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Front Office Magic Words, Phrases, Greetings and Courtesy Language Examples

Example Front Office Magic Words, Phrases, Greetings and Courtesy Language Used by Hotel Staff

1. List of Magic Words Used by Front Office Staff

  • Please

  • Thank You

  • Excuse Me

  • Pardon Me

  • Sorry

2. Standard Phrases For Addressing Individual Guests

If you do not know the guest’s name, address him or her as :

  • Sir

  • Madam

  • Sir & Madam

If you are addressing children, address them as:

  • Young Man / Young Gentleman

  • Young Lady

  • Note: Refrain from using “KIDS” when addressing children

3. Standard Phrases For Addressing a group of guests

When addressing a group of guests, use:

  • Gentlemen

  • Ladies

  • Ladies and Gentlemen.

Note: Refrain from using “SIRS”, “MISTERS” or “MADAMS”

4. Addressing guest by his or her name

  • The sweetest word in the guest’s vocabulary is his or her NAME.

  • It creates for the guest self importance and recognition.

  • In addressing the wife or husband, use the surname e.g. “Mr Bond, Mrs Bond has already signed.”

  • If unsure if they are married, never assume.

5. Standard Greeting Used by Front Desk Staff

In greeting guest, be warm, friendly and professional.

Do say:

  • “Good Morning, Sir/Madam”

  • “Good Afternoon, Sir/Madam”

  • “Good Evening, Sir/Madam”

  • Never be too personal

Do not say:

  • “Hi”

  • “Hello”

  • “Yes?”

In the exchange of greetings, use:

“How are you today/this morning/afternoon/evening, Mr (surname)?”

For new arrivals, you can add:

“Have a pleasant stay with us, Sir/Madam”

“I hope you’ll enjoy your stay with us, Sir/Madam”

6. Standard Phrases While Offering of service/help:

In offering your assistance, the phrases are:

  • “May I help you, Sir/Madam?”

  • “May I be of service to you, Sir/Madam?”

Words in response

In response to something said positively, the phrase is:

“I’m glad to hear that”

In response to something negative e.g. bad news, the phrase to use is:

“I’m sorry to hear that”

In response to guest greeting you with “How are you today?” say:

“Fine, thank you.”

“Very well, thank you.”

On ending your conversation with the guest:

“Have a nice / pleasant / good day / evening / weekend.”

7. Standard Phrases While Answering a guest or client’s call

In answering to a guest’s call, the phrases are:

  • “Yes Mr (surname) / (Sir/Madam), may I help you?”

  • “Yes Mr (surname) / (Sir/Madam), may I be of any assistance?” 

Do not ignore a client by continuing with what you are doing, even if you are very busy.

  • “I’ll be with you in a moment, Sir/Madam”

  • “I won’t be a moment, Sir/Madam”

  • “I’ll only be a few moments”

  • “I’ll be right back”

  • “I’ll be right with you”

  • Do not say -  “Wait a minute”

Upon attending to the guest, immediately say:

  • “Sorry to keep you waiting, Sir / Madam.”

  • “Sorry to have kept you waiting, Sir / Madam.”

8. Standard Phrases To Use When a guest requests for something 

Do not go away to fetch it in silence, response by saying:

  • “Certainly Sir/Madam.”

  • “Yes Sir / Madam, it’s my pleasure.”

  • “Of course Sir/Madam, I’ll be happy to do it.”

When guest asks for something which you cannot provide Say:

  • “I’m very sorry, we have run out of “.

  • “Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have it at the moment.”

  • “I regret Sir/Madam, we have sold all our .”

  • “I’m afraid we do not have .”

  • Always remember to follow that up with an alternative solution as a sign of your desire to help.

  • Do not say: “No, we don’t have it”.

  • This is negative. Instead, apologise and show regret.

When guest asks for something which you are not sure you can provide, Do not say: 

  • “I don’t think we have it.”

  • “It is not handled by this department.”

  • Instead answer honestly: “If you wait for a moment, Sir / Madam, I’ll try to find out.”

9. Standard Phrases to say when guest thanks you:

  • Always reply with a big smile

  • “Please don’t mention it”

  • “My pleasure.”

  • “You’re most welcome.”

  • “Not at all. I’m glad I am able to help.”

  • “Glad to be of service.”

  • Do not say: “Never mind.”

  • Or worse, make no reply at all.

10. Standard Phrases to Say When guest apologises by saying “sorry”

  • Do reply - “That’s quite all right.”

  • Do not reply - “Never mind.”

11. Standard Phrases To Say When Giving way to guests

  • When guests pass you, remember to let guests go first.

  • Do say: “After you, Sir / Madam.”

 Note: Also Read SOP Telephone Etiquette in Hotels and Standard Telephone Welcome Greetings Used in Hotels

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.