Main Functions of Bell Desk
Bell desk is an extended arm of the front desk. There are many activities at the time of arrival, during the stay and at the time of departure of the guest which cannot be carried out from the front desk but are to be carried out essentially, in order to provide services to the guest. As the name suggests it is a small desk /counter in the lobby near the main entrance of the hotel.
The bell desk in the hotel should be situated in clear view of the front desk, cashier and particularly the doorman standing outside the lobby, so that the doorman may signal for a bellboy at the arrival of a guest. Further, it is also important that the bell desk is situated near the luggage centre and luggage entrance.
The location of the bell desk also helps in the effective coordination with the front office, example for the arrival and departure of guests, to validate Room Discrepancy report, escort the guest to the room etc. And the bell desk personal can report and assist the security in dealing with undesirable elements in the lobby.
The main functions or duties are done by the bellboys are; 1) Luggage handling, 2) Paging and Message Handling, 3) Delivery of newspaper, 4) Collection of Room Keys at departures, 5) Miscellaneous Jobs
1) Luggage handling:
Luggage handling of the guest is done at a various occasion such as arrival, during stay (change of rooms) and at the time of departure. At the time of arrival when the luggage of the guests moved from car/taxi to the lobby and further to the allotted room, the activity is called "Up bell activity’". When the luggage of the guest is moved from room to lobby and further to the car/taxi at the time of departure the activity is called "down bell activity’".
2) Paging and Message Handling:
Apart from luggage handling the bell desk is also responsible for paging a guest. The paging is a system of locating the guest in the hotel. Many times the in-house guest expects a phone call or a visitor but decides not to wait in the room, and might decide to go to a public area such as bar, restaurant, swimming pool, lobby or lounge etc. of the hotel or may go out of the hotel.
In such cases hotel request the guest to tell about his whereabouts through a location form. This current location of the guest is duly updated on the hotel software under the function called Locator or Traces. In case of hotels who are not using a hotel software this form is usually filled in by the guest but many times it may be filled in by the hotel staff on the instructions of the guest and kept in the room folder. The bell desk’s function is also to handle and distribute mail, couriers and message received by the front desk in the absence of the guests to their respective rooms.
4) Delivery of newspaper:
As per the hotel policy, all hotel guests receive a copy of hotel newspapers each morning. The bellboys in the night shift are responsible for delivering the newspapers to all occupied rooms and the areas of the hotel and also keeping a record of the same is done by the bell desk. The Bell Captain on duty is also responsible to coordinate with the newspaper supplier and order the required number of the newspaper as per the number of the room occupied.
5) Collection of Room Keys at departures:
Another very important function of the bell desk is the collection of room key from a checkout guest and depositing the same at the front desk. Depending upon the types of the key used by the hotel either manual key or key cards the bells desk staff should always keep a watch and remind the guest at departure to deposit the key.
6) Miscellaneous Jobs:
Miscellaneous jobs such as postage stamps handling, postcard, courier collection, taking care of outgoing mail of the guest, first aid box, over the counter medicine kit, carrying out outside errands for the guest and hotel such as serving welcome drinks, buying of cinema tickets, moving of files and documents etc. for the guest as well as going to banks, post office and also uploading or compiling the police report or emigration report.