The 12 Main Hotel Departments and Their Key Responsibilities

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Hotels are complex business operations that involve the collaboration of multiple departments to successfully serve a large volume of guests. Every division has an essential function that contributes to guests having an enjoyable stay. If you're interested in a career in the hospitality industry, learning about the different departments in a hotel can provide you with an opportunity to consider careers in each speciality. In this article, we share a list of hotel departments, explain their functions and discuss some of the positions you can explore in each division.

12 key hotel departments

Hotels may have different departments, depending on their size and the services they offer. Large luxury hotels often have more departments with speciality functions than hotels that have limited amenities for guests. Small hotels may also combine the functions of some departments because of low demand. Here are some of the common departments that you can expect at many hotels:

1. Housekeeping

The housekeeping department of a hotel maintains the appearance, sanitation and cleanliness of the hotel and its individual rooms. Members of the housekeeping department create a schedule for cleaning each room in between bookings, changing the linens, doing laundry, removing trash and dishes from rooms, making beds and restocking rooms with supplies to create a fresh, welcoming environment. Housekeeping employees pay attention to the small details of the hotel's rooms, hallways and lobby areas to uphold a consistent aesthetic throughout the hotel. Common positions within the housekeeping department include:

  • housekeeper

  • floor supervisor

  • deputy housekeeper

  • linen room supervisor

  • head housekeeper

  • room attendant

Related: What Does a Hotel Housekeeper Do? (With Duties and FAQs)

2. Guest services

The guest services department, also known as the front office, is the first point of contact for the guests when they make a booking with the hotel. They also handle requests from current guests staying at the hotel when they require assistance. The guest services department provides information to potential guests about prices of rooms at the hotel, schedules visits, welcomes guests when they arrive, activates their room keys and carries luggage to their rooms. Guest services employees also provide guests with information about hotel amenities and nearby activities that they can enjoy during their stay.

Some of the roles in the guest services division of a hotel are:

  • front desk agent

  • guest services manager

  • concierge

  • porter

  • receptionist

Related:

  • How to Become a Hotel Receptionist in 5 Steps (Plus Salary)

  • 10 Hotel Receptionist Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

3. Event planning

Many hotels are popular venues for conferences, expos and other large events. These hotels often have an entire department for event planning. Employees in the event planning division talk to clients about the cost of various conference packages, such as scheduling conference rooms and banquet halls, ordering catering and booking large blocks of hotel rooms at a discounted rate. They collaborate with clients to plan events, including hiring florists to decorate the hotel's event spaces, preparing budgets and scheduling guest services.

Example roles for the hotel event planning department include:

  • event manager

  • hotel group coordinator

  • meetings coordinator

  • banqueting manager

  • conference services manager

  • event planner

4. Sales and marketing

The sales and marketing department of a hotel works to attract guests and sell the hotel's services. Members of the sales and marketing team decide how to advertise the hotel's offerings, such as speciality suites, amenities and upgrades. These sales and marketing employees collect data about how the hotel's customers spend money, then consider ways to bring in more income or attract a wider range of consumers. They determine the hotel's target market and develop ad campaigns, promotions, discounts and membership programmes to develop lasting relationships with customers.

Here are a few jobs in a hotel's sales and marketing department:

  • sales manager

  • marketing assistant

  • promotions manager

  • brand manager

  • marketing director

Related: 37 Common Marketing Assistant Interview Questions

5. Food preparation

Dining is a key element to quality hospitality and making the kitchen and food preparation department one of the central divisions of a hotel. The food preparation department plans the menus for the meals and beverages that customers can order through room service, hotel restaurants, catering or on-site shops with pre-made meals. Employees in the food preparation department manage kitchen inventory, prepare ingredients and cook meals to order. They also ensure that the kitchen is sanitary and meets all food safety regulations.

Examples of positions in a hotel's food preparation division include:

  • executive chef

  • line cook

  • sous chef

  • catering manager

  • kitchen manager

Related: How to Write a Helper Resume (With Tips and Example)

6. Food and beverage service

Once the food preparation department produces meals for hotel guests, the food and beverage service department deliver those meals. The food and beverage service department acts as the front-of-house staff at hotel restaurants, cafes and bars. They provide prompt customer service by bringing room service orders to guests in their rooms or serving dine-in guests. Food and beverage service employees can also set up catering orders, clean dishes and explain menu items if guests have any questions.

