Many hotels use bellhops to help guests with their luggage. But this is much more than simple transportation. The best bellhops have a number of responsibilities that can keep them just as busy as a concierge or any other member of the hospitality staff.
If you're considering becoming a bellhop or you're interested in improving your bellhop skills, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Keep that hop in your step
The title "bellhop" comes from the combination of the words "bell" and "hop" because hotel front desks used to ring the bell for someone to hop and grab the guests' luggage. Although in some places this position is called a bellboy or porter, remembering the word "hop" can be helpful to remind you to keep that pep in your step. Guests and superiors will be impressed with your lively, enthusiastic demeanor. This may translate to better tips, promotions and, most importantly, happier customers.
2. Dress to impress
It's important for bellhops to dress well because they're representing their business. As one of the first people that a guest sees, bellhops should be able to represent the luxuriousness and professionalism of the establishment in their attire. Most hotels have guidelines and uniforms, but bellhops should go the extra mile and ensure that everything is pressed and looks professional.
Stylish, slip-resistant shoes are a big part of the uniform. How are bellhops supposed to carry luggage if they don't have a firm grip on the floor? Nonslip shoes can be a great asset to bellhops. There are a number of male and female slip-resistant shoes that can easily match professional attire without sacrificing safety or function.
A big part of a bellhop's appearance is how he carries himself when not working. Depending on the time of the day or the season, there may be long periods when bellhops are waiting for guests to attend to. It's critical in this time period to continue looking professional. Bellhops should pretend a guest is nearby at all times to ensure professionalism.
3. Focus on customer service
Although your main job may be literally lightening your guests' loads, remember your job is to make them feel luxurious. Many guests are capable of carrying their own luggage – your job is to treat them to a special experience. The Houston Chronicle reminded bellhops to exude friendliness and customer service expertise.
"The bellboy is often the first person with whom an arriving hotel guest has a direct interaction," the newspaper wrote. "His customer service responsibilities include helping guests out of vehicles, unloading their luggage and transporting it into the hotel and on to their rooms, helping them find their rooms, teaching them to operate door locks and room lights and assisting with roll-away beds or cribs."
A big part of customer service is executing multiple jobs. Don't just offer to carry bags. Make sure guests get the assistance from the front desk or a concierge that they need. In addition to finding the guests' room, bellhops should examine the room quickly to nip any potential dissatisfaction in the bud.
4. Master the tipping exchange
Tipping can be awkward for many guests, so it's a good idea to be prepared. InnovateUs suggested that bellhops have change on hand at all times. Many people will have $20 bills and standard advice says that bellhops should be tipped $1 for each piece of luggage – so be prepared.
In addition to change, it's smart to master the handshake hand-off. Many people try to tip on the sly with money in their hand. Be prepared for this so as not to cause any embarrassment.
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