The Front Desk, sometimes known as Front Office or Reception is often termed as the nerve centre of the hotel. But why? To give you a more interesting perspective of this department, think of it as the brain of an Octopus! No, really!
An Octopus represents an island of mental complexity and belongs to a class of marine molluscs called “Cephalopods”. They have a prominent head and a set of arms, which have their own sensors and controllers. Each arm can work independently and also in conjunction with the rest to achieve a goal.
There is constant internal coordination between each arm and the central brain. With regards to the topic at hand, we can compare each arm of an Octopus to a distinct department of a hotel. Each department has its own departmental head and functions independently, just like the arm. However, all these departments are connected to a central nerve centre “the brain” which is the “Front Desk”… Isn’t it interesting?
Departments such as Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Banquets & Events and Spa & Wellness are all connected internally with the Front Desk. They share information with each other and the Front Desk Agent has access to all that is happening at the property at any given time.
Whenever you visit a hotel, you’re most likely to see a front desk after you enter through the main door. It is an operational and revenue-producing department and hence, it plays a prominent role in the functioning of the hotel. It is the face of the hotel and the main point of contact for guests.
The Front Desk of a large hotel is manned by an army of staff with each of them responsible for a particular function within the department.
The Front Office Manager – “FOM” ranks on the top of the hierarchy, while, the “Receptionist” or “Front Desk Agent” is the lowest rank and often where most prominent hoteliers once began their professional journey in this industry!
So, what does it take to make the cut and work in this superbly exciting department?
A hotel looks for several qualities while hiring for a role at the Front Desk. Apart from having a hospitable, warm and friendly nature you must also be able to multitask, work long hours and handle pressure while at the same time keep calm and maintain your cool!
One quality according to me that is extremely important and is valued greatly is “Tactful Thinking”. Though you will mostly never find it in the job descriptions, if you have this quality then you can not only survive but thrive in this “nerve centre”.
Tactful Thinking can be described as “understanding of other people and being sensitive to their opinions, beliefs, ideas and feelings.” It also means taking quick, realistic and doable decisions keeping the guest’s and the hotel’s best interests in mind. It is essentially responding to someone with diplomacy and grace.
A Front Desk Agent must be a Tactful Thinker, where he/ she approaches a guest with utmost professionalism and integrity. This quality also helps him/ her in negotiations and conflict resolution which they are most likely to encounter at some point in their career.
Tactful Thinking is one of the
most important quality of a Front Desk Staff
Nowadays, you can often see a Front Desk in industries other than Hospitality. Most malls or shopping centers have a welcome desk which also serves as a point of information. Similarly, Banks and offices of several multinational companies also have a front desk in their lobby.
Though a person working at a front desk in these industries has different work responsibilities, their core function is still the same – being a point of contact to visitors and/ or guests and providing them a warm and hospitable service.
Do you want to embark on an exciting career in this field? View our current vacancies and apply today!
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