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Hotel Desk Clerks

History

The very first desk clerks were simply the owners of a lodging establishment or members of their family. Besides managing the inn, cleaning the rooms, and cooking the food, the innkeepers were responsible for assigning rooms and collecting fees. As hotels grew bigger, many consolidated to create chains, such as the Statler Hotels or Holiday Inn. Sometimes a single owner found himself or herself responsible for a number of properties. Innkeepers realized they needed help from employees apart from their immediate families. Desk clerks were trusted to manage the duties of the front desk—welcoming guests, assigning rooms, and maintaining hotel records.

Today, front office workers use computers to reduce paperwork, keep better records, and manage reservation systems. New software is constantly being developed to help the front office. For example, front desk management software allows desk clerks to update the master registry book by keeping track of reservations and guest information. Many guests now opt to use the in-room video express checkout instead of waiting in line. Even with such technological advancements, desk clerks are still needed to staff the front desk. Guests like personal attention to certain details such as answering their questions and handling special requests. Even video checkouts are processed by desk clerks, who also then mail folios to guests.