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A Day In the Life of a Hotel Front Desk Worker


Working a Hotel Front Desk: The Executive’s Job | Hotelogix

First, you get to work, and you get to take a look at all of the audits from the night before. Handle the drop from all of the money made during the night shift, and count behind all of the figures the worker left behind.

Make sure all of their inventory matches what’s left in the computer, then get the housekeepers on the horn and make sure they have the correct information to start their day.

Put the coffee on, make sure the front desk and lobby are nice and clean. Finally, you get to retreat into the office for a half-hour, listen to voicemails, and go over applications. And you’ve only been at work for about 45 minutes. Who am I?

Working at a hotel’s front desk is one of the most critical jobs on the property. Many people would argue and say it’s sales, housekeeping, or any other vital operations role.

While these are all essential roles, few lack the daily demand and jack-of-all-trades style that comes with the front desk worker position. On any given day, a front desk worker is asked to take on multiple roles at once and literally deals with everyone who does business with the hotel.

The customers’ first interaction with your brand will be with the front desk worker, making attitude a critical component in the position. Additionally, the front desk worker many times is all that stands between a disgruntled customer and a bad review.

It’s not uncommon for a front desk worker to take on five to ten roles simultaneously. Not only is their job important, but it can also be the most demanding.

They are literally in charge of the entire nerve center of the hotel. Most of the important functions that exist for the hotel begin and end at the front desk. We’re talking about booking, inventory management, taking payments, phone reservations, communicating with housekeeping, and on top of all this – they are constantly manning the telephones.

As important as it sounds here, that’s just the beginning. In this article, we’ll take a look at the specific role of the hotel front desk worker.

The Non-Manager Managing

It’s not far off base to look at the front desk worker as a non-manager who does a large majority of the managing. Or would you call them customer relations workers? Maybe you’d call them the head of booking and reservations? Customer service?

It’s impossible not to acknowledge the depth of an excellent front desk worker. To make matters more intense, the hotel front desk schedule is often unpredictable. One day they may be on the second shift and the next on the dreaded third shift.

And you thought their job was just to smile, talk to customers, and swipe a credit card. If only it were that easy.

The following list provides a glimpse into all of the daily duties of the hotel front desk worker.

Train, Retrain, and Retain Front Office Workers

The hotel front desk executive is responsible for training, retraining, and retaining anyone who works within the front office. This includes other desk workers as well as receptionists or just basic front desk customer service.

Selects Front Office Personnel

This decision is normally made together with the general manager. However, on some occasions, GMs will leave it entirely to the front desk executive. Selecting the front office personnel is important, considering they’re training them and working with them daily.

Creates the Hotel Front Desk Schedule

The hotel front desk schedule is created by the front desk manager normally. It’s important to do a good job at scheduling the strongest front desk workers alone instead of new employees. They must have a good feel for everyone’s progress and skillsets.

Supervises the Workload On Shifts

When the front desk executive is present, it’s their job to supervise the workload and oversee the daily routines and tasks of the front desk and sometimes housekeeping. They coordinate much of the room order in the morning so that certain guests might be accommodated earlier than normal.

Maintains a Working Relationship with All Departments

This is when the jack-of-all-trades part comes into play. Front desk executives must maintain an open line of communication with other departments of the hotel. In the event some of these departments aren’t present, front desk executives will step in and play these roles.

Maintaining Control of Master Keys

It takes a large amount of organization and responsibility to be a front desk executive. Maintaining control of master keys is a critical task for these workers. It’s important that these keys aren’t lost or given to another worker carelessly.

Verifies Room Status Is Accurate and Maintained

Front desk executives must verify that the room status listed in the system is accurate. If a room says available, it’s their job to make sure the room wasn’t actually sold or is occupied. Additionally, if a housekeeper says the room is clean and ready for check-in, they must remember this at all times so they’re aware of which rooms may be awarded to arriving clients.

Resolves Guest Issues Quickly and Efficiently

It’s important when a guest has a complaint or some other issue that the situation is diffused quickly with the least amount of collateral damage possible. If a customer has an issue with the cleanliness of a room, a rude employee, their room being double-booked, or any other issue, the front desk executive must take the most appropriate course of action to keep the customer happy. It also must be done in a way that’s fair and makes sense to the hotel. They can’t go around giving away free rooms for any minor complaint, but the customer certainly must be taken care of.

Works WIthin the Front Office Budget

There’s a designated budget allocated for every department of the hotel. The front desk is no different. The budget includes money spent on materials, supplies, and payroll. Additional expenses may be added to this list as well as time goes on or in emergency situations. The front desk executive must maintain constant focus when it comes to generated revenue and money going out, making sure they keep everything in the black and never dipping into the red. In fact, the profits should be well into the black. However, there are slow times, and maximum profit isn’t always possible.

Handles All Cash and Bank Drops

Any bank drops and deposits are handled by this position as well. This includes money made at the front desk as well as any other funds rolled into these totals. Deposits are normally made once per day.

The job of a front desk executive is intense and demanding. However, it can be very rewarding, especially for an employee who does their job efficiently.

The front desk executive can be one of the highest-paying positions in the company. While that differs from company to company, it’s certainly one of the most demanding.

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