When it comes to the question of what is front of house staff in a hotel, the answer is: every guest-facing hotel staff member. Front of house (FOH) staff work with guests and handle direct guest operations, including check-in, check-out, and guest questions. They also are involved in hotel restaurant management support.
A stellar front of house staff is integral to the ideal guest experience. That’s why hiring the right people for your front of house staff is key to your hotel business success. Today we’ll take a look at the work that goes into front of house hotel business in the hospitality industry. We'll also dive into the qualities to look for when hiring for front of house work.
Front of the House Department in a Hotel
The front of the house department in a hotel covers a range of physical locations within the hotel. Those locations include:
- The front desk
- The lobby
- Any restaurants, cocktail bar spots, and other dining spaces
- The rooms, in regards to the bellhops and room service and hotel food and beverage service workers
- The pool and other recreational facilities such as tennis courts
These areas also have a host of back of house staff. The factors that make a location FOH are dependent on how a guest will interact with the staff in that location. The different levels of guest interaction in FOH areas means the staff for that area need certain skills. From the manager to the general staff, experience and qualities situated to FOH are paramount.
Hotel Front of House Manager Job Description
We’ve mentioned hotel front of house staff are dedicated to a specific front of house department as well as spread through other hotel departments. For the hotel front of house manager job description, we’ll be focusing on the manager for the main front of house department. That department includes the front desk and guest support department.
The front of house manager job description includes:
- Scheduling front of house staff
- Following through on objectives for each shift
- Maintaining an overview of guest service policies and procedures
- Reviewing procedures for innovation and growth opportunities
- Coordinating with other department managers
Overall, the front of house manager maintains the standards of the hotel in the front of house department. They work with the front of house team, and every other department, to ensure guest satisfaction is the top priority.
Front of House Staff: 7 Qualities to Hire For
When you’re hiring front of house staff, you’re searching for people who will run your front of house operations efficiently. Keeping these seven qualities in mind in the employee search and interview process will help you find the right staff members.
For job searchers, these skills should be emphasized on your resume. Even if you haven’t worked in a hotel, odds are you’ve utilized these skills.
7. Customer Service Experience
Working in the hotel industry requires a great deal of customer service, as guest satisfaction is the hospitality equivalent of customer service. Customer service experience for the hotel industry can come from experience in retail or business services. Overall, it boils down to the ability to work with guests and ensure satisfaction.
6. Quick Learning Abilities
The ability to learn on the go is important for many industries. For front of house staff, quick learning abilities are vital. They help with staying ahead of the needs of guests and adapting to new policies, specialized guest needs, and changes in reservation plans.
5. Organizational Skills
Organizational skills for front of house staff are vital for internal operations and physical appearance. On the internal side, front of house staff should be adept at keeping their work tasks organized for efficiency. When it comes to physical appearance, keeping every part of the hotel guests will see is a crucial component of perfecting the guest experience.
4. Teamwork Skills
Strong teamwork skills between front of house staff showcases a unified front for guests. While every member of the team should be able to work independently, teamwork skills will lead to time saved and increased efficiency. Additionally, a team that works well together is good for morale amongst your employees.
3. Strong Communication Skills
While strong communication skills are tied to teamwork skills, they’re also vital for guest service work. People visiting hotels want to receive the service they’re looking for with as little muss and fuss as possible. FOH staff with strong communication skills can give guests the information they need in a concise, timely manner. This will make the entire experience smooth and easy.
Enthusiasm in a guest-facing role is half the battle in ensuring guests feel comfortable and well taken care of. Enthusiasm can be a personality trait, a result of job satisfaction, a practiced skill, or a combination of those three. When it comes to hiring front of house staff, keep an eye out for any of those qualities.
1. Time Management
Time management skills are a top quality to hire for in any industry. When your FOH staff can manage their time and complete tasks with operational efficiency, your guests will experience a better stay. It really doesn’t get any better than that!
"Key Takeaway: Overall, front of house staff skills boil down to the ability to work with guests and ensure satisfaction."
Frequently Asked Questions About What is Front of House Staff?
Front of house staff in a hotel makes up a large portion of the functions of a hotel. That large portion of the hotel staff directly correlates to the curiosities people have about front of house staff.
Most of these frequently asked questions cover the functions of front of house staff. If you’re looking to nail down the nuances of front of house hotel staff, these answers will help.
What is Hotel Front of House?
Hotel front of house is the department of the hotel staff dedicated to guest-facing work. The front of house department crosses into many other departments, because every facet of hotel operations is tied to front of house work. Ultimately, hotel front of house work is responsible for direct guest satisfaction through interactions.
What is Considered Front of House Staff?
Front of house staff is every staff member who serves in a guest-facing role. There are departments that are entirely made up of front of house staff. Those include the front desk workers and valets.
There are also front of house staff members across the other departments. For example, the food and beverage department has FOH waiters and hosts, alongside back of house staff–including the Sous chef–in the kitchen.
What is the Primary Role of Front of the House Staff?
The primary role of front of the house staff is to ensure guest satisfaction. Of course, that is the general role of all staff members in a hotel. The factor that sets front of house staff apart is their direct relationship with the guests. Front of house staff are the view into hotel operations that will set the tone for guests.
What Qualities Should Front of House Staff Have?
Front of house staff should have a variety of customer service qualities, including:
- Multi-tasking skills
- Adeptness at handling customer complaints
- Attention to detail
- Strong communication skills
- A welcoming personality
Since FOH staff are the face of the hotel, they should have qualities that reflect the ideals and efforts of the business. Each individual quality feeds into the general quality of showcasing what the hotel has to offer.
Front of the Hotel House: Making a Hotel Home - or House!
From the FOH staff to everyone who makes a hotel home for guests, there’s plenty of work involved in running a successful hotel business. Come back to the BinWise blog for more hotel and hospitality–including hospitality software–content. Stop by our sister site, the BlueCart blog, for wholesale products information, eCommerce tools, and order management content to pair with your hotel systems.