Front Office Staff /Receptionist in Hotels
Job profile: Usually, front office involves handling reservations, revenues, electronic channel sales, bell desk, concierge, guest relations, business centre and telephone exchange, among others.
Their daily routine would involve greeting and reserving rooms for guests, check guests in and out of their rooms, answer guests' enquiries about hotel services and local attractions. They may also be required to book tours, taxis and restaurants for guests, keep accounts and collect payment from guests and deal with any guest requests or problems
Hotel receptionists provide the first impression guests have of a hotel. A hotel receptionist job includes greeting guests and checking them in and out of the hotel, however a hotel receptionist job may also involve a large amount of administration work including taking reservations, allocating rooms, record keeping, passing on messages, compiling bills to name just a few.
A hotel receptionist job will have a great deal of contact with guests organising special requirements, dealing with requests for taxis, theatre tickets, information about the local area and taking valuables for safe keeping.
Hotel Receptionists will be required to use a reservations computer system in all but the smallest hotels, although a hotel receptionist will often also use word processors as well as fax machines and switchboards.
Skills required: Immaculate dressing, perfect communication skills and a pleasing disposition are the requisites for this field. Front desk staff/receptionist would also be required to have knowledge of the local area, including the location of popular tourist attractions, good planning, organizational and multi-tasking skills.
Since they are the first point of contact in the hotel, front desk staff needs to be friendly and patient with good phone manners, confident, able to work well under pressure. Ability to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds is an essential skill that front desk staff/receptionist should possess.
A hotel receptionist job involves a good deal of administration so would suit a candidate who is well organised and who has an administrative flair.
Working conditions: Hotel receptionists generally work in shifts. They may also work in the evenings, weekends and public holidays. Part-time and seasonal work is available.
Receptionists spend the majority of their time stationed behind a counter, close to a computer terminal and telephone switchboard. Employers may provide them with a uniform.
Job prospects and career options: Prospects may depend on the size of the organisation. Larger employers are more likely to have a career structure that may lead to promotion to jobs such as shift leader or supervisor, then on to head receptionist.
With the right skills it is possible to be promoted to front office manager, but further qualifications would be required.
Opportunities may exist to move to different areas of hotel work, such as in the banqueting services department, in sales, personnel or accounts and then on to management. Many large hotels encourage staff to work in different departments so that they become multi-skilled and have better promotion prospects.
Reception skills are also likely to be useful outside the hospitality industry, in areas as varied as customer service and administration.
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