How to Run a Hotel Front Desk

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Running the front desk helps form the hotel's reputation with guests.
Running the front desk helps form the hotel's reputation with guests. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Hotels serve as a home away from home while people are traveling. Front desk personnel are often the first people a guest sees and set the first impression of the hotel. Additionally the front desk staff are often the last people the guest sees upon check out. The importance of front desk staff cannot be minimized. All front desk staff must work hard to provide seamless and courteous service to guests.

Know the areas around your hotel. Be prepared to inform guests of nearby activities, places to eat, delivery services and more. Even if your hotel offers a concierge service, be prepared to provide guests with some information. Guests are out of their element when visiting and often need information on a wide variety of topics such as ATMs, nearby doctors, urgent care facilities, pharmacies, business amenities, movie theaters and more.

Check your appearance prior to going to work. Your attire should match the hotel's dress code and all clothing should fit properly and be free from wrinkles and debris. Your hair, nails and body should be groomed. Remember, your appearance also represents the hotel.

Greet all guests with a warm smile and welcome. Follow the check-in procedure established by your hotel and try to meet the guest's requests as much as possible. Guests may have special requests such as smoking or nonsmoking rooms, double or king, rollaway beds or cribs and extra pillows, blankets or towels. Be prepared to inform guests where they can purchase forgotten items that your hotel cannot provide. Examples could be deodorant, swimming suits and over-the-counter medications. Make the guest's visit as comfortable as possible.

Solve any problems. When a guest has a problem with any aspect of the hotel, chances are he will visit or ring the front desk. Know how to solve problems involving a dirty room, issues with equipment and any other concern. Communication skill are important. Always exude patience and kindness to your guests and work hard to fix any problems.

Answer phones as necessary. Your hotel may have a separate department to handle future guests' inquires or you may be required to help potential guests via phone or email.

Follow a chain of command and know whom to contact when you have a problem you cannot solve.

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