14 Pros and Cons of Working Front Desk at a Hotel

What does a front desk hotel agent do? Front desk agents at hotels are responsible for assisting guests with whatever needs they may have.

However, to do this job, you have to be a people person, both warm and friendly.

You are the face of the hotel.

You are responsible for checking guests in, answering calls, responding to emails, and much more.

If you’re contemplating becoming a front desk hotel agent, you may have many questions.

Or you may still be stuck on the fence, trying to determine whether this is the right job for you.

This guide was put together to help you weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of working as a front-desk hotel agent.

Pros of Working at a Front Desk Hotel

First, let’s start by discussing the advantages of working as a front desk hotel agent:

1. Friendly Guests

Working as a front desk hotel receptionist or agent enables you to cross paths with some of the most amazing people.

These people come from all over the world, many of whom share some amazing stories from their countries.

Many people network and form friendships this way.

At the end of the day, you never know who you will meet working behind the front desk of a hotel.

2. Discounts

The hotel’s front desk agent is typically the one people go to for discount recommendations, local recommendations, and more.

As a result, you get to benefit from some of these perks from time to time.

In addition, many of the bigger hotel chains are part of various membership plans, which front desk staff can take advantage of as well.

For instance, you could earn points for every guest that you enroll in a new membership plan.

Those points can then be used for free stays at other hotels across the country and the world.

3. Free Food

Another perk of working as a front desk hotel agent is being able to get free food.

You will rarely have to pack your lunch or dinner.

However, this only applies to hotels that have a restaurant or kitchen inside.

This means that your meals are covered at no cost to you.

While it may not be the healthiest food in the world, it can most certainly save you some extra money.  

4. Opportunities for Growth

Believe it or not, working as a front desk hotel agent does leave you with additional room to grow.

Moreover, if you enjoy the hotel you’re working at, you could climb the ladder rather quickly.

Having a front desk job is one of the best ways to impress upper management.

There’s no doubt that your supervisor will be closely watching you to see if you could potentially be the right fit for a different position.

If you have any interest in joining the management team, look at this position as a stepping stone.

5. Excellent Benefits

It’s no secret that front-line hotel desk jobs come with benefits.

After working for the hotel for a certain amount of time, you could be eligible to receive dental and medical insurance from them.

Having good benefits can provide the stability that you need.

Most states require you to have insurance coverage.

But besides that, it should feel good to you to know that your job is providing for you in this way.  

6. Transferrable Skills

Who said you can’t learn skills that can be transferred to other careers working as a front desk hotel agent?

Working as a front desk hotel agent means that you must have excellent customer service skills.

You should also have great communication and organizational skills.

Those same skills can then be transferred to a different industry if you no longer wish to work in the hospitality industry.

This experience gives you some advantages when you’re applying for other jobs.

Having prioritization and interpersonal skills makes you a perfect fit for administrative positions.

7. Opportunity to Relocate

Have you ever thought about relocating to another state or even country?

Working for a big hotel chain provides you with the perfect opportunity to relocate to a different location, only after you’ve proven to be an asset to the company.

So, what does this mean for you?

You can travel to a new location and feel good knowing that there’s a job waiting for you elsewhere.

Some companies may even pay for you to relocate.

Cons of Working at a Front Desk Hotel

Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of working as a hotel front desk agent:

1. Noise Complaints

Working at the front desk in a hotel means you have to deal with complaints, one of the biggest being noise complaints.

The front desk agent must ensure guests are assigned quiet rooms.

However, even after the hotel staff has done everything right to ensure that guests receive just that, it can still turn sour for many.

The issue arises when other guests nearby are noisy and party all night.

It can be extremely annoying for front desk staff to have to deal with these complaints continuously.

2. On Feet All Day

Your shifts working at the front desk of a hotel can put a lot of strain on your feet, as you’d be standing for the majority of the day.

As a result, you could deal with sore legs and feet.

Eight hours straight of being on your feet may not sound as exciting when you consider it.

Ultimately, you will have downtime throughout your day when you can take a short rest.

But if your heart is set on doing this type of work, you should be prepared with the right footwear.  

3. Holidays are a Must

Holidays are known to be the busiest times of the year for many hotels.

This means that you will have to work holidays.

And unfortunately, until you gain a little seniority, you’ll probably be working major holidays for several years in the beginning. 

If spending time with family and having holidays off is important to you, you may want to reconsider working as a front desk hotel agent.

Fortunately, if you ever move up to hotel management, you’ll be able to take holidays off.

4. Long Working Hours

You may have to spend more than eight hours on a working shift when you first start working at the front desk of a hotel.

Not to mention, you may even switch to working overnight shifts at the beginning.

While this may not sound feasible to you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

As you gain seniority, you’ll have more control over the type of schedule you’d like.

However, this can be a burden for some who have children and other family priorities.  

5. Very Few Breaks

As mentioned earlier, you may have downtime when you can take a quick seat.

However, there won’t be full breaks, which means you’ll have to remain in the same area for the majority of your shift.

This also means that you won’t have very many bathroom breaks.

Perhaps there will be moments where you feel you can quickly get away to the bathroom only to find a guest waiting for you when you return. 

6. Expected to Know Everything

Another disadvantage of working as front desk staff at a hotel is expecting to know every single thing.

Everyone expects the hotel receptionist to have all the information or answers to their questions.

Front desk staff will also be expected to have everything behind their desks.

It’s safe to say that guests think that the front desk staff is nothing short of a prophetess.

You’ll be expected to have the guest Wi-Fi password ready and a list of the best pizza places around town.

7. Fast-Paced Environment

Not everyone enjoys working in a fast-paced environment, and unfortunately, working as front desk hotel staff is no exception.

If you are imagining that your day will be full of boredom and nail-tapping, think again.

There’s no doubt that you’ll have slow times, but expect to have busier moments where you’ll be struggling to catch your breath before another guest walks in.

You’ll experience long lines filled with inpatient guests, with little to no help.

If this doesn’t sound like something you’d be able to handle, you should reconsider this position.

14 Pros and Cons of Working for Front Desk at a Hotel – Summary Table

Pros of Working at a Front Desk HotelCons of Working at a Front Desk Hotel
Friendly GuestsNoise Complaints
DiscountsOn Feet All Day
Free FoodHolidays are a Must
Opportunities for GrowthLong Working Hours
Excellent BenefitsVery Few Breaks
Transferrable SkillsExpected to Know Everything
Opportunity to RelocateFast-Paced Environment

Should I work at a front-desk hotel?

If, after reading, you are still considering pursuing a career as a front desk hotel agent, you should dive.

Hotel desk agents get to deal with some amazing guests, take advantage of discounts, and even get free food.

If you can deal with noise complaints, unfriendly guests, and standing on your feet for most of the day, this may be an ideal job choice for you.

Fortunately, these types of jobs are easy to secure as long as you can commit to working long hours and possible holiday shifts. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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