Hotel Front Desk: Operations & Responsibilities

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  • 0:03 What Happens at the…
  • 0:47 Daily Operations
  • 1:49 Key Responsibilities
  • 2:45 A Day in the Life
  • 4:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

In this lesson, learn what happens at the front desk of a hotel. See how the front desk manages all the rooms of a hotel, as well as how they interact with guests from the time guests check in to the time they check out.

What Happens at the Front Desk?

Walk into a hotel and who greets you first? Why, it's the people working at the front desk. The hotel front desk is the reception area of the hotel. Those at the desk basically keep the hotel operating, with its many responsibilities. It is the front desk staff that checks guests in and assigns them a room. Front desk staff are also in charge of sending hotel staff to clean the rooms that have been used. Guests also come to the front desk to ask questions and to check out when they are done.

A guest's experience at a hotel is largely dependent on the treatment experienced by the hotel staff, especially those at the front desk. The front desk staff represent the hotel in the eyes of guests.

Daily Operations

Imagine Lisa is working at the front desk of a hotel in a popular tourist area. From the minute she starts working, she is busy taking care of the hotel and its many guests. Lisa first looks at which rooms are currently being used from the night before. She then begins to assign the housekeeping staff to clean each used room. Some guests call in and ask for breakfast room service, so Lisa sends those requests along to the hotel's kitchen. Soon people come to check out, and Lisa charges the guests for any unpaid services, such as room service. Housekeeping continues to clean the now empty rooms in preparation for the next set of guests.

Then, in the afternoon, new guests arrive to check in. Lisa uses her record of reservations to check people in and assigns them a room based on their preferences. Lisa continues to field calls from potential guests asking questions and making reservations. She also answers calls from current guests and takes care of any issues that arise.

Key Responsibilities

The hotel front desk staff have many responsibilities. Let's go over a list of the daily responsibilities:

  • Greet and welcome guests and potential guests
  • Look up reservations
  • Check guests in and out
  • Answer phone calls and direct people to the appropriate department
  • Take reservations
  • Calculate final bill for guests checking out
  • Keep accurate records of all rooms
  • Answer questions from guests and redirect as necessary
  • Coordinate with housekeeping to make sure all rooms stay cleaned
  • Explain how the hotel functions to guests, such and how to use room keys

At some hotels, the hotel front desk person is also expected to provide snacks to guests and make coffee. For example, at the Doubletree hotel, the front desk is expected to keep a batch of warm, freshly-baked cookies for its guests to enjoy.

A Day in the Life

Let's take a more detailed look at some of the situations that may arise for Lisa throughout her day and the types of people she may encounter. It's morning and Lisa has just started her shift. Fred comes down from his room and asks Lisa about local breakfast options. Lisa recommends a few good local breakfast places to Fred. Fred thanks Lisa and saunters back to his room.

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