First impressions matter, and in this post, I will cover how to properly welcome hotel guests.

When welcoming hotel guests, it is important to do so in a genuine and sincere manner. Avoid fake smiles, as guests can easily see through them.

In the hospitality industry, the welcome is an essential part of making your guests feel at home.

A warm and sincere “Welcome” accompanied by a genuine smile and appropriate body language can go a long way in creating a positive first impression.

How to Welcome Hotel Guests

In the hotel industry, it is not uncommon for employees to lack appropriate education or training for their positions. It is the responsibility of the hotel manager to train their employees properly.

Proper training for hotel staff is essential to ensure they perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. If a manager is short on time, enrolling employees in a hotel course is a good option to help them learn the latest techniques in their field.

I have hired receptionists with no prior experience in the hotel industry, but with my guidance, they became some of the best hotel employees.

Whether managing a large hotel, a hotel chain, or vacation rentals, creating a positive first impression for guests is crucial. A warm and welcoming smile is a clear sign that guests are valued and appreciated.

There is one basic rule that guides those who work in the welcome team, including those who greet guests in hotels and other accommodation facilities.

The 10/5 rule when greeting your guest.

The 10/5 rule is a common practice in the hospitality industry, especially among those with years of experience. Some employees may not even realize they are following this rule, as it has become a part of their everyday polite culture.

But what does the 10/5 rule mean? It refers to the distance at which an employee (such as a doorman, bellboy, or receptionist) greets a hotel guest. When the guest is ten feet away, the employee should make eye contact and smile as a way of acknowledging the guest’s presence.

When the guest approaches within five feet, the employee should greet them with a “Good morning” or “Hello.” If the employee knows the guest’s name, it is recommended to use it. For example, “Good morning, Mr. John” or “Good morning, sir. How are you today?” The employee should maintain a smile until the guest has arrived.

While some hotels follow the 10/5 rule, others may have their own variation. For instance, I use a 10/4 rule in my hotel.

Use the 10/4 rule when welcoming a hotel guest.

“I introduced the 10/4 rule to all members of the welcome team I worked with, and it proved to be successful. My receptionists greeted every guest with a smile, and we consistently received high scores for the kindness of our welcome team in guest reviews.

While the 10/5 rule is common in the hospitality industry, I found that five steps can be too far away for a doorman to greet a guest, especially in noisy areas. Therefore, when using the 10/4 rule, it’s best for the doorman to make eye contact at ten feet and greet the guest with a smile when they are within four feet, all while demonstrating appropriate body language.

For receptionists inside the hotel, the same technique applies with eye contact at ten feet and a greeting with a smile when the guest is within four feet. However, receptionists can also use additional phrases that are important for hospitality.

Here are some phrases that receptionists can use when checking in a guest:”

Do  you really care that you welcome a hotel guest? 

If you’re in the hospitality business, you likely understand the importance of welcoming guests to your hotel.

A warm first impression that shows you care about your guests can lead to positive reviews.

When a guest arrives to check in at the hotel, it’s appropriate to ask, “What can I do for you today?” or “How can I assist you today?” If a guest is already staying at the hotel but needs to approach the reception desk with a question, the same type of question can be asked. However, if a guest is simply passing by the reception desk, it’s appropriate for the receptionist to greet them kindly without asking any questions.

kindly welcome hotel guests

Listening the guests carefully

Listening to the guest is part of the welcome rule. When a guest arrives for check-in or has any needs from the hotel staff, employees are obliged to listen carefully and use appropriate body language.

Offer something complimentary

When a guest is at the reception for check-in and the process takes time, the receptionist can offer a free bottle of water or coffee in the hotel restaurant (if available). Offering a complimentary beverage is of great importance because it shows that you care about the guests and their stay at your property. This is also a great practice for welcoming hotel guests.

Do not forget the body language

I have mentioned several times the importance of body language, as it is crucial. It will be in vain to say kind words that are not in line with the body language. Otherwise, it will negate all of the efforts.

Always express gratitude to the guests 

Do not forget to thank the guests who stayed at your hotel. Thank them for choosing your property as their first choice to stay. Even if they are regular guests at your property, you should still thank them for choosing your accommodation again.

It is not appropriate to welcome only first-time guests to give them a good impression of the hotel. Likewise, it is wrong to only express gratitude to loyal guests just because they often stay at the hotel.

Last words

This essential but straightforward method should be known by every member of the welcome staff who works in your hotel.

Every guest is meaningful and valuable, whether it’s their first time in the hotel or they are a frequent guest. Each guest should receive the service for which they have paid.

Empower your employees and invest in their training. Work with them to show them how to be more successful in their work and in welcoming guests. If someone makes a mistake, teach them how to do it correctly. The most important thing is for the employee to be genuinely happy to welcome the guests and convey that feeling.

If employees are happy and satisfied, the guests will be too.

And remember:

A warmly welcomed guest will always give positive feedback and is more likely to return to your property again.


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