A bellman is typically employed by hotels to assist the guests with a number aspects related to their stay at the hotel; they are also known as porters, doormen or bellhop. Their most basic responsibility involves unloading the luggage of the guests staying at the hotel and transporting it to their rooms and back from their rooms to cars when their stay is over. In addition to transporting their luggage, a bellman also stores the guests’ luggage, help them with their boxes and packages and even find pieces of luggage which have been lost due to some error.
Once the hotel guests check in at the front desk, it is the bellman that escorts these guests to their respective hotel rooms and also takes the luggage along with them. They are responsible for guiding the guests about the available facilities and any features of the room that guests should know about.
A bellman performs a range of other duties as well which include packing and unpacking of the luggage, opening doors, hailing cabs and maintain the luggage carts. They are also responsible for delivering packages and mails to the rooms from the front desk and at some places they are also expected to greet the guests that are staying at the hotel by their name which gives out a very professional impression of the hotel. In case the hotel is going through a shortage of staff, bellmen also help with the maintenance work, housekeeping and even helping around at the front desk.
Training and education for bellmen
Even though bellmen jobs are considered to be entry level jobs which do not require any specific degree or training requirement but good hotels which include 4 and 5 star hotels consider employees who hold substantial experience or training in the hospitality industry. Individuals with college degrees are preferred over others owing to the possibility of them demonstrating good communication and people skills. Since a reputation of any hotel depends upon the ethics of their service staff, hotel management expects exceptional people skills from their staff members; any negligence can lead to a lot problems and loss of business for the hotel.
Whom do bellmen report?
Bellmen are the employees that have been hired in a hotel to make the guests feel at home and also to make their stay so comfortable that they come back again and recommend the hotel to others as well. Bellmen are usually uniformed staff members who report to the head of housekeeping department or the manager of the hotel. Their efficient service is crucial for the seamless running of the hotel so it is important that the channels of communication run smoothly at all times.
Bellmen are usually required to wear a formal uniform which generally mean a dress pant and a formal jacket. Depending upon the weather and each hotel’s policy regarding uniforms, they can also wear an informal uniform which is different from the one that is normally worn.
How are bellman paid?
Usually bellmen are paid by the hour but it varies; sometimes bellmen are also hired as full time employees and are paid a salary and are even offered benefits. Some places allow bellmen to join unions for safeguarding their rights and putting their demands forward, while others do not.
Other than the hourly wage or the permanent job that pays the bellmen of any hotel, guests also tip them which makes up for the low wages and salaries that they are normally paid. Typically, guests try and tip the bellmen in a generous manner. Usually it means anywhere between $1 and $5 for a piece of luggage.
When does the role of a bellman change?
Bellmen are usually hired to make sure that the running of the hotel is carried out smoothly and there is no chaos. They are there to give the hotel guests a great and peaceful environment while they are staying there and to provide them with best service that is possible. While they were hired for the purpose of transporting the luggage around, their roles have considerable changed with improvement in the hospitality industry. These days, bellmen are trained to behave in a lighter and causal manner with the guests and making them feel like home at the hotel, unlike older time when everything was handled in a very formal and strict manner. Since bellmen are the first employees that guests meet after the front desk formalities, they are supposed to give a good impression of the hotel and take care of the needs of the hotel guests. Hotels expect bellmen to be at the best of their behavior as they play a crucial role in making the first impression of the hotel.
Not all the guests get to meet the managers or other employees involved with formal running of the hotel so, bellmen and other service staff is the actual brand ambassador of any hotel. A good and professional reputation of any hotel is highly dependent on how well-trained their service staff is, as they are most often than not, the only hotel employees the guests have to deal with.
Responsibilities of Bellman
Bellmen are supposed to take care of a number of things that happen around in a hotel; there main responsibility includes transferring luggage to and from the rooms and making the environment of the hotel pleasant for the guests that are staying there. Their job responsibility also includes guiding the guests if they have issues in finding their way around the hotel.
When a guest checks in
As soon as a guest checks in at a hotel and gets over with the formalities at the front desk, they are taken to their rooms by a bellman who guides them about the various features and facilities of the hotel. When they reach their room, they turn on the lights or open the drapes according to time. Bellmen also place the luggage in the place where the guest asks them to and leaves after giving them the guidelines about how get in touch with the bellman if they need any assistance. In a number of hotels today there is a Wi-Fi facility available for the guests; the bellman should also provide them with the details for accessing the service.
Bellman duties around the lobby
As soon as you check in at any hotel, you will notice that bellmen usually stay in the lobby to assist the guests. They open doors for the arriving guests welcoming them graciously in to the hotel. In case the guests need taxi to go somewhere, bellmen will do the job of hailing the taxi for them. In case the arriving guests have pets with them, the bellmen required to handle them and take them around the hotel with their leashes. In every job that bellmen do around the hotel, their ultimate aim is to make sure that the guest feels at home and their stay with the hotel is comfortable and goes seamlessly. The guests should be made to feel so great that they make return visits and recommend the hotel to more people as well.
Assisting the guests around the hotel
In addition to welcoming the guests, carrying their bags and making their stay otherwise comfortable, bellmen are also required by the hotels to assist in various jobs around the hotel in case the hotel is short of staff. These jobs include cleaning the rooms and taking care of small maintenance jobs around the hotel building. In case there is trash on the floor, and relevant personnel are not around to remove to it, bellmen will be required to do so. Incase guests are looking for being guided around the place, the bellmen should be able to guide them and direct them to the direction the guest should be heading for. If the hotel is short of staff at the front desk, bellmen can be required over there to fill in for a while.
In a nutshell, bellmen are considered among the employees who are involved in the everyday running of the hotels so they need to be at the top their game and should demonstrate the best social skills when dealing with hotel guests and the staff in general. Even though their jobs do not involve any serious decision making about the way a hotel is managed, still since they are among the first employees whom the guests staying at the hotel meet, they need to a lot presentable.
In a nutshell, the job responsibilities of a bellmen range from greeting the hotel guests at the door, taking their luggage to and from their rooms, introducing the guests with the facilities at the hotel, and assisting the hotel administration in times of crises. In such times, these employees can be called for a range of duties which include manning the front desk, carrying out minor repair work, maintenance of the facility, guiding the guests around the hotel and handling with other matters that involve making the guests comfortable and at home at the hotel facility.