Review these sample roles in a hotel's food and beverage service department:

  • room service attendant

  • bartender

  • server

  • maitre d'hotel

  • barista

Related:

  • What Does a Waiter or Waitress Do? (With 7 Essential Skills)

  • How to Become a Bartender: The Role, Skills and Salary

7. Purchasing

Employees and guests at hotels use a wide range of equipment and supplies, so large establishments may have a purchasing department that manages the inventory. The purchasing department coordinates supply needs throughout the hotel and processes inventory requests for all other departments. They research potential suppliers, manage budgets, negotiate contracts and determine when to place orders for important supplies such as linens, uniforms, food, office supplies and hotel decor. Members of the purchasing department anticipate upcoming inventory requirements depending on seasonal demand and coordinate with other department leaders to order the appropriate amount of each item.

Outlined below are some roles in this department:

  • inventory manager

  • buyer

  • vendor relations manager

  • procurement officer

  • purchasing manager

8. Accounts

The accounts department, also known as the finance department or the credits department, oversees incoming and outgoing expenses for the hotel. Members of the accounts division track financial transactions, including outstanding balances from guests and any unpaid invoices from business partners. Working in the accounts department involves creating budgets, auditing ledgers, producing financial reports, sending invoices and developing systems for preventing financial issues. Employees within hotel accounts departments can handle different kinds of transactions, including guest accounts, supplier payments, taxes, financing for expansions or financial analysis.

9. Security

Guests expect hotels to provide them with a safe environment when enjoying their stay, so hotels typically have a security department. The security department offers protection for the hotel's guests, the hotel employees and the hotel's assets. Security professionals at a hotel patrol the hotel grounds to look for any suspicious activity or potential hazards. Members of the security department verify that all individuals on the hotel premises are guests to create a secure environment. They respond to calls from guests or employees requesting assistance or reporting issues.

Job titles for security staff at a hotel may include:

  • overnight security guard

  • security officer

  • safety manager

  • director of security

Read more: What Are a Security Guard's Top Duties? (With Career Steps)

10. Information technology

Hotels typically use software systems to manage bookings, internal communication and maintenance requests, which involves having an IT department to support this technology. The IT department installs, configures and services phone systems, intercoms, software and Internet for employees and guests. They make recommendations for new software to use and oversee upgrades or the installation of systems. If the hotel provides a business centre for guests, IT employees also offer direct support to guests to help them troubleshoot any issues with the computers.

Here are a few of the positions in a hotel's IT department:

  • software manager

  • IT coordinator

  • Helpdesk agent

  • IT project manager

  • AV technician

Related: What Does IT Support Do (With Steps to Enter the Profession)

11. Maintenance

The maintenance and operations department manages the function of the building and property. They work with issues such as plumbing, electrical systems, air conditioning and ventilation, landscaping and furniture repair. Members of the maintenance team ensure that all fixtures, accommodations and equipment in a hotel function properly for guests to use. Employees in the maintenance department of a hotel often work closely with the housekeeping department. If a housekeeper notices an issue in a room when cleaning, they report the problem to a maintenance technician who then makes the repair.

These are a few of the maintenance and operations jobs available at hotels:

  • utility attendant

  • hotel maintenance technician

  • director of operations

  • plumber

  • groundskeeper

  • maintenance engineer

12. Human resources

The human resources department manages all other employees in the hotel. The functions of the hotel's HR department include recruitment of new staff, benefits administration, payroll and employee management. Human resources employees write job postings to attract candidates to the hotel, determine what perks to offer, negotiate employment contracts, conduct training sessions and design employee enrichment programmes. They also answer questions from other team members about company policies, mediate conflicts and coordinate performance reviews.

Here is a list of common HR positions:

  • HR assistant

  • payroll manager

  • benefits administrator

  • HR generalist

  • director of HR


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