Bell Desk : Introduction and Functions

The bell desk in front office is also known as the bell stand or the luggage desk, is a service provided by the front office of a hotel. The bell desk is typically located near the main entrance of the hotel and is staffed by hotel employees known as bellmen or bellhops. Their main responsibilities include assisting guests with their luggage, providing information about the hotel and local area, and answering any other guest inquiries they may have.

The bell desk is the face of the hotel and plays a crucial role in creating a positive guest experience. An efficient bell desk operation not only enhances the guest experience but also streamlines the overall hotel operation. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for efficient bell desk operations in hotels.

Bellmen may also assist guests with various other requests, such as making restaurant reservations, arranging transportation, and providing information about local attractions or events.

Many luxury hotels also offer a concierge service, which is provided by trained professionals who can help guests with a wider range of requests and offer more personalized assistance. The bellman is the one that interact and assist the guest from their arrival until their departure.

Bell desk function

function of bell desk

The senior bell captain is the in-charge of bell desk and along with his staff perform various duties from here. The various bell desk function performed from here are as follows.

1. Luggage handling 

Luggage handling of the guest is done at various occasions such arrival, during stay (change of room) and at the time of departure. At the time of arrival when the luggage of the guest is 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”. Temporary storage of luggage The baggage is collected from room upon request. A left luggage register is maintained in this case and an entry is made in this book. A baggage ticket (which has two parts) is used . One part is attached to the luggage and the counterfoil is given to the guest. This portion details the hotel’s liability exemption clause. When the guest comes to collect his luggage he has to produce his portion of baggage ticket. The luggage store room must be secure at all times.

Here are some steps to improve luggage handling:

  1. Clearly mark and tag luggage.
  2. Store luggage in a secure location.
  3. Ensure timely delivery of luggage to guest rooms.
  4. Train staff on proper lifting and handling techniques to prevent injury.

2. Paging 

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 areas such as bar, restaurant. swimming pool, lobby or lounge etc. of the hotel or may go out of the hotel. In such cases the hotel requests the guest to tell about his whereabouts through a location form. This proforma may be kept in the stationary folds in the room as well as at the information section of the counter. Usually it is mm in by the guest but many times it may be filled in by the hotel staff on the instructions of the guest The completed location form is kept in the key and mail racks. This information is sent to telephone department also (the guest may directly inform or the front desk may do so). The purpose of the form is to earmark the area of paging and save time. In case of computer system the information is recorded in computer instead of location forms.

3. Mail and Message Handling 

The bell desk’s function is also to handle and distribute mail and message received by the front desk in the absence of the guests to their respective rooms. Also distribution or newspaper and magazines etc. to various rooms and the areas of the hotel and keeping a record of the same is done by the bell desk.

4. Delivery of Newspapers

As per the hotel policy all hotel guests receive a copy of a local newspaper each morning. The bellboys in the night shift are responsible for delivering the newspapers to all occupied rooms.
The bell captain obtains the room verification report (providing information on all rooms presently occupied). The bellboy then marks the room numbers on each newspaper. The bellboy also inserts the daily newsletters in each paper provided by the public relations office the previous evening. The bellboy then distributes the newspapers. The record of numbers of newspapers received on daily basis is maintained by the night shift bell captain.

5. Collection of Room Keys at Departure

Another very important function of the bell desk is the collection of room key from a check out guest and depositing the same at the information desk.

6. Miscellaneous Jobs

Miscellaneous jobs such as postage stamps handling, taking care of outgoing mail of the guest, carrying out outside errands for the guest and hotel such as buying of cinema tickets, moving of files and documents etc. for the guest as well as going to banks, post office and FRRO police station for delivering of ‘C forms’ etc., confirming of railways/bus reservation etc. are done by the bell desk. Bellboy shall do the outside jobs only on the instructions of hell captain. A service call slip will be prepared. Also an entry in the log book will be made and an entry in bell captain’s control sheet, which is meant to control the movement of bellboy will be made. Finally when the bellboy will return an entry will be made in the service call slip and bell captain’s control sheet and will be signed by bell captain. In most of the hotels these days bell desk is also responsible for car parking area and control of revenue generated from car parking area. At times when there is a room discrepancy, the bell desk staff helps the lobby manager in checking and sorting out of the status of the hotel.

7. Wake Call 

In some hotels the wake up call to groups and crews is coordinated by bell desk. In such cases it is the responsibility of the bell captain on duty in the morning shift to prepare the wake call sheets of all the groups and crews in-house.

8. Guest Service: Guest service is the most important aspect of a bell desk operation. A friendly and helpful staff can make all the difference in a guest’s stay. Here are some steps to improve guest service at the bell desk:

  1. Greet guests with a smile and make eye contact.
  2. Offer assistance with luggage and directions.
  3. Respond promptly to guest inquiries and requests.
  4. Continuously monitor guest satisfaction and make improvements as needed.

When a guest arrives at the hotel, the bellman will usually greet them and assist with their luggage. They will take the guest’s bags and store them in a secure area until the guest is ready to have them delivered to their room. They also help guest who need to check in after hours or do not have ID to do it at the front desk, If a guest is checking out, the bellman will retrieve their bags and help them load them into their vehicle.

Importance of effective communication between bell desk in front office and other departments

Effective communication between the bell desk and other departments is crucial for ensuring a seamless and efficient hotel operation. The bell desk acts as the hub of information and needs to be able to relay important updates and requests to other departments, such as housekeeping and maintenance, in a timely manner.

Steps to improve communication between bell desk in front office

Here are some steps to improve communication between the bell desk and other departments:

  1. Establish clear lines of communication: Designate a point person in each department to communicate with the bell desk and ensure that all staff are aware of the designated person.
  2. Regularly hold meetings: Schedule regular meetings between the bell desk and other departments to discuss any issues or improvements. This provides an opportunity for departments to share information and coordinate efforts.
  3. Provide training: Train staff on effective communication techniques, such as active listening, clear and concise messaging, and how to handle challenging situations.
  4. Utilize technology: Utilize technology such as instant messaging or task management systems to ensure quick and efficient communication between departments.
  5. Encourage feedback: Encourage open and honest feedback from all departments to ensure that communication is always improving. This can be achieved through regular surveys or suggestion boxes.

    Hotels, Their Evolution and Growth : Introduction to Tourism, Hospitality & Hotel Industry
Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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