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A day in the life of a Hotel Controller

To become Hotel Controller I was required to have previous experience in the Food & Beverage Departments, in the Galley and also in the Provision Departments. Good accounting skills the ability to multitask in this role are vital!

My day starts around 7:30am by collecting last nights revenue reports from the Night Auditor. Also the Chef has left me his tickets from the meals served yesterday, and the Bartenders and all food outlets have left their Requisitions for me to check and approve.

My first task is to check that the revenues from all the Food and Beverage outlets are downloaded into my systems, including into the stock control system. Each cocktail which is sold on-board is programmed in to the computer to deduct the ingredients used from the inventory we have in the bar. This gives me a current inventory for the bar and tells me the usage, which in turn confirms the items requested by the Bartender. For example, if the bar has sold enough drinks to use up a bottle of Absolute vodka then they can request a new one. If the number of drinks sold matches my records, I will approve the requisition and the Bartender can go with this to the Provision Master to re-stock his bar.

A day in the life of a Hotel Controller

Yesterday a guest ordered a special cocktail, which was not in our Bar menu. The Bartender made an 'open ticket' listing the ingredients used in the drink, so I can post the usage of the ingredients manually in my system and keep the inventory current.

Besides the stock control, I also need to check the revenue of each Bar Waiter, Bartender and Wine Steward. These positions are paid a basic salary with a commission paid on what they sell. I make sure the revenue of each person is logged every day, in order to calculate their final salary, payable to them at the end of the cruise.

For the Food Department, the food costs needs to be calculated on a daily basis. To do this I calculate the amount of dishes which have been served and compare this with the cost of the ingredients used. Compared with the passenger and crew count for that specific day, I get my daily food cost, which needs to be sent to the on-board Management and to the main office.

Tomorrow we have 10 crew members from the Food and Beverage Department disembarking. This means I will organize disembarkation with the Crew Purser, and will prepare their sign-off papers. For those who do not have a revenue based salary (cooks) I will calculate their salaries and prepare all the paperwork.

Like most here on-board, I work a split 12 hour shift. After lunch I go for a 2 – 3 hour break, and I will finish the shift in the afternoon/evening.

As well as completing more paperwork and communicating with the main office or on-board management, today I need to carry out a spot check of inventory. From my current 'in stock list' for one of the bars on-board, I take a print out and go to that bar. My list tells me how much of which beverage needs to be in the bar, less the drinks already served today. I pick about 5 different beverages. If all matches, no further action is needed. If there are discrepancies, the responsible Bartender and the Bar Manager will have to investigate and take corrective action.

This was just one day in my life on-board a cruise ship as a Hotel Controller. Of course everyday is different, and something unforeseen easily happens.

Petra Gornik, Slovenia