There is an interesting etymology to the word concierge. One school of thought suggests that the Latin root is conserves, or fellow slave. The Old French derivation that can be traced back to feudal times, comte des cierges, or keeper of the candles, needed to know where all the functions in the palace would take place; as they were in charge of maintaining the candles for each event. Over time, the comte des cierges became the person in charge of catering to every whim and desire of a palace’s visiting nobility.
In the Middle Ages, the concierges were the keepers of the keys a noted government buildings and castles. There is even a famous prison in Paris named the The Conciergerie in honor of the warden who kept the keys and assigned cells to the inmates.
As the beginning of the twentieth century, the international tourism industry experienced a tremendous boom, in large part due to the increasing popularity of rail and steamship travel. Switzerland’s grand hotels, in working to satisfy the needs of these travelers, created the ‘hall porter’ position. These first ever modern concierges were responsible for everything from meeting the guests at the station in a horse drawn carriage to assisting them with every detail of their stay.
The ability to respond to a guest’s request is critical to guest satisfaction. As the level of services to guests increases in volume or complexity, the creation of a separate department may become necessary.
The guest services department provides directions to points of interest, specialty shops, and shopping centers, recommendations for off premise restaurants, tickets to the theatre, reservations, for tours, assistance with the purchase of airline tickets, help in locating the nearest religious services, assistance in setting up golf tee times, and other services.
The guest services department may consist of a single person, the concierge, or an entire department of employees who report to the concierge, including the concierge assistant, the bell captain, the bellmen and baggage porters, and the doormen.
Typically, the concierge reports to the front office manager. The concierge assistant, bell captain, and doorman report directly to the concierge. The concierge establishes policies and procedures and writes job descriptions, training manuals, and procedures for all areas of guest services, including bell service, doorman service, guest paging, baggage and package handling, guest tour and travel services, and special guest requirements. Additional responsibilities include assisting guests with the many unscheduled guest service needs (theatre tickets, car rentals, sightseeing tours, travel information, etc.); coordinating with the assistant manager, the senior assistant front office manager, and other departments; supervising and coordinating the parking of guest cars, and the coordinating with the laundry manger to ensure quality laundry and valet service.
- Responsible for obtaining update tour information regarding places of interests and other similar spots intended for tourists. Provide monthly entertainment
- and activity information at Concierge Counter for guests. Maintaining a database with information about city highlights
- Monitoring guest requests for other hotel services providing directions and maps. Visiting new restaurants, shops, and galleries in their city for
- Oversee the operations of the bell service and ensure it smoothly without delay or mishandling.Interacting with other departments to make sure guests’ needs are being met
- Securing transportation such as rental cars, taxis, or limousines providing tickets for sporting events
- Responsible for the daily roster under the jurisdiction.
- Maintain logbooks for recording of the daily operations of the Concierge, Transportation and Bell Service. Ensure all activities are properly logged down
- with clear record.
- Maintain clear, proper and accurate records of all luggages kept at concierge storeroom.
- Assist in training of all subordinates in coordination with job related standard, policies and procedures. Ensure all subordinates follow above standard and
- P&P accordingly.
- Accomplish all monthly reports as required.
- Monitor Transportation Supervisor to finish all assignments given by management, and to keep proper records of all transportation activities.
- Perform all duties, other than the above as requested by the hotel, company policies and/or his/her direct supervisor.
- Always conduct your job with concern for the environment and its resources. Where practical and possible, REDUCE use of items, RE-USE whenever possible, and
- RECYCLE those items that can be.
- Taking messages for guests and ensuring guest mail and fax delivery
- Following up with guests to see how services have worked out
- Handling special or unique requests
- Tracking down lost luggage
- Confirming airline tickets
- Maintaining a clean reception area
- Acting as a personal assistant, such as picking up food or dry cleaning
- Planning events
Stutts, Alan T. (2001). Hotel & lodging management An introduction. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.