You can’t bow to every request a hotel guest ever makes. But don’t be so bound by the rules that any request is met with a hostile ‘jobsworth’ attitude! If you cannot meet your guests’ initial requests, look at offering an alternative:
- A guest wants an early breakfast, before your kitchen staff normally arrive – offer a continental breakfast or a tray instead, or at the very least a take away cup of fresh coffee.
- You receive a request just 10 minutes before service for an alternative to the set menu for a big party – you don’t have a choice, but listen to what the guest needs to avoid and offer an alternative combination without this item.
- Your weekend guests ring ahead and say they haven’t been able to get a dog sitter. You don’t take dogs, but can you find a local kennel who can accommodate the dog?
- Your guest asks for a particular brand of whisky for an important client he is entertaining. You don’t stock it, so do you refuse, or phone your neighbouring hotel or pub to see if they have it in stock.
Encourage your staff to get into the mindset of looking for an alternative solution, even if the initial question has to be answered with a ‘no’, it can be followed by ‘but I can do x for you’, or ‘I know someone who could do this for you’.
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