Hotel Front Office: Functions & Responsibilities

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  • 0:03 A Hotel Front Office
  • 0:33 Functions
  • 0:55 Responsibilities
  • 2:37 Example
  • 4:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

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

Expert Contributor
Joseph Shinn

Joe has a PhD in Economics from Temple University and has been teaching college-level courses for 10 years.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the many tasks that the front office of a hotel is responsible for. You'll see that the front office keeps working long after the guests are asleep!

A Hotel Front Office

When people stay at a hotel, little do they realize how much goes on after they've checked in and when they're asleep. Most of this work is performed by the hotel front office, the team that keeps the hotel operating and profitable. The hotel front office is busy working before a guest arrives, while the guest is there, and even after the guest has checked out. In this lesson, you'll learn what kinds of work the hotel front office performs on a daily basis.


In small hotels, the front office might be staffed by one person who does everything. But in larger hotels, the front office is divided into several departments that each take care of a function, such as:

  • Reservations
  • Reception
  • Communications
  • Concierge
  • Bellhop service
  • Auditing


So, what duties do these departments perform?

Think about what happens when a potential guest first calls a hotel. The reservations department takes the call, answering any questions the potential guest has and making a reservation for the guest if needed. This might include taking down notes about room preference and checking to make sure there is room availability for the nights the guest is requesting.

Once the guest arrives at the hotel, he or she encounters reception. Reception is responsible for greeting guests and checking them in. Keeping count of the number of available rooms and assigning rooms is also done by reception.

If a guest wants information about what to do and where to go locally, he or she can ask the concierge department. This department also delivers messages to guests.

Guests who need help getting their luggage to their room can ask the bellhop. Bellhop service also might deliver any newspapers or magazines that guests request and take care of any luggage that is left, either accidentally or purposely.

Telephone, Internet, and television service is taken care of by the communications department. This department monitors phone calls placed by guests and charges each guest's room as needed for local and international calls that aren't included in the room fee. Any wake-up call requests are also taken care of by this department.

At the end of each day, the auditing department double checks all transactions. It also creates charges for each room for any extra services incurred, such as guests making long distance phone calls. This way, the hotel is ready to check guests out with appropriate charges.


Let's look at an example of how a hotel front office might operate:

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Additional Activities

Additional Questions

  1. Explain the importance of the hotel front office. In particular, discuss this group's role in the profitability of a hotel.
  2. Explain why the functions of the front office in a small hotel may be completed by one or a few employees, but in a large hotel, these functions are performed by a large number of employees, most of them specializing in one specific task.
  3. Are most of the tasks completed by the hotel front office staff observed by the guests or done behind the scenes?

For each of the examples below, discuss which of the six major functions of the hotel front office (reservations, reception, communications, concierge, bellhop service, auditing) is being described.

  1. When a guest arrives at a hotel, an employee will often assist them with getting their luggage up to their room.
  2. A guest is visiting from out of town and does not know where the best places to eat for dinner. In order to assist the guest, someone from the hotel will provide them with dining options based on what type of food that person is interested in eating.
  3. Employees of the hotel are also responsible for adding appropriate charges to the customer's bill, such as for movies rented and calls made from the phone in their room.
  4. When someone wants to stay at the hotel, they will call ahead of time to make sure that a room will be held for them to occupy.
  5. When the guest arrives at the hotel, they will be greeted by one of the hotel's staff and get checked into their room. This individual will also take down all of their information and give them their key.

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