Guest Experience

Best Methods to optimize front desk operations

5 Minutes

Ciboni Vaz

Best Methods to optimize front desk operations

Ciboni Vaz
Published on

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What is a front office in a hotel?

The front office is the most important part of the hotel. For any guest who arrives at a hotel, the first thing they do is go to the front desk. The front desk at a hotel consists of staff that helps their guests with check-in, Check-out and resolves their queries or problems faced during their stay with the hotel.

Working at the front desk is a constant job that requires staff to multitask and be nice to guests. To ensure front desk staff are not overwhelmed during shifts, it is important to streamline front desk operations. Identify key responsibilities for available resources for smooth hotel operations.

Throughout their stay, each guest interacts with the front desk staff, either virtually or in person, making it one of the most important places at your

hotel. Therefore, how your employees manage these interactions can be a brand differentiator.

This is where first impressions are made and can set the tone for the entire guest experience. With the right tools, technology, and processes, you can prepare your people for anything that comes their way. Let's check the five easy ways to optimize front desk operations.

1. Divide and prioritize different tasks.

There’s a lot on the plate of your front desk staff. Your front office department prioritizes tasks differently depending on the type of property. For example, large hotels are optimized for speed, while smaller boutique hotels can optimize the guest experience.

To determine what you should prioritize, you first need to know your target audience well. When you look after business travelers, efficiency and professionalism come first. When you serve families, look for ways to create fun and memorable experiences.

Your employees need to know their responsibilities and understand your priorities before their shift. Consider documenting the roles and responsibilities within your department and associated priorities.

2. Daily Checklists.

Your manager at the front desk should be responsible for creating daily checklists to coordinate the tasks of his staff working at the front desk. Front desk daily checklists help to create routines and organize employees.

Depending on the size of your team and the turnover of your property, it can be helpful to have team members mark and submit these checklists at the end of each shift.

For example, daily checklists are essential if you run an animal shelter that employs volunteers. In hospitality, a checklist can serve as a helpful reminder and reinforce procedures specific to your property.

3. Training Your Front Desk Staff.

Workshops should empower your front-desk department by providing ongoing training and support. A well-documented plan for training new employees in your operations is essential. Although ongoing training plans and documentation are also important to ensure your employees are ready to make impromptu decisions and respond professionally to any situation.

Look for professional training opportunities around guest engagement to improve guest service, time management to increase efficiency, and leadership skills to build a team that can grow with your business. This training will help your hotel front office management staff to offer good guest experiences as they will be well trained to handle all kinds of situations. In the hospitality industry, it can be beneficial to document Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to keep employees on track.

4. Keep making changes.

In order to have the best front desk operations in place, you need to continuously optimize your processes. Speak to the hotel’s front desk and the support staff to see how the departments work together. What needs to be changed? What works well?

As employees become familiar with the guest cycle, they will identify gaps that need to be filled with new or different processes. Additionally, guest behavior and priorities are constantly changing, requiring hotels to adapt.

Today’s guests expect a seamless experience and expect digital processes from hotels, such as mobile check-in or online concierge services, that they can use as they please. To improve guest satisfaction, constantly evaluate new technologies and services that can attract your target audience.

5. Using new and modern software.

Managing a property today requires more optimized products and software to engage travelers and make your guests’ stay seamless from check-in to check-out. Managing occupancy and pricing across multiple sales channels, incoming bookings, credit card payments, guest communications, reviews, and more requires a platform that supports all of these capabilities.

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