaxing escape faster than having to contest bogus charges.

But as a hotel manager, inaccurate folios are no vacation either. They can lead to poor reviews, revenue leakage, and unhappy customers. So what exactly causes these common folio flubs? Read on to check out some typical trip-ups and tips to keep your folio game on point.

Fumbling the Late Night Room Service

You’ve just polished off a decadent slice of cheesecake courtesy of room service. Yum! But what happens after the silver domes are whisked away? Many hotels drop the ball by letting those late-night indulgences languish unrecorded for hours or days before posting them to the right folio.

This leads to frustrated guests when surprise charges seem to appear out of nowhere. “But I barely even used the minibar!” they’ll claim. Don’t let this scenario check-in at your property. Train staff to log charges ASAP to reflect the real-time folio balance. Integrated point-of-sale systems can help by auto-syncing orders with folios.

Forgetting About Incidentals

From the minibar Snickers bar to the bag of salted peanuts, in-room incidentals are folio quicksand. Without diligent tracking, they vanish into thin air once the guest checks out. “Did I even open that minibar?” guests ask themselves months later when reviewing billing disputes.

Don’t rely on their faulty memory. Itemize incidentals like snacks, toiletries, and drinks at purchase. Some PMS systems like StayNTouch even let housekeeping flag minibar use via mobile devices. Regularly reviewing folios also uncovers any missing incidental charges.

Common Incidentals
Minibar snacks/drinksToiletries
Room serviceLaundry/dry cleaning
In-room moviesTelephone fees
Wi-fi chargesParking
Itemize incidentals promptly to avoid billing surprises

Flubbing the Final Night’s Charges

It’s 10 AM and your guest has departed after a three-night stay. Their final charges like room service and parking haven’t yet posted. No worries, you’ll just adjust the folio later, right?

Wrong move. Failure to resolve all balances at checkout leads to problems. Say housekeeping finds a half-drunk bottle of Grey Goose they need to add. Now you must track down the departed guest and collect payment long after the fact.

Avoid awkward charge catch-ups by confirming the entire folio before checkout. Add missing items, make adjustments, and review for accuracy before handing over that final receipt. Your guests will appreciate a seamless exit and you’ll avoid payment hassles down the road.

Neglecting the Nitty Gritty

You know the big stuff like room rates and restaurant charges. But what about the nitpicky extras that are easy to overlook?

Forgotten taxes, overlooking consumed minibar items, neglecting automatic gratuities—these are tiny ticks that add up fast. Death by a thousand bites.

Combat these bugs by rigorously reviewing folios at every stage:

  • Night audit should examine each open folio.
  • Front desk can spot check folios during shift changes.
  • Managers conduct regular folio reviews.

Following standard procedures and checklists also helps staff methodically tally all charges. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to spotting folio fouls.

Failing on Follow Through

You nailed the stay—seamless check-in, courteous service, prompt room service. But drop the ball on checkout and that great impression goes poof.

Avoid checkout fumbles by instituting standard departure procedures:

  • Print final itemized folio.
  • Resolve any credits or disputed charges.
  • Thank the guest and encourage reviews.
  • Email the receipt.
  • Close out the settled folio.

Training staff on proper checkout protocols eliminates oversights and brings every stay full circle. Satisfied guests will spread the word about their stellar stay.

Wrapping Up: Don’t Derail Folio Success

Avoiding common folio flubs takes diligence, but pays big dividends in guest satisfaction. By training staff, regularly reviewing, and instituting checkout procedures, hotels can get folio management back on track.

With rising competition in the hospitality industry, travelers have high expectations for seamless stays. Don’t let incorrect folios torpedo guest loyalty. Take preventive measures to keep your folio game—and hotel reputation—going strong. The destination to folio Zen is closer than you think.

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