SOP – Front Office – How to Control Guest room keys

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How to control guest room keys in Front Office?

Purpose: It is the duty and responsibility of the front desk staff to ensure the right guest is given the key to his room and that his safety and security about issuance of the key is not compromised or violated during his stay in the hotel

Front Desk Agent should never give keys, room numbers, messages, parcels, or mail to any person without first requiring appropriate identification.

For security reasons, hotels use at least three types of keys, Emergency Key, Master key, and guest room keys. Types of keys used may vary hotel by hotel but the process of handling them remains pretty much the same.

When Guest Requests for room key:

1. Request for Guest’s last name and room number.

2. Cross-check the information given by guests against the reservation details on the hotel software (PMS).

3. If there is any mismatch in the details provided then request for any valid photo identification like passport, Driving license, government ID cards, etc.

Do not hand over the room keys without proper authentication of the guest’s identity.

4. If no picture identification is available by the guests, the Front office assistant must accompany the guests to the room to confirm their identity. When being challenged by our actions, we are to inform the guest: 

“We are doing this for your security and safety. We appreciate your understanding.”

5. Only in an emergency can we use the information on the guest’s passport number, date of birth, address given to the hotel on arrival, etc. to ascertain against the computer’s record.

6. When in doubt about the identity and the guest refuses to be escorted to the room, inform the Front office manager immediately.

If the Team Leader or Assistant Manager – Front Office could recognize the guest, give the duplicate key to the guest while reinforcing politely why we need to perform the identity check.

7. Check if the guest requires an additional key or if he has lost his previous key.

8. If a guest requests an additional key, program a new key with a duplicate code.

9. If the guest has lost his previous key, program a key with a new code.

10. Present the new key to the guest

Keys must never be issued to persons claiming to have the guest’s permission to enter the room unless the guest has personally given his /her verbal or written authorization to the Front Office team.

Room numbers should not be written on the keys in case keys are misplaced. A set of codes are encoded to differentiate keys being held by guests.

On Staff’s request entry into occupied room:

1. Only designated operational staff is allowed access to occupied guest rooms.

They are:

Bellboys, Concierge, Front Desk agents, Housekeeping Manager, Assistant Manager– Housekeeping / Team Leader / Designated Room Attendant and Laundry Attendant, Mini Bar, F&B – Room Service Fruits Deliverer.

2. Key machines should constantly be in ‘log off” mode.

Access codes should be known only to those designated personnel and not shared amongst other staff.

3. The cashier may hand over the checked-out room key to the bellman to collect luggage and check mini-bar and safe boxes. The bellman must return the used key to the same cashier after removing the luggage from the room.

“Show Room” / Sales mockup rooms Keys

1. Daily, a set of rooms will be blocked off for viewing purposes by the Duty Manager – Front Office.

2. Two sets of keys to these rooms will be programmed and placed at the Front Office Reception for site visit purposes.

3. Staff releasing the site visit keys must inform the receiver to return the keys to the Reception upon completion.

Training Summary questions Controlling Guest room keys:

Q1. What steps are to be taken if there is a mismatch in details given by the guest? 

Q2. What is to be done while making a duplicate key?      

Q3. What is to be done if the guest has lost his key card?

Q4. Why it is important to verify guest details before handing over the key?

Q5. What steps are to be taken if you feel suspicious about the person collecting the key?
SOP Number: Front Office SOP -10 
Department: Front Office – General
Time to Train: 60 Minutes
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