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The Receptionist (also Front Desk Agent, Front Desk Clerk, Front Office Associate or Guest Service Officer) is responsible for providing attentive, courteous and efficient service to all guests during check-in, throughout their stay, and at checkout, while maximizing room revenue and occupancy. This highly visible role gives opportunity for casual conversation and has a direct impact on creating the guest experience. Other duties may include processing forms of payment and responding to guest inquires.

Receptionists, being seen after doorman or bellman, are often not guests' first point of contact, but generally orient visitors to the hotel’s property, and set the tone for the entire guest experience when greeting them with a smile, check for their reservations, provide keys and necessary materials.

The jobs of the Receptionist aren’t just about giving guests a smooth check-in and check-out. Instead, they work hard to build the experience that is memorable and unique.

No matter what position you are in, there are a few things that are critical to success in hotels – creating a safe work place, following company policies and procedures, maintaining confidentiality, protecting company assets, upholding quality standards, and ensuring your uniform, personal appearance, and communications are professional.

Because the Receptionists are so visible, they are often serve in a multitude of functions that may overlap with those of reservations, concierges, and housekeepers. Required to be friendly and personable, they field questions on a variety of topics. For this reason, Front Desk Agents must be knowledgeable about the hotels and all their programs, as well as local attractions. Instead of browsing on yelp, guests sometimes like asking Front Desk Agents to give recommendation. In most situations, Front Desk Agents should not turn to Concierge for information, but immediately offering what guests want to know confidentially.



Fundamental Duties

  • Greet and welcome all guests approaching the Front Desk in accordance with hotel standards.
  • Maintain proper operation of the PBX console and ensure that all hotel standards are met (if applicable).
  • Answer guest inquires about hotel services, facilities and hours of operation in a timely manner.
  • Ensure logging and delivery of packages, mail and messages to guests and meeting rooms.
  • Review Front Office log and Trace File daily.
  • Answer inquiries from guests regarding restaurants, transportation, entertainment, etc.
  • Process all payment types such as room charges, cash, checks, debit, or credit, following all cash handling and credit policies.
  • Be aware of all rates, packages and special promotions as listed in the Red Book.
  • Be familiar with all in-house groups.
  • Be aware of closed out and restricted dates.
  • Obtain all necessary information when taking room reservations and follow the rate-quoting scenario.
  • Be familiar with hospitality terminology.
  • Have knowledge of emergency procedures and assist as needed.
  • Process all guest check-ins by confirming reservations, assigning room, and issuing and activating room key in a friendly, efficient and courteous manner.
  • Use proper two-way radio etiquette at all times when communicating with other employees.
  • Fully comprehend and be able to operate all relevant aspects of the Front Desk computer system.
  • Be able to perform and complete all tasks and duties on the shift checklist in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Be able to complete a bucket check, room rate verification report, and housekeeping report.
  • Balance and prepare individual paperwork for closing of shift according to hotel standards.
  • Maintain and market promotions and guest programs.
  • Maintain a clean work area.
  • Assist guests with safe deposit boxes.

General Duties

  • Maintain a warm and friendly demeanor at all times.
  • Must be able to effectively communicate both verbally and written, with all level of employees and guests in an attentive, friendly, courteous and service oriented manner.
  • Must be effective at listening to, understanding, and clarifying concerns raised by employees and guests.
  • Must be able to multitask and prioritize departmental functions to meet deadlines.
  • Approach all encounters with guests and employees in an attentive, friendly, courteous and service-oriented manner.
  • Attend all hotel required meetings and trainings.
  • Maintain regular attendance in compliance with hotel Hotels & Resorts Standards, as required by scheduling, which will vary according to the needs of the hotel.
  • Maintain high standards of personal appearance and grooming, which includes wearing the proper uniform and name tag.
  • Comply with hotel Hotels & Resorts Standards and regulations to encourage safe and efficient hotel operations.
  • Maximize efforts towards productivity, identify problem areas and assist in implementing solutions.
  • Must be effective in handling problems, including anticipating, preventing, identifying and solving problems as necessary.
  • Must be able to understand and apply complex information, data, etc. from various sources to meet appropriate objectives.
  • Must be able to cross-train in other hotel related areas.
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality of information.
  • Must be able to show initiative, including anticipating guest or operational needs.
  • Perform other duties as requested by management.


The average salary for a Hotel Receptionist is $12.32 per hour in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 62 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Hotel Receptionist employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.

An entry-level Hotel Receptionist with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $10.44 based on 55 salaries. An early career Hotel Receptionist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $11.02 based on 75 salaries. A mid-career Hotel Receptionist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $11.00 based on 17 salaries. An experienced Hotel Receptionist with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $11.88 based on 13 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $10.

The national average salary for a Hotel Receptionist is $29,844 in United States. Salary estimates are based on 14,877 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Hotel Receptionist employees.


A high school education is required for most positions as a Front Desk Agent, college course work in related field is helpful. Furthermore, courses in bookkeeping or computers can be helpful.

Prior experience through summer or part-time jobs in hotels can be very beneficial. For those Front Desk Agents looking to advance, more formal coursework or education in hotel management is needed. Additionally, voluntary certification as a Front Desk Representative is available through the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Sometimes, one year of hotel, customer service and/or sales experience is a must.

Special consideration will be given to those who exhibit a proven track record of exemplary customer service/sales performance in other business fields with strong leadership abilities, excellent oral and written communication skills, proficient computer skills to include Word, Excel, Adobe and guest and employee centric management practices.

A warm, people-oriented demeanor and have knowledge of the local area.

Have good computer skills and brand POS experience.

A team-first attitude

A gift for paying attention to the smallest details

Physical Requirements

Flexible and long hours sometimes required.

Light work - Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.

Ability to stand during entire shift.