How to Handle Walk Guests or Guests Without Reservations in Hotels
In General, a Hotel is obligated to accommodate guests. Legitimate reasons for refusing to accommodate a guest may include lack of room availability, or the potential guest’s disorderly conduct or unwillingness to pay for accommodations or services.
Handling walk-in guests can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can be a great opportunity to showcase your hospitality skills. First and foremost, greet the guests with a warm smile and make them feel welcome. Ask them how you can assist them and if they need any help with their itinerary or navigating the area.
If the guest is looking for accommodation, have a list of available rooms ready and show them around the property. Highlight the amenities and services that your establishment offers and answer any questions they may have. If there are no available rooms, offer to help them find alternative accommodation in the area.
It’s important to be attentive to the guest’s needs and make them feel valued. Offer them a drink or a snack while they wait, and make sure to keep them updated throughout the process. Once the guest is settled, follow up with them to ensure they have everything they need and their stay is enjoyable.
Who is a Walk-in Guest?
A Guest who arrives at a hotel without a reservation is called a ‘Walk in’.
The Classic nightmare for any traveller who travels for miles and miles and then walks into the hotel and finds that the hotel is fully occupied. Hotels have no obligations to accommodate guests who arrive without reservation when no rooms are available for the night.
When the hotel cannot accommodate a walk-in guest, the front office agent can make the situation a little easier for the guest by suggesting and providing directions to alternative hotels nearby.
The front office staff can even call other similar hotels and help the guest to make a reservation.
If there seems to be no alternative to turning away the guest, a manager not a front desk agent, should explain the matter in a private office.
Registering one guest given another who cannot be accommodated can be extremely awkward and embarrassing.
The following steps are to be clarified before accepting a Walk-in Reservation:
- If the guest Presents a confirmation letter, verify the date and the name of the hotel; the guest may have arrived on a different date or at the wrong hotel.
- Check with the guest if the reservation was made by another person, the reservation agent might have entered the reservation under the booker/caller name!
- Re-verify the reservation by searching the hotel software by last name, first name, reservation number, partial name search, mobile number, Booker name, company, travel agent, etc. If the guest had booked from the travel agent ask the guest to call up the travel agent and get more details of the booking.
- Ask the guest to reconfirm the arrival date and departure date again, the guest may be arriving on a different date or it is possible that this guest was a no-show for the previous night.
- If all of the above checks and given negative results then after checking the availability of rooms in the hotel the front desk agent can create a new reservation. When the reservation is created for walk-in guests the source segment of the reservation should be tagged as ‘Walk-In’.
- It is also a good practice to collect an advance deposit for the complete room rental and approximate incidental charges from a Walk-in guest.
In summary, handling walk-in guests requires a friendly and attentive approach. By providing excellent customer service and making them feel welcomed, you can turn their visit into a positive experience and potentially gain a loyal customer.