The job of a front office manager looks as simple as greeting you with a smile. However, it is a post that comes with a massive responsibility of supervising and managing a lot of activities from the front desk. They have to coordinate most of the departments, attend to the guests and report to a senior officer with details of the day. With long working hours, which many times extend into late nights, it isn't an easy task and definitely not the one that comes with a mere college degree. It takes years of industrial experience to learn details of managing a crucial aspect of service industry.
A front office manager is basically responsible for managing duties, roles and responsibilities of front office staff. The job description includes looking after training the staff, allocating work, defining their duties, making schedule, and establishing clear lines of communication between all his team members. He needs to have following skills to perform his job to the best:
- A front office manager must have the ability to control, plan and direct the front office. This office is primarily responsible for booking reservations, recording activities of the guests and maintaining decorum of the hotel. He may also have to ensure that the guests adhere to procedures and policies, if the need be.
- In most cases, he also plays the role of a human resource officer, as he recruits the right candidates for the right jobs. He must have a sharp acumen to hire the right kind of people for the right kind of job.
- It is extremely important that a front manager has excellent communication skills, as he needs to be in constant touch with his team members and guests as well. His speech must be clear, concise and correct and one that makes the point easily without going astray. Any error in explaining policies and procedures of the hotel to the guests or to the staff, can lead to a colossal chaos.
- Since front office manager is the first person you meet, he is also the public relations officer of the hotel. He must have the knack of putting the best foot forward on behalf of the hotel and his team. He must do so, by imbibing a strong sense of humility amongst his team members and making them understand the importance of grooming too. Shabbily dressed employees will definitely make a terrible impression on the guests.
- He must have the ability to gauge traffic of guests, likely reservations and expected turnouts. To support the same, he must come up with programs, events and parties to ensure maximum occupancy of the hotel, for achieving higher profit margins.
- A front office manager is expected to maintain a good rapport with customers and clients, so that they keep coming back. Effective interpersonal skills go a long way in establishing a loyal customer base.
- Only an eye for detail can suggest improvements in operations, set procedures, rules and regulations for betterment. As hotel looks for constant scope of improvement, they look out for managers who can help them do so.
A front office manager is the backbone of hotel's function. Their job demands ability to multitask, take quick decision, instant troubleshooting and positive situation reactions. Those aspiring to take such a position, must have patience while dealing with clients and guests. Virtues of professionalism and integrity will befit a front office manager in gaining respect and trust from his subordinates. His supervisory role encompasses most isolated job descriptions in the hospitality industry, which makes it one of the challenging jobs of all time.