Guests expect superior service at high-end hotels, and the bell staff can make or break a hotel’s image and reputation for excellent customer service. As a trained bellman, the captain knows the property intimately. The captain supervises and trains the bell staff to provide exceptional service and respond to guests’ needs during their stays.
As chief of the bell staff, the captain is an integral part of the management team. To accurately staff the hotel during conventions and busy weekends, for example, the captain must be made aware of events before they occur. The captain creates a weekly schedule based on the estimated customer count provided by the sales department and other managers. The captain must ensure adequate staff is in place during all shifts to meet the needs of customers. This is especially important at high-end business hotels, which cater to customers who expect premium customer service and want to be assured that there are no unexpected surprises.
The bell captain typically has a say in who gets hired on his team. He is involved in the hiring process along with the human resources department and the hotel’s manager. The captain then trains the new hires to execute their duties to his standards. The bell captain may require new bell staff to shadow another, more experienced bellman for a few days to learn the ropes and become familiar with company policies and regulations. The captain observes the bell staff to ensure they meet and exceed guest expectations and disciplines staff members who aren’t responsive to guest needs.
As a manager, the captain must review bell staff and recommend raises and promotions. The bell captain provides hotel management with regular staff reports and also manages a budget for his staff. The captain oversees record maintenance for his department and tracks calls made to the bell station. In addition to hiring and training, the bell captain assigns bell staff to various positions in the hotel and directs the flow of traffic through the lobby.
The bell captain at a high end business hotel often steps in to assist guests personally. The captain also carries guest luggage to the rooms and inspects the rooms to make sure they are in order. She might refer guests to the concierge for further assistance and perform minor tasks for guests like filling the ice bucket, explaining the wireless system or hanging garment bags. The bell captain must be familiar with all the services at the hotel and the surrounding area. She might be asked to step in for the concierge and arrange transportation, secure show tickets and provide directions when guests ask.
- PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images