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What Does a Front Desk Manager Do?

A hotel front desk manager checking in guests.
Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2014
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A front desk manager works in the hospitality industry, in an establishment such as a hotel, resort, or inn. The day-to-day responsibilities of someone in this position may vary, depending on the size of the establishment and the number of other employees that work there, but it is a challenging job that requires a person to possess excellent customer service skills as well as the ability to work well with others. There are a few different ways to enter into a management position within the hospitality industry.

A person who manages the front desk will generally always need at least a high school education. Many people who plan a career in the industry pursue college degrees in hospitality management or business in order to gain valuable knowledge. A college degree is not a requirement, however, and many managers have years of experience instead of a formal education. It generally takes at least three to five years of working on the front desk before becoming a manager, and promotions into supervisory roles are common before becoming an actual manager.

Many front desk managers begin as front desk clerks or guest services agents. It is important for the manager to know virtually everything there is to know about the hotel in order to answer customers' questions accurately, and this can typically only come from experience. Once the person gains a management position, he or she may actually spend less time working at the desk, and will instead spend more time behind the scenes.

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This person may be responsible for creating schedules for other employees to work the front desk, as well as making sure that company policies are always being followed. The manager will enforce policies for things like time off, hours that must be worked, dress codes, and other workplace practices. He or she will likely need to have frequent meetings with other managers in the hotel in order to discuss things such as sales goals, productivity, and ideas for improving the business.

If a customer is having a problem and needs additional help, the front desk manager may be the one who is called in. It is important for anyone in a management position to be able to deal with difficult customers and to remain polite and respectful. He or she may also be responsible for keeping track of the cash flow through the front desk, or for setting up new reservations.

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Discuss this Article

Perdido
Post 7

@OeKc05 - That is funny, because the customer relations part of the work was what I enjoyed more than the computer-based part. That is just my personality, though. I love taking charge and making things happen, and I also love keeping bad things from happening.

If you are leery of dealing with the public, then I would recommend you seek another career. There is just to much customer service involved to suit someone who doesn't enjoy it.

OeKc05
Post 6

@Perdido - Did you enjoy your job? I like computer work, and I think that handling reservations and assigning rooms would be fun. It's the part about dealing with customers that makes me question whether to pursue a career as a front desk manager. Do the bad times outweigh the good in your experience, or would you advise me to look elsewhere for a career?

Perdido
Post 5

I worked as a front desk manager for a hotel. In addition to the duties listed in this article, I also was responsible for assigning rooms and handling reservations. If someone canceled their reservation, I had to update that information. It involved a lot of computer work, since a large number of people make or cancel reservations online these days.

lighth0se33
Post 4

Though front desk managers must strive to be polite and please the customers, they also must know when to step in and cease dangerous or ridiculous behavior. They must seize control of situations before they escalate.

I worked at a hotel desk, answering phones and checking in guests. We had an unruly guest once who actually threatened to do bodily harm to me. He claimed that he could not sleep all night because the guy in the room next to him snored too loudly, so he thought that we should refund him because we refused to wake the snoring man.

The front desk manager stepped in and told the man to calm down. She firmly yet politely explained that the sleeping habits of our guests were not our responsibility, and since he had stayed the entire night, we could not give him a refund. When he continued to make threats, she phoned in security.

sunshined
Post 3

When someone walks into a hotel, the people who sit at the front desk are the first employees they usually see, and first impressions are lasting ones. This position represents the establishment for every person who calls on the phone or walks in the front door.

Deciding who will represent the hotel with the front desk manager job is very important, and they must be friendly and have good customer relation skills in order to be successful.

julies
Post 2

A person who works in any front desk position must have excellent customer service skills and know how to deal calmly and professionally with many different situations.

There are a wide variety of front desk manager duties that can be challenging and being able to perform several duties at once can be helpful.

If you happen to work the night shift in this position, that can be even more challenging because you are usually the only person there and don't have other staff members to rely on for help.

LisaLou
Post 1

Working as a Front Desk Manager is not always as easy as it may look to some people. Having worked as one for several years, you never know what kind of situation is going to come up that you have to be prepared for.

Many times people who have a front desk job position for a few years can work in to a management position. The experience they receive in this role is invaluable to the manager position as they will have already experienced many different problems and situations that have arisen and have a good idea of the best way to handle them.

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