Uniformed Services in Hotels | Hospitality Industry
Employees who work in the uniformed service department of the hotel generally provide the most personalized guest service. Taken into consideration the degree of attention given to the guests by this department, Some Properties refer these as Uniformed services others simply as Guest service.
While personal in reservations, front desk, and communications areas affect guest perceptions, it is often personal in uniformed service who make a lasting impression. Also uniformed service staff are usually classified as "tipped employees", Since a portion of their income is derived from guests gratuities!
The primary positions within the uniformed service department are:
Bell attendants - Persons who provide baggage services between service between the lobby area and the guest room.
Door attendants - Persons who provide curbside baggage service and traffic control at the hotel entrance.
Valet Parking attendants - Persons who provide parking service for guests automobiles
Transportation personnel - person who provide transportation services for guests.
Concierges - Person who assist guests by making restaurant reservations, arranging for transportation, getting tickets for theater, sporting etc.
Bell Attendants :
Many Guests arrive at the hotel with heavy baggage or several pieces of luggage. Guest receive help handling this luggage from probably the best known employee among the uniformed service staff: the bell attendant.
The selection of the bell attendant has to be done carefully, because most hotels have carts or baggage trolley for transporting baggage, the physical ability to actually carry the baggage is nota a critical job qualification. More importantly the bell desk personals should have strong communication skills and should be able to give personalized service to each guest.
Below are some tasks performed by the bell desk attendants, Even though the mentioned tasks appear simple they all require a degree of professionalism.
- Transport Guest Luggage to and from guest rooms.
- Familiarize guests with the hotels's facilities and services, safety features, as well as the guest room and in room amenities .
- Provide a secure area for guests requiring temporary luggage storage.
- Provide information on hotel services and facilities.
- Escort guest to guest rooms.
- Deliver mail, packages, messages, and special amenities to guest rooms.
- Pick up and deliver guest laundry and dry cleaning.
- Perform light housekeeping services in lobby and entry areas.
- Help guests load and unload their luggage in the absence of a door attendant.
- Help guest with special challenges or disabilities.
Door Attendants :
Door attendants play a role similar to bell attendants, they are dedicated to welcoming the guest to the hotel, They are generally found in the hotels offering world class service / Luxury hotels / with 5 Star classification.
A Skilled and experienced door attendant learns the names of frequent guests. When these guests return to the hotel, the door attendant is able to greet them by name and can introduce them to other front office staff. Such personal service enhances the reputation of the hotel and provides the guest with a unique experience.
Some of the duties on the door attendants are :-
- Opening hotel doors and assisting guests upon arrival.
- Helping guests and unload luggage from vehicles.
- Escorting guests to the hotel registration area.
- Controlling vehicle traffic flow and safety at the hotel entrance.
- Hailing taxis, upon request.
- Assisting with valet parking services.
- Performing light housekeeping services in the lobby and entry area.
Valet Parking attendants :
Valet Parking is generally available at hotels offering world-class, Luxury or 5 Star service. Specially trained employees should park guest and visitors cars. The personal attention and security of valet parking service is considered both a luxury and a convenience.
Guest do not have to worry about finding a parking space, walking to the hotel in inclement weather, or finding their vehicles in the parking lot. Some hotels charge for these service. Hotels generally charge a higher fee for valet parking than for self-parking. In addition to paying the higher fee for valet parking, guests are also likely to tip the Valet parking attendant for his service.
Valet parking attendants are also responsible for the security of vehicles being moved to and from the hotel entrance. Attendants should not take a car into their care without issuing a receipt to the guest. Usually in the form of a ticket.
Vehicles keys must be kept in a secure area, and only issued by qualified personal. Cars should be only returned to the guests when they return the receipt or ticket issued by the attendant before they can receive their keys. If a Key is lost or given to the wrong person, the vehicle can be rendered inoperable or considered stolen and the hotel may be held financially responsible for the same.
Transportation personal :
Transportation personal or Divers must be well trained and properly licensed to operate the vehicle. Since these drivers are sometimes the first contact the guest will have with the hotel, it is important for them to be polite, efficient, and knowledgeable about the property. Drivers should also offer according to the weather hot /cold towels and packaged drinking water to the guest. It is generally customary for drivers to provide some information about the hotel while in transit, either through a live spoken presentation or a pre-recorded audio tape.
Drivers should also help guests entering and exiting the vehicle. An experienced drivers efficiently and carefully loads guest luggage into the van. Drivers should also inform the hotel before the guests reaches the hotel. This allows the hotels to prepare and keep ready the check in procedures before the guest arrival at the hotel.
In the distant past the concierge was the castle doorkeeper. A concierge's job was to ensure that all castle occupants were secure in their rooms at night. Travelling royalty often were accompanied by a concierge who provides security, finalize food and lodging arrangements etc. As hotels became more common in Europe, the concierge eventually became part of the staff that provides personalised guest services. It is not uncommon to find concierge at world class or luxury hotel.
Concierge may be easily identified by the prominent gold crossed keys displayed on their jacket lapel. To earn these keys, a concierge must be certified by the international association of concierges, known as Les Clefs d'Or ( Golden Keys).
Concierge may provide custom services to hotel guests. Duties include making reservations for dining; securing tickets for theatre and sporting events; arranging for transportation; and providing information on cultural events and local attractions. Concierges are known for their resourcefulness. Getting tickets to sold-out concerts or making last minute dinner reservations at a crowded restaurant are part of a concierge's responsibility and reputation. Finally a Highly reputed concierge should speak several Languages